OSA 2016 Convention
The 47th Annual OSA Convention deployed an SMS bot on Botler to better communicate with
attendees through notifications, allowed attendees to ask for menus and schedules, and let any
attendee ask for help to the crisis managers via the bot.
Botler provided the consultancy services to help build the bot. We began by understanding
the convention managers' needs and built the bot for them on their own server - acting as an
external developer using only Botler's public API. The enterprise bot had a dedicated number, so
users could simply text the bot without worrying about a bot handle.
The bot was extremely well received by the attendees and was recognized on stage during the closing ceremony as
one of the most important innovations of the convention because of the value it created.
The Problem Botler Solved
For any convention, being able to communicate with attendees is essential. Convenors
may need to update attendees on schedule changes or notify everyone about important updates.
The convention's IT team was initially developing an app, but the overhead and resources to build an
app were so high that it was hard to justify. Further, an app may not even be used because:
- users had the locus of control to download the app
- the app was only available to iPhone users
- wifi was not reliable nor guaranteed ahead of time
- those few who did download it may not enable push notifications
Botler provided a better solution which saved considerable resources and was substantially more useful.
The Botler Solution
We began by understanding what the needs of the convention managers were. For this convention,
it was important to:
✓Provide attendees the ability to check the current and upcoming events
✓Update the schedule if the location/time of an event changed
✓Allow access the menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
✓Provide cross platform support for total accessibility
All of this could be easily done by a bot! No app is needed. In fact, the bot we made for the convention did not stop
at the above bare minimum requirements. We took it even further to demonstrate the flexibility and power of Botler:
✓Send a welcome message at check in
✓Organizers could send out notifications to all attendees
✓Attendees could text the bot for help at any time, and this help message
was relayed via the bot to all the crisis managers
This flier was provided to all the attendees in their welcome bags at registration:
Botler (acting as a consultant) delivered the following interface to make it easy for the organizers to send welcome messages upon
check in. One person at the check in desk simply asked for the guest's cell phone number and the bot
stored the number on their server and sent a welcome message so the attendee would have the bot's
number. This provided a nice personal touch and the guest did not need to manually enter the number.
Botler also provided this page to allow organizers to send out mass notifications to all attendees. Both this and the above webpage
were on the convention's domain, not hosted on Botler.
We built this bot for OSA in less than 6 hours. By choosing the flexibility and ease of Botler to deploy a
bot, the IT team created more value than an app would have for the same functions, the bot was more
accessible than an app, and saved considerable resources.
All of this functionality can be made by any enterprise bot creator, even if they choose not to
use Botler's consulting services and decide to code it themselves.
If your organization has a developer, he or she can replicate this functionality because all of this
is made using Botler's public API. We provide the ability to send notifications to numbers, and allow
you to deploy your bot on your server. You will not need to worry about setting up an SMS gateway on
your own; you simply focus on coding the functionality.