As first destination to bring conversational AI to visitors, chatbot joins host of digital trip planning tools to enhance economic recovery

COLUMBUS – Experience Columbus has worked with Satisfi Labs to develop a virtual chat assistant on the destination marketing organization’s new website. Following testing over the summer with special COVID-19 messaging, the platform is now available on webchat, Facebook messenger and Alexa Flash Briefing just in time for the holiday season.

Set up to serve as a virtual assistant for gift givers, Experience Columbus’ chatbot offers recommendations and purchase links to products on the Columbus Gift Guide, which makes supporting local businesses easy.

“Shopping local is more important than ever this holiday season, and we want residents and visitors alike to feel in full control of their experience when looking for ideas on our website,” said Sarah Townes, vice president of marketing for Experience Columbus. “We know our audience is dynamic and diverse, so we want to be able to meet them where they are, whether on mobile, web or through voice.”

Experience Columbus is the first destination marketing organization in the country to offer this conversational AI to visitors. Following the holiday season, the chatbot will continue to provide 24/7 automated and on-demand answers for locals, leisure visitors and work travelers so they can access all the information needed to experience the city with ease.

“We are excited to partner with an innovative, smart city, like Columbus who is always putting the guest first,” said Don White, CEO and co-founder of Satisfi Labs. “As a forward-looking city, Columbus has shown that technology is important to enhance the visitor experience for residents and guests, and this integration provides the utmost convenience for any query visitors of the city have.”

Implementing Satisfi Labs’ solution will set up the Columbus for long-term success by providing visitors with access to real-time data using first-in-class technology. Plus, it has built-in capabilities to promote and influence event ticket sales for any occasion as well as amplify prominent partnerships that are important for the city. The insights and data extrapolated from the platform will help create a better understanding of audience priorities and needs before, during and after visiting.

This new platform is one of many features on the new Experience Columbus website and joins a host of digital tools to help residents and visitors plan their time in Columbus. These include:

  • New website: Uses a mobile-first design with vibrant imagery and makes it easier for consumers to engage with content through features like quick view listings, up-front TripAdvisor reviews and OpenTable integration.
  • “Live Forward Live” podcast: Goes behind the scenes with the organizations and businesses that make Columbus such a vibrant city to learn about some of the best-kept secrets of things to see and do….and meet the people who make it happen.
  • Digital fall/winter visitor guide: Features listings, editorial, maps and details on attractions, dining, shopping, lodging and events to help both visitors and locals discover memorable yet safe experiences to share with close friends and family.
  • Mobile experience passes: Provides discounts and self-guided experiences to explore the best of the city’s attractions, public art, coffee shops, breweries and more.
  • Direct hotel booking: Offers exclusive discounts to area attractions when booking directly with Experience Columbus.

These tools will be important as we look to restart Columbus’ vital travel economy in 2021, following the COVID-19 crisis.


Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience. Annually, visitors make 43 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, trade shows, sporting events and leisure visits, spending $7.6 billion and supporting 78,600 jobs. For more information, visit