Now with even more fantastic speakers announced

Event Program

Tuesday Sept. 27: Workshop

Build a bot from scratch while learning the elements of the Botkit development toolkit. Lead by Ben Brown, creator of Botkit, and featuring breakout sessions by expert representatives from Slack, Microsoft Bot Framework, Facebook Messenger, and Dashbot!

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
Room 201
1900 University Ave
Austin, TX 78705

Registration & Breakfast

Arrive early to drink coffee and get a good seat. Doors open at 9!

Building a bot with Botkit

Ben Brown will lead a hands-on tutorial focused on using the open source Botkit bot development SDK.


Eat lunch! Talk about bots. Get ready for the afternoon.

Breakout: Slack Platform

D.E. Goodman-Wilson from Slack will discuss the Slack Platform and the additional features that allow bots to be turned into applications in the Slack App store.

Breakout: Facebook Messenger Platform

Tao Jiang, from the Facebook Messenger platform explores the latest details of the Messenger platform.

Breakout: Microsoft Bot Framework

Steve Ickman, from Microsoft Research will show how to power conversations, and the the Microsoft Bot Framework can connect a bot application to multiple platforms.

Breakout: Measuring Your Bot

Dennis Yang, co-founder of bot analytics company Dashbot, will share how to measure and analyze the statistics that matter for your bot.

Bot Hacking Time

With support from Ben Brown and other members of the Botkit open source team, continue to build and customize your own bot.

Wednesday Sept. 28: Conference Day 1

Fair Market
1100 East 5th Street
Austin, TX 78702


Doors open at 8:00am for badge pickup.


Start the day with breakfast tacos sponsored by our friends at Abe, and order coffee from Kik and their barista bot!

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Ben Brown, founder of

Facebook Messenger Platform

Mikhail Larionov, technical lead on the Facebook Messenger platform, will show off the latest features of the platform.

Launching Poncho, the Weather Cat

Kuan Huang & Greg Leuch, members of the team whose talking weather cat bot Poncho launched on day one of the Facebook Messenger platform will share what they’ve learned since launch and discuss their continued work on the popular bot.

Design with Words

The tools and practices that carried over from graphic design have worked well for us in software design since the advent of graphic user interfaces. However, that time may be coming to an end. Erika Hall, author of Just Enough Research and co-founder of Mule Design will discuss how designing software for messaging requires a new set of tools and practices.

Bots for Brands

Christian Brucculeri, Director and CEO Snaps, will talk about how his company is adapting to a world of interactive bots. Hear Christian outline unique marketing opportunities in the messaging space and give insights into his company’s most successful campaigns for global brands.

Read our pre-interview with Christian.


Enjoy lunch, visit exhibitors, and meet your fellow attendees in the Microsoft Bot Framework tent. It should be a nice day.

The Visual Language of Bots

Rachel Law & Alyx Baldwin will discuss how their multi-platform collaborative shopping bot Kip uses emoji and stickers to build a visual language. 🎯 ✍ 👍🏾

Read our pre-interview with Rachel.

Why You Need a Personal Bot

Do need a personal assistant bot? Esther Crawford thinks you do! Software agents can now live inside Facebook Messenger and help you coordinate conversations with friends, fans and followers. Esther’s tale starts with a job hunting stunt and ends in a world filled with autonomous social robots!

Bots for Higher Education

Drew Magliozzi from AdmitHub will show how bots can help students on their path through college, from admissions to retention.

Read our pre-interview with Drew.

Building Multi-platform Bots

Developers cannot afford to re-fight the browser wars, this time with a dozen competing messaging platforms. Tom Hadfield will discuss approaches to building multi-platform bots, and suggest ways that developers can better deal with the ever changing set of messaging APIs.

Conversation with Ted Livingston

Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik and outspoken proponent of a bot-filled future will participate in a fireside discussion of the bot ecosystem and economy.

Afternoon Break

Enjoy tasty snacks, brought to you by Acebot. Explore the interactive art, get a little sun, and make sure you stretch your legs a little.

Mica, the Hipster Cat Bot

Barbara Ondrisek made one of the first bots released on the Messenger update back in April. She will be discussing the development and release of Mica, her hipster cat bot that helps you find the coolest places to hang out.

Read our pre-interview with Barbara.

Bots for Relationships

Ghostbot for Burner is a bot of a different variety: it helps users ditch people without the emotional baggage of having to do it themselves. Lauren Golembiewski will explain how she and her team applied cutting edge NLP and conversational design to create this unique example of anti-social software.

Read our pre-interview with Lauren.

Delivering the News with Bots

Sam Williams will discuss the workflow used by the team at Quartz to create and manage their ground-breaking conversational news application for iOS that delivers news via a simple, messaging-style interface.

Read our pre-interview with Sam.

Social Hour


Thursday Sept. 29: Conference Day 2

Fair Market
1100 East 5th Street
Austin, TX 78702


Doors open at 8:00am for badge pickup.


Let’s get this day started with some breakfast from your friends at Howdy, and a coffee from the barista bot provided by Kik!

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Using Location Data with Marsbot

Max Sklar will discuss how Foursquare created their first bot Marsbot using location intelligence to learn based on where and what you tell the bot, compiling that information to send tailored recommendations.

Abe, the bot for your money

Where is the limit to what bots can do, and perhaps more importantly, what will we allow bots do for us? Rob Guilfoyle is pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from chat bots by bringing sophisticated financial services to messaging with Abe.

Lessons from Voice Recognition

Andy Mauro spent the last 15 years learning how voice can be used to communicate with computers, starting with early phone based speech recognition systems through to the first enterprise mobile virtual assistant. Do the same rules apply to applications for messaging? Some do and some don’t!

Read our have pre-interview with Andy.

State of the Slack Platform

Amir Shevat from the Slack platform team will discuss the state of the Slack platform, and share real numbers about the penetration of third party apps into the Slack ecosystem.


Another delicious lunch in the Microsoft Bot Framework tent. Let’s all meet someone new!

Building Bots That Understand Users

API.AI’s Ilya Gelfenbeyn will demonstrate some cutting edge NLP tools available for bot builders to create robust, conversational experiences. Their platform, which has over 65k developers, offers one-click integrations for painless, cross-platform deployments and is now a part of Google’s product family.

Smarter Bots through Semantic Classification

Stephen Scarr, CEO eContext, will discuss how they applied data classification to create a smarter shopping system. Their chatbot, which classified Wal-Mart’s product library via its public API, demonstrates how semantic understanding supports a more fluid experience for consumers.

The Art and Science of Building Bots

Sarah Wulfeck & Lucas Ives from the product team at Pullstring will discuss their artful approach to design and character building from their experience building Hello Barbie, a conversational toy for children.

Read our pre-interview with Lucas.

Learning from WeChat

DC Collier has spent the last several years building bots for the insanely popular WeChat platform in China - a platform about which most of us in the West barely have a clue. DC will reveal the secrets of building for WeChat, and give us a vision of what a truly messaging-centric ecosystem will one day look like here.

Afternoon Break

Have a snack, thanks to our friends at Slack! Then, one last chance to check out the interactive art, and see demos from the exhibitors.

IBM Watson: From Jeopardy to the Future

Mitch Mason and Gavin Loughridge will talk about Watson’s journey from a Jeopardy winning research project to a suite of cognitive services that allow anyone to give anything a conversational interface.

Conversation with Peter Levitan & Robert Hoffer

The legendary co-creators of Smarter Child, a bot that reached 30 million users in 2001, will answer share their insights gained while building the world’s first and arguably most successful bot company to date. Levitan and Hoffer will top off Talkabot 2016 by giving us perspective on the industry in a way only they can.

Read our pre-interviews with Peter Levitan and Robert Hoffer.