What’s Web Summit Lisbon’s Chatbot Like?

Published on:

Web Summit Lisbon is in full swing. New this year? The chatbot to guide you. We've reviewed it for you:

So the guys at itsalive.io created a bot for the Web Summit that is currently held in Lisbon. Let’s see what it’s like:

Step 0 – What Do We Expect From This Bot?

According to the pitch, I’m just expecting to check some info about startups, speakers and talks at this event. I’m also wondering if I can also subscribe to events so the bot sends me a push notification just in time, or if I could see other attendings, etc… Could be helpful for visitors, right?

Step 1 – Let’s Go!

Web Summit Chatbot Review

I’m happy because the bot tells me very quickly what it can do.

And yeah, I was guessing right 🙃🙃. I can subscribe to talks and get notified just before they happen. We’ll see how to do it.

I’m also not happy 😠😠 because the bot does not call me by my first name. That’s easy to do and everybody wants to be called by their first name!

Step 2 – The Menu

OK this is what we call a “Menu” bot. It means that its main goal is to get you information. It is organised like a website, with categories and subcategories. The menu here is clear:

  • Check startups
  • Check talks
  • Daily program
  • Subscribe to talks
  • Some other stuff we don’t care about

When you build that kind of bot, you have to focus on the browsing experience. And the more content you have, the more complex your job is. Build a content website is easy. Visitors can go back, refresh, open new tabs,… With a bot they can’t. The experience is linear.

Step 3 – Categories

So let’s click on the first button. Bam! I get 50 categories displayed with huge pictures. Super heavy, don’t want to browse.

However, I see a nice little description telling me that I can also browse by just typing the industry keyword. Which is great.

That’s too bad to have displayed the categories first. If you’re bot support NLP, be proud, show it! If you just have to type something and the bot gives you a correct answer, your respondent is engaged.

See?! Now I chose a category by just typing something like “show me AI startups”.

Web Summit Chatbot Review


If I go to “more info” here, I get a lot more info about the startup’s team, which is super interesting.

So I have 3 comments here :

  1. It would be cool to be able to click directly on the Linkedin profile.
  2. You see that I get to the end of the funnel / conversation very quickly. I have no more actions available which is a bit stressing.
  3. Looks like those guys connected to the Web Summit database, good job!

Step 4 – Analyzing This Bot

Web Summit Chatbot ReviewSo this bot gets data that I will call objects. Those objects are simply startups, talks or speakers.

It allows you to filter them in two different ways. First it gives you some categories (Startups, Talks, Days). Then it allows you to type words to filter them.

To make that kind of Menu bot, it’s really important to make it hybrid (Q&A + NLP) because one technology covers the lacks of the other. Q&A take you straight to the information you need. But it goes too quick and can be frustrating when you browse. NLP allows you to resume your browsing very easily.

The last thing to point out is that this bot is directly connected to the Web Summit database. Which is cool.

So they got access to the massive Web Summit Json and then are able to categorize everything.

Here’s how it works:

Web Summit Chatbot Review



So yes this bot is well executed. My expectations were fully met.

I really like the subscription part. It’s a killer feature for any event planner. It allows them to drive traffic quite naturally to their talks by sending push notifications through Facebook Messenger.

But there is still a question I keep asking myself: are chatbots the right media for displaying content? As you can see on this bot, some info is missing or cut by Facebook. But also, I really don’t want to read a lot on a messaging app. No one ever writes 300 words texts…



Sharing is caring!