Was it your new year’s resolution to be more organised at conferences, or to make conference organising easier? If it was, lucky you, because here at Linguali we’ve come up with a list of the top seven most useful events apps to make the confusing world of conferences as easy to manage as possible. Even if that wasn’t on your list of new year’s resolutions, we’ve got you covered.
So, what is it that we, as organisers and as users, look for in a good events app? Is it better to have an all-inclusive app which takes care of time management, networking, feedback and all other conference demands? Or is it more simple to use a couple of apps which each perform more specific tasks? We look for an app which suits the budget, whether on a corporate or personal level. An events app must satisfy both the organiser’s needs as well as those of the participants, as the two are dependent on each other in making an event successful – organiser satisfaction is based on attendee satisfaction and vice versa. Finally, the app must be easy to use as after all, we are looking for ways to simplify events rather than complicating them further. Our list picks and chooses the best apps for all eventing situations; big or small, and whatever the user or organiser’s focus might be.
If networking is the goal, the events app for you is Whova. This app is free to download when it is paid for by the event organiser. Whova helps the event attendees plan their event according to their networking needs, focusing on linking them up with useful contacts. The app includes a database of key attendees’ social profiles so participants can browse through information even before the event begins. This database is accessible without connection to WiFi. For event organisers, this is a great app for communicating all of the event information to attendees, checking everyone into a conference and very importantly, is easy to update last minute when event agendas are inevitably changed. Whova handles event logistics effortlessly, as well as making networking easier than ever.
Like Whova, EventLink360 includes great networking features and is geared towards linking contacts, as well as being an all-inclusive events app. Its main selling-point is how it gives the participant a voice in an event – they can offer feedback in real-time and post instantaneously in debates. For both speakers and guests, the Q&A sessions and feedback are easy to use. Based on this live feedback, the app generates reports for organisers and speakers which is essential for refining the art of hosting great events. EventLink360 allows the user to become an active part of the event rather than a passive attendee, which inevitably increases their engagement and therefore enjoyment of the event.
At larger conferences where several talks and presentations are taking place simultaneously, making time management easy for your attendees is key. An app which is geared towards just that is BusyConf. It is ideal for conference organisers, as it offers a range of conference planning tools which allows your event to be more customized, to have easy speaker and abstract management, streamlined event registrations and mobile conference schedules which is easy to use for attendees. BusyConf is straightforward and organisers are surprised by how easy it is to create beautiful mobile-ready websites for your event with this app. It takes a percentage according to how many tickets are sold, therefore pricing adjusts to the size of the event.
Attendify is an event-building app. The step-by-step process of building the app is easy to use for organisers, and the interface is clear. The app created is fairly customised, but the focus is very much on straightforwardness. Within a week of designing your app, it will be reviewed and then made public, available for download from the app store. The content can be edited at any time after the app’s publication. Push notifications for updates and schedules as well as real-time analytics for the event are some of the app’s key features. The apps created within Attendify are free for the participants to download, but the cost to event organisers is at a premium price (upwards of $999).
FollowMe is an app for larger events. Key features include an interactive trade show floor plan, which makes planning a schedule more fun for attendees – by navigating through the exhibition, they can create lists of stalls that they want to visit and find out ahead of time the content of the event. This app is perfect for trade show conferences and is different from other apps in its use of the visual rather than the written word.
If injecting a bit of fun into conference eventing is what you are looking for, then Eventmobi is an excellent option. Eventmobi ‘gamifies’ the experience of the event, in order to increase event engagement. Through a system of challenges, a point system, rewards and a live attendee leaderboard, you can succeed in your event objectives with a little more fun than usual. The event organiser sets up the games according to what’s available at the conference, which inspires action in attendees. For example, the networking game encourages participants to make new connections as with each new person they talk to, they gain a point on the leaderboard and the top networker of the event finishes at the top of the leaderboard. Similarly, the more sessions and presentations attended, the more points are earned. If you’ve got a competitive spirit, then this is the app for you!
If all you really need is an app to organise your networking, without all the other events functions, then CamCard is the simple app you’ve been looking for. This app extracts the relevant contact info from business cards and imports them into your smartphone. Suddenly, managing new contacts and cards and social media profiles is made easy, so you won’t be held back from meeting as many participants as possible at an event and you certainly won’t lose any vital contact details!