This post is part of the weekly ‘Mobile Monday‘ series on news, ideas, and strategies in the world of mobile devices.
Attending professional events can be hectic. We would know – right now our office is pretty empty, with most of our team either at Affiliate Summit East in New York or on their way to San Francisco for SES.
You’re in a new city staying in a strange hotel, meeting more people than you will be able to remember later, and have a million things to do and a million places to be.
It can be hard to keep track of it all. That’s why I thought today would be a good day to do some research and compile a list of mobile apps that are helpful at professional events like trade shows, conferences, and conventions.
- Twitter, or a great Twitter client like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck - No matter what industry you’re in, the event you’re going to probably has an official hashtag and a good number of attendees using it. Sitting at a convention listening to a speaker with your cell phone out is no longer as taboo as it used to be because live tweeting can enhance the experience. Those who aren’t at the conference will appreciate being able to follow along, and the speaker and event will appreciate the positive buzz about them on social media. Twitter is also one way to connect with fellow attendees – many will be sharing pictures and information or asking questions you may be able to answer.
At a professional event like a trade show or conference, it will be important that the app you use makes it easy to follow and tweet using a specific hashtag. If you followed event attendees beforehand, you may also want to create a list of these people and use a Twitter app that lets you view list streams on your device.
- Sonar - Sonar.me is an app that tells you which connections of yours are nearby. While there are lots of other apps that tell you about the people around you, Sonar is different because it leverages your existing connections on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. Trade shows and conferences are usually at busy hotels in crowded cities, where other apps would overwhelm you with a lot of notifications about people you probably have little interest in meeting. But since the people Sonar tells you about are already connected with you in some way, it’s more likely that the notifications will be about people you have things in common with. Sonar could be the reason you go back home with a slew of new friends and professional connections.
- CardMunch – This app is only available for iOS right now and requires a LinkedIn account, but it’s still worth talking about and there are definitely alternatives for other operating systems. People exchange business cards left and right at trade shows and conferences. But most people collect business cards only to shove them in a desk drawer and never do anything with them. CardMunch is a business card reader that changes how you use business cards. Instead of pocketing someone’s business card, you can just use the app to scan it and store the info on it. You can then easily convert the info to an address book contact and send the contact an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
In addition to a business card scanner app, you may also want to download a digital business card app like CardCloud or an information exchange app like Bump. These eliminate the need for paper business cards altogether but require that other people have the apps as well.
- Event App – Lastly, the trade show, conference, or convention you are going to may have its own app, like Affiliate Summit does. Usually, these apps will have a detailed schedule of events, a map of the venue, and other helpful information to make your experience easier. They may even have social integration or a way to provide feedback on the event.
What apps have you found helpful at professional events? What do you think of the ones we covered today? Let us know in the comments!