You can help refine and improve a new chatbot helper designed for Brisbane CBD visitors, now available on Facebook Messenger for trialing and feedback.

CitySmart has been working with property group ISPT and Brisbane Marketing to help develop this digital virtual guide via a competition which launched in March 2017. CitySmart Foundation Partner VAE Group won the opportunity to develop the concept, and on November 30 “Queenie: Your Go-To Guide” was released for public trial.

There are 2 ways to start using the Messenger-based assistant:

  1. Type “Queenie” in Facebook Messenger’s search field to find and activate; or
  2. Within Messenger, choose the People icon, then “Scan Messenger Code” and scan the icon below:

How Queenie can help

The topline navigation includes What’s On, What’s Open, Retail, Parking, Toilets and Traffic.

Queenie can tell you:

  • what events are happening in the city, today and all week
  • what shops, cafes, restaurants and bars are open right now
  • where the retail offers and discounts are, in real-time
  • where the best parking offers are in the city, in real-time
  • the latest traffic/congestion updates and the latest weather
  • where to find the nearest loo!


Why a Messenger chatbot?

Property group ISPT, owner of over 50% of the retail frontage in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, was keen to trail new ways to improve people’s use and experience in the precinct.

To that end, it launched the ISPT Ideas Challenge to find creative and innovative ideas that would see more people visiting more often, staying longer, spending more and generally having a better experience.

The winning idea from VAE uses the already-existing platform of the hugely popular Facebook Messenger. This allowed for more rapid and cost-effective development compared to building a standalone app, and it makes updating and refining the bot quicker and easier. Prior to development, VAE also did extensive audience research and focus groups to uncover what people really want from their Brisbane CBD visits.

Building a smart city

ISPT’s key partners in the initiative are Brisbane Marketing, CitySmart, Little Tokyo Two and tech startup incubator Fishburners.

CitySmart CEO Neil Horrocks says one of CitySmart’s specialties is projects in the sustainability space that help consumers make better choices. “Queenie is an example of how we can make it easy for people in city to move about efficiently and find what they need. I think it shows that smart sustainable cities isn’t a slogan, it’s about action.”

CitySmart is also working closely with VAE Group, ISPT and Brisbane Marketing to incorporate some environmentally-conscious features for Phase 2 of the chatbot.

Feedback is welcome

The developers are seeking feedback on Queenie during its trial stage: what works, what doesn’t, and how it might be improved. Simply use the “Feedback” button within the chatbot to have your say.