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#IMEXlab: welcoming Frank, the chatbot, to Frankfurt

Published 1st September 2017


We had a new recruit helping the team at IMEX in Frankfurt this year – Frank the chatbot!

Frank was live on our IMEX 2017 website and Facebook page in the run up to and during the show, assisting our buyers, visitors and exhibitors with queries. Frank, a chatbot developed by our partner Sciensio, answered basic questions ranging from ‘where’s the Hosted Buyer Lounge’ to ‘how can I travel to the venue?’

Frank was part of #IMEXLab, our series of technology experiments which let us to pilot new ideas under controlled conditions in a live event environment. This allows us to assess their suitability and then share our experience with the industry, whilst promoting companies and individuals who seek to push the boundaries of event focussed developments. We’re always on the lookout for the latest and most innovative products and #IMEXLab, which we launched last year, is a great way to allow us to do this.

With thousands of visitors, buyers and exhibitors from around the world set to attend IMEX in Frankfurt, Frank ensured their questions could be addressed 24/7. He was a valuable support for our teams at one of our busiest times, enabling us to use our resources elsewhere while maintaining a consistent and accurate level of support.

Using artificial intelligence, Frank answered many of the basic questions in a polite and personalised way, providing links to additional information where relevant. What’s more, we saw a significant improvement in the responses from the chatbot technology throughout the period it was in use. This was due to the team at Sciensio, a messaging platform, re-programming Frank during this period, which improved his answers following initial inaccuracies.

Overall, Frank was part of 3,600 messages with 780 users, the vast majority of them via our website. Furthermore, Frank also highlighted some important issues with our FAQs which have since been revised. Where Frank was unable to answer the more complex questions – those unique to particular users or including sensitive data – he was able to supply the appropriate human contact details instead.

Our #IMEXLab experiment was a success - Frank was well received by various industry experts chatting to and testing his abilities. With the launch of our newly designed websites we’ve chosen not to implement the chat bot technology for the next show, but would certainly consider welcoming Frank on board for future events.

We’re also looking forward to working again with Sciensio and other partners as part of future #IMEXLab experiments.