App Course

Ten mobile applications for event planners.


1. Note taking and brainstorming is often still better suited to more tangible, nontechnical media (i.e., a pad of paper), but for the intensely organized and aesthetically adventurous, MindNode is probably the most exciting way to organize your thoughts on a project. Connecting lists, notes, and suggestions via a network of colorful lines called a “mind map,” the product often looks more like a metastasizing subway route than coherent minutes. But acclimating to this style of note taking is easier than you’d believe, and the app has a devoted following.

2. Billed as an all-encompassing resource for event professionals and developed by Howard Givner (founder of New York event firm Paint the Town Red), Super Planner includes a variety of planning tools and tips in one easily navigable app. The real fun to be had here, though, is in the conversions. Super Planner lets you easily calculate venue capacity in different seating configurations, food and beverage counts, and the number of staffers you’ll need to have on hand. So if that’s an area where you feel like you could use a hand, the $9.99 price tag will probably be worth it.

3. Yes, you’ve been beaten half to death with the Twitter stick, but mobile accessibility is the best thing going for this app. Simplified searches, easy input, and constantly refreshing data don’t just let you hype your event with your own tweets—you can also check for guest feedback or flag famous attendees to get an idea of how your event is being perceived.

4. The free Google Mobile App boasts an easy audio search tool and instant links to all of its applications, including calendar, tasks, documents, photos, and stored maps. If you’ve built up any sort of database of information with your Google account, this is the quickest way to access it on the go.

5. It seems silly, but being conscious of traffic can save you in pinch. Of all the traffic apps available on smart phones, Beat the Traffic has the easiest navigation, the most live camera feeds, and the quickest updates. It also holds data on more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada, so pretty much anywhere go, you can get where you need to be on time and look like a hero if you have to help staffers or V.I.P. guests navigate unfamiliar terrain.

6. If mobile, comprehensive attendee information is important to you, Ooto’s $50 registration fee might be a worthwhile investment—particularly for destination management folks. The iPhone app, and its easier-to-use iPad counterpart, is designed with meeting planners in mind, so they can access pertinent attendance details, broken down by individual guest.

7. Whether you’re organizing professional or personal finances, having information all in one place can be prove invaluable. PageOnce syncs all kinds of accounts (bank, credit card, frequent flier—the list goes on) and updates you on changes that might interest you. It’s also a way to access numbers you don’t know by heart if you need to quickly pay a vendor, transfer funds, or change a flight—for yourself, a colleague, or a client.

8. Of all the wireless and “bump”-based identification apps, DUB has the most uses for business and events—for free. Send your electronic business card to a contact’s email, phone number, or DUB ID upon meeting them—or by searching for other users in close proximity, at a party or on the trade show floor. Your information can also be synched with social networking accounts.

9. There are plenty of apps to find information and reviews for hotels, restaurants, and retailers. Most cost money and none are as comprehensive as or easier to search by location than Yelp. So whether you’re trying to book a room in another city or just looking for the nearest dry cleaner, mobile Yelp remains the best bet.

10. The glory of going mobile is in eliminating the need for other materials, yet there are still paper releases and receipts that accompany most projects. One smart phone capability many aren’t aware of is that it can double as a scanner. Software like Scanner Pro lets you easily snap photos of multipage documents, and use quick cropping, resizing, and light-adjusting features before emailing or saving them.

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