Meetings

Apps for Happier Attendees, Planners, and Travelers

By / Apr 8, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Lots of mobile apps are launched every day. Here are three that may make the lives of event planners, meeting attendees, and frequent business travelers a little better.

As you’re reading this post, I should already have landed in Hong Kong to attend ASAE’s 2016 Great Ideas in Association Management Asia Pacific Conference. Even better, being in Hong Kong means that I survived the 16-hour flight.

As I was preparing for my trip, which involved stocking my iPad with books and movies and buying magazines and puzzle books to pass the time, I also was digging around the iTunes store for some apps that might be relevant to my trip or able to help me maintain my sanity during two long-haul flights.

So, as I downloaded my new purchases, I thought to myself, “I wonder what interesting apps are out there that association meeting pros and attendees should consider.”

That’s when I did some digging around and came across these three. (Please note that I’m not endorsing any of these apps; rather, I’m just pointing them out as potentially helpful to frequent business travelers or association meeting planners.)

What’s Your Name Again?

Have a difficult time placing names with faces? Well, you’re in luck. The NameSleuth app helps people learn the names of fellow attendees.

“This user-friendly technology solution allows attendees to access searchable, event-specific databases, matching names and headshot photos, along with company affiliation [and] general physical descriptors (gender, hair color, height, etc.), allowing you to ‘sleuth’ for names of the people you will want to say hello to while onsite and/or for future follow-up,” the company says on its website.

Before a meeting, registered attendees are given exclusive access to the app via an invitation from event producers. Attendees can then go in and add their headshots and physical descriptor information.

This means that prior to the meeting attendees can study names and faces and come up with a list of “must meets.” And if you didn’t catch someone’s full name onsite, you can go back in and search for the person based on physical traits, company affiliation, or first name.

Some associations are giving the app a try. For example, at the International Conference of the Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc., this week, attendees were invited to download the app.

Not the Middle Seat

Most flyers would probably agree that having the middle seat is the worst, especially on a long flight. But sometimes it’s all that’s left and there’s no other option.

But now there’s Seataroo.

The app, which launched in January, brings the sharing economy to air travel. It’s essentially an online marketplace where ticketed passengers can swap seats with one another. For example, someone who got stuck with the dreaded middle seat can pay another passenger for the one next to the window.

“Apps have greatly enhanced the travel experience for many,” said Brad Pursel, founder and president of Seateroo, in a press release. “I believe that Seateroo has the potential to become a travel app that is used widely by those traveling by air for business or pleasure. After all, on almost any flight, there are going to be both people who wish they had a better seat as well as others who would like to save money on travel.”

Tinder for Networking

Looking to get to know some of your fellow attendees a little before an upcoming meeting? That’s easier now, thanks to the new SummitSync app.

Users log in with their LinkedIn account, select the conferences they will attend, and then anonymously swipe right (interested) or left (not interested) when profiles of fellow attendees appear. When a mutual connection is made, the two users can message each other in the app.

The app can be configured to ensure that only registered attendees can use the system, and organizations can sell ads in the app and keep the revenue. In addition, SummitSync can be integrated with email, calendar tools, and customer relationship management systems.

Now that I’ve shared three I’ve come across, it’s your turn: What apps are your must-haves for meetings and events? Please share in the comments.

Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editorial director of Associations Now. More »

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