Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 29 2013

From WEC13: 5 Apps for Planners You Need to Try

By Katie Kervin, Assistant Editor, Convene

I spent the past few days at MPI’s World Education Congress in Las Vegas, where I joined one session called “Peer-to-Peer Apps: What are Your Industry Colleagues Using to Communicate with Each Other?” led by James Spellos, technology educator, former meeting planner, and president of Meeting U. I assumed it’d be a lecture-style presentation on the latest and greatest apps for planners, and honestly, I did not expect to hear a whole lot new — we cover meeting technology often in Convene and I try to stay up-to-date.

Presentation Clock helps speakers keep track of time from their mobile devices.

But instead Spellos served as a facilitator and conversation director, asking attendees in the nearly full session to pass a mike around the room and tell the group which apps they used professionally (and some personally) on a regular basis. We ended up with a list of more than 65 apps, many of which I had never heard of.

Here are five apps for planners that are especially useful:

MagicPlan (Free; iPhone/iPad)MagicPlan is an app that measures rooms and creates floor plans from photos taken from a cell phone. Users take a picture of all the corners of a room, and the app generates a floor plan that can be saved as a PDF or JPG, or published as an interactive plan on the web for sharing.

Speedtest.net (Free; iPhone/iPad and Android) This is one of several apps available that tests Internet speeds and connection. Speedtest.net is able to check network speeds in less than 30 seconds, provides a real-time graph to show the consistency of the connection while enabling the user to share results.

Check In Easy (Free–$1,899; iPhone/iPad and Android) One of Tech-Fest 2012’s top event apps in 2012**, the registration app allows planners to upload Excel attendee lists and automatically creates a guest list and allows for on-site check-in for events of up to 20,000 guests. The web application can also be synced with iPad and iPhone.

Presentation Clock ($0.99; iPhone/iPad and Android) An app for speaker time management, the clock changes (from green to yellow to red) at the speaker’s designated times — then once the clock hits zero seconds, the color changes again and the clock begins counting upward so the speaker knows how long he or she has gone over.

Teleprompt+ ($14.99; iPad) Compatible only with the iPad, speakers can write scripts directly in the app, or import from programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, or email. It also comes with a timer and allows the user to customize aspects like scrolling speed, timer display, font size, and background color.

Do you use any of these apps? What are your favorites that help make your planning life easier?

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