Why All Festivals Need a Messenger Bot
We are always looking for new technology and opportunities to innovate the festival industry, but last week, an idea set off at the BeatSwitch office sparked by one of our clients. The client told us that he was struggling to manage his Facebook event page and obtain actionable insights from the data. Another issue was once the Messenger extension was added, messages overflowed, making it hard to keep up.
IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT
We all know that Facebook event pages aren’t what they should be. There is no quantitative data for event promoters to get sufficient insights on their online presence and number of possible attendees. That is, until Facebook released the “interested” button—a first step towards a clear view on who’s actually attending your event.
Lately, Facebook has been focusing on making changes and improvements. The latest development for the social media network is its venture towards e-commerce. With this enhancement, users will have the ability to buy tickets without even leaving the page to complete the transaction. Eventbrite and Ticketmaster are the first ones in the festival industry to jump on the wagon.
The social platform has emerged as a major medium for festivals to promote their brand and shows, but users have customarily been obliged to visit other sites to buy their tickets. With this development, festival promoters will be able to promote and sell in one place.
After recent announcements at Facebook’s F8 conference, an entire new world for those ticket providers opened. A series of interesting developments from the main ticket platforms will follow. Of course, we think the Facebook Messenger Bot Store and API is related to it. This framework of technology will allow ticket vendors and festival promoters to actively communicate with their attendees in very personalized and context driven way.
LESS CONVERSATION, MORE ACTION
Going back to our worried client: The conversation evolved into a brainstorm on changing the ticket buying experience for the better. Like our client, we were excited and wanted to do something with this idea.
But just like everyone else, we have to choose our battles. We decided to stay focused on our own mission. Since BeatSwitch is not a ticket provider and our client is focused on organizing a festival, we started a workgroup with other promoters to discuss these innovations. For us it’s a great way to stay in touch with our clients, and also stay ahead in our industry with new innovations. The next step is to alert ticketing companies that there is a demand from the industry and that they can anticipate this.
MORE PERSONALIZED, MORE CONTEXT
We tried to come up with some use cases on how a Messenger bot would add value to organizers and festivals. After several conversations with our clients, we defined some values and how it would benefit their operations.
First, the bots are able to give personalized and context aware information about the event faster. The second opportunity was integrating specific actions or commands to the Messenger bot could directly influence ticket sales.. Imagine what it would mean for a festival organizer if they could interact in an automated, but personalized, manner with their Facebook fans.
CASH FLOW IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
Our heads almost exploded when we figured the underlying Holy Grail: A way for festival organizers to let people start saving for festival tickets in the future. This will not only give organizer’s quantitative data about the success rate of their upcoming festival, but mostly it will create a constant revenue stream of ticket sales. With those parameters, a promoter can scale his festival based on the cash flow that’s coming in before the show’s actual dates.
To illustrate how this can work, we made a short video. Of course, it’s just our proof of concept of how this could work.
We are convinced that this is great way for promoters to organize more–and better–festivals.