By: Mitchell Hughes, General Manager, Tampa Convention Center
How many of us look at our smart devices, know how powerful they are, and yet also know that we underutilize their capabilities? One way to better harness their power is through the use of mobile applications. Mobile apps are especially handy for event professionals. Let’s look at some app categories which can better assist any event professional with managing multiple tasks, tasks that can and will change in any given moment.
We all have those e-mails full of PDF/Word documents that we must read, fill out, send back, approve, and so on. Every event professional should have a PDF editor! There are so many free PDF editors out there, but make sure they have some key features such as; the ability to import Word documents, as well as signing, editing, and export to e-mail capabilities. Also, a good PDF editor will provide cloud storage integration, which I will discuss in more detail later.
Document Scanner (works hand in hand with PDF Apps if scanning as PDF)
A document scanner is a useful tool when you have hard copies of any document and wish to make them digital. Document scanners are especially handy for forms you must fill out and e-mail back. The software will detect fillable fields on the form so that the user can tab through each section and fill it in. Make sure you understand and know how the scanner will integrate with other apps you use, such as when importing into PDF or e-mail apps.
Cloud storage apps are valuable when you need backup as well as have quick access to data from multiple devices. The Cloud gives you the ability to store folders and documents from your device to a virtual “hard drive” on the internet. It’s not just beneficial for saving space on your device, but also it gives you the ability to access the same files instantly, across all of your devices, from any location.
We have always heard that communication is key. Now, there is no shortage of apps available to streamline your communication efforts in conjunction with your e-mail. Without strong communication between team members, it can be hard for all of you to stay focused on a common goal. A communication app is designed to make it easier for team members to work together, providing centralized information for everyone to access and request additional information from others quickly. Ensure you can access your app through multiple devices for better contact with your key people. If you are using a specific app outside of e-mail, make sure you communicate that to your team and extended teams with whom you are working. It’s all about communication!
Business Card Scanner
How many meetings do you attend where people give you their business cards containing valuable information that you need for event-related matters? There are many Business Card Scanner apps out that will import information directly to your contacts. If you don’t want all of the data stored directly to your contacts list, you can opt out of that feature and keep everything natively inside of the app where you can easily delete it later. Guess what? Some even have cloud integration!
Most of us might already have a weather app, if not, it’s a good thing to have. For example, if you have an upcoming outdoor event, you’ll want to make sure that the weather fits the bill! With people traveling from all over the world, it’s critical to know what the weather is like across multiple locations for a heads up on potential travel delays.
Airline Apps or Airline Tracking Apps
Most major airlines have an app that you can download, but there are also general airline apps that allow you to track any flight! When people are flying from many different locations with different airlines, having a general airline tracking app will come in handy to keep up-to-date with flight delays and cancellations.
Convention Center Apps
A lot of Convention Centers have apps that provide general information about the facility and the surrounding area, as well as offer wayfinding capabilities for convention goers. Before convention apps, it was harder to help attendees improve their experience once they started exploring the premises. It is always a good idea to have facility information at your fingertips for planning, and for quick reference while on-site!
Many events offer apps in which attendees can find up to the minute updates, schedules, booth locations, special offers, and other detailed information. Event planners can benefit from attendees engaging with and promoting an event beforehand, maximizing exhibitors and sponsor’s satisfaction while on-site and for extracting useful data from the audience.
If you are an event planner and looking to create an app for your next event, AppBurst, a Smart City sister company, provides affordable solutions to keep attendees engaged before, during, and after an event. Please visit us at www.appsforevents.com for more information.
Take the time to educate yourself on these types of apps and how they can work for you. Many will offer free video tutorials to guide you through their various features and how to optimize your experience.