Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 09 2014

Meeting Planner Creates Her Own Mobile App

Sara Schnack, CMP
My name is Sara Schnack, CMP, and I've been a meeting planner for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for over 17 years. I believe I’ve created a mobile app that will change the way meeting professionals manage meetings while on site.

After so many years of working for the same company in a non-revenue generating department, I started to feel complacent. I thought about my job and the value I bring to my company. Since we don't generate revenue, I know that my main purpose is to provide great customer service to my internal clients and provide accurate history for our recurring meetings.

About a year ago, I was on site for a meeting and a couple of things happened: first, the hotel was taking too long to ring chimes to get people to move into the meeting room and, second, I misplaced my note that had all the tips I had paid out during the conference. On the plane heading home, I thought to myself "I need a mobile app for on site management of meetings!" I then made a list of all the things I wanted in a mobile app.

I decided I could work more efficiently. A year later, thanks to a great mobile app developer, we've created OnSite Assistant, an iPhone app for meeting planners. I have been using it for six months and no longer carry a notepad or binder while on site; everything I need is within this one simple app.

Here are a few ways I currently use OnSite Assistant while on site:
  • Events - easily switch between events
  • Export Event Data - export all the info in the app to an email account; this is helpful for detailed post-meeting wrap-up
  • Agenda, Floor Plans, My Files - store all my meeting documents for quick access
  • Contacts - my favorite feature - store my meeting contacts separately from my personal phone list and then export the contacts after the meeting
  • Tips & Paid-Outs - keep track of all cash spent
  • Beverage Tracker - great for smaller events to verify that I’m being charged the correct amount for "on-site consumption" of beverages
  • Numbers Served - provide accurate history for each meal function
  • Chimes - three simple chimes to alert attendees that it is time to return to the meeting room
  • Find Nearest / Local Weather - great way to give attendees local information
My clients appreciate the detailed wrap-up I send them after each event, and it is helpful not to have to return to the staff office to find a contract or BEO when I need to verify a detail. In addition, I’ve shared the app with some banquet captains at hotels, and they are especially excited about the Beverage Tracker, Numbers Served, and Chimes features.

The app is only $5.99 and, after some research, I have found that most companies will reimburse you for the purchase because it is a tool that makes you more efficient.

You can purchase the app by going directly to this link from your iPhone or check out the website at www.onsiteassistantapp.com. If you have any questions, please contact me at sara@schnack.com or at 773.454.8111.