Get Ahead of the Competition with Chatbots – Before, During, and After the Show

what is a chatbot

Although most industries are embracing the chatbot, they’re still underused in some sectors. In the world of events and trade shows, for instance, they’re not truly taken advantage of. Want to get ahead of the competitions and drive attendee engagement, before, during, and after events? Learn more about chatbots.

What Is a Chatbot?

A bot is a software program designed to perform an automatic task. For a chatbot, that means mimicking written or spoken conversation. The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret what users say. Then it chooses an appropriate response based on the context of the query.

There are lots of types of chatbots. On a website or in an app, chatbots are used to enhance the visitor experience. You’ve probably seen a chat box pop up on service websites you’ve visited. That’s a chatbox. It’s designed to guide website visitors to something specific they’re looking for or help them solve a problem. If the chatbot can’t provide the help the visitor needs, it can direct them to a customer hotline.

As standalone entities, chatbot systems are increasingly sophisticated, doing more than just answering questions. Digital assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home, are examples of chatbots with large stores of information and multiple functions.

How Do They Do What They Do?

Chatbots are programmed to mimic natural language through a process called deep learning. This is a kind of machine learning, which in turn is a kind of AI. AI involves teaching machines to perform tasks that previously only humans could do. Machine learning takes the process a step further. With the right data, the software can teach itself how to perform a task.

Deep learning goes even further by using neural networks. These are computer systems with powerful algorithms that are modelled to resemble the human brain. Neural networks are designed to detect patterns to classify the data they’re given. When a neural network is trained to perform as a chat robot, it’s trained via deep learning to detect and classify the patterns of natural human speech and simulate human conversation.

what is a chatbot

What Are Chatbots Good For?

No two events are the same but show organizers do tend to come up against the same types of challenges. Many of those challenges are problems chatbots can help solve. Before, during, and even after the event, a chat robot can add plenty of value to the services you provide.

Before the Show

Adding a chatbot to your event website can enhance the preshow experience for both you and the people who visit the site:

  • Drive attendee engagement – As a show manager, you typically communicate with attendees via email—strictly a one-way conversation. Using a chatbot gives you the chance to turn it into more of a dialogue. Add a chatbot to your website and app, and attendees can actively participate in the conversation. This makes it naturally more engaging and builds anticipation.
  • Improve efficiency – One of the biggest advantages of chatbots is that they can take on routine tasks and free up time. For instance, a website chatbot can answer basic attendee queries and help visitors find the information they’re looking for. Chatbots allow you and your team to focus on other things.

During the Show

At the show, you have a couple of options for providing a chatbot. One option is to do it by stationing one or more digital assistants around the venue. Make sure they’re placed in areas that are relatively quiet and easily accessible, to make them easy for attendees to use. The second option is to add a chatbot to your event app.

  • Add sponsorship opportunities for increased revenue – A chatbot can provide some additional exposure opportunities for your sponsors, making sponsorship deals more enticing. For instance, a chatbot can display sponsorship announcements, or the chatbot itself might be sponsored. If you have an event app or digital assistant, that provides even more opportunities.
  • Provide in-app assistance – It’s increasingly common for events to have apps that attendees can use to organize their time at the show. Add a chatbot to your app to make it even more useful and engaging and increase frequency of use. For instance, a chatbot could help users navigate the app and aid them in finding booths and sessions they’re interested in.
  • Gather real-time information – Monitoring the chatbot during your event may help detect and solve problems before they cause too much trouble. For instance, if large numbers of people are asking the bot where restrooms are, they might need to be signposted more clearly.
  • Generate leads – Grab contact information from chatbot users, and you—and your sponsors—can continue to engage with them after the show is over.

What Must Be in Your Event App?

After the Show

There are many ways to use chatbots before and during a trade show. But what about after it’s all over? You might think there’s not much use for chatbots then, but don’t disconnect them too fast!

  • Gather relevant information – Once the show is over, analyzing chatbot data can help you pinpoint opportunities for improvement. One person’s interaction with a chatbot may not be useful, but queries of thousands of users can give you valuable insight into attendee needs. For instance, if lots of website visitors are all asking the same common question, consider adding it to the FAQ.
  • Stay in touch – You can continue to send snippets of information about the show, or about future shows, via attendee’s own digital assistants. Forty-six percent of American adults use a digital assistant, and of those, 8% have a standalone device, so you’ll reach plenty of people that way. Send updates to the event app too to cover all your bases.

Chatbots Can Have a Major Impact on Your Event

To your guests, chatbots seem like just another customer service, just another way of getting information. Because they’ve come to expect chatbots in daily life, it only makes sense to add them to your event. And the truth is, a chatbot can be even more useful to you as show manager than to the attendees it serves. It can help human agents make better use of their time, improve your revenue, and provide you with a huge amount of useful data to make future shows even better.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.