ONA17 Chatbot for Event Management

Idea

The organizers of Online News Association’s 2017 Conference came up with the idea to communicate with event participants and provide them with helpful information via chatbot. ONA is a conference held for people working in digital media, including journalists, media executives, developers, entrepreneurs, students, and educators.

Discovery

The chatbot highlighted all of the conference’s activities including sessions, speakers, entertainment etc.

MASTER’S COMMENT

An event chatbot is always about being handy and having easy access to useful and needed info. It should provide attendees with event information and resources quickly and seamlessly.

Also, an event chatbot is one of the straightest channels between event participants and event staff. That’s why it is important to let users report any kind of issue, request help from organizers or ask any question via the chatbot.

Being open to feedback and proposals, ONA17 chatbot allowed users to easily do this in a couple of steps with little to no effort.

— Viktoriia Tymoshchuk & Dariia Vynohradina. Project Managers

To provide quick access to the listed information we stocked up the bot with session reminders, search of ONA17 speakers and sponsors, FAQ and venues location.

Project Overview

The project activities included:

  • Chatbot development
  • Design of the cards
  • Quality Assurance

Session reminder. One of the most useful features was a notification about an upcoming session. Users were able to customize those reminders and get them 10 minutes before the start of an event. In regards to sessions, there was a very convenient search categorized by days or program tracks.

Search of ONA17 speakers and sponsors provided quick and easy access to information about speakers including a short bio, links to social media accounts, and sessions they were taking part in. In order to find a speaker, a user could just write his/her name and the bot would give the appropriate information. This also worked with the search of sponsors’ information.

FAQ. A user was able to see answers to the most asked questions without actually going to the website. They were also able to send a message right through the bot.

Venues location. When a conference is as big as ONA17, there are so many rooms where activities are held. The ONA17 bot was very helpful here as a user was able to find the location of a venue using a map.

What We Created

We created and designed a separate card for each of the roughly 220 speakers, 108 sponsors and 120 sessions held during ONA17. Our main goal was to make this massive flow well-structured and intuitively easy to use.

Quality Assurance

We performed functional and non-functional testing to cover the massive bot’s flow by tests.

MASTER’S COMMENT

The bot was a very complex project because of the amount of text and information it contained.

All this information was set up in the bot for the most convenient use.

So both functional and non-functional testing in the bot required a lot of time and effort.

Usability testing was also performed due to the Facebook Messenger platform requirements.

— Anna Tkachenko & Denis Tsion. QA Engineers

Product Support

The bot is no longer in production and is not supported, as it was made specifically for Online News Association’s 2017 Conference that was held October 4–7th.

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