Top Ten Tools for When You Attend Your Next Conference

Categories: Association Technology, Guest Bloggers, Research

This guest post was written by Beth Ziesenis and originally appeared on the Your Nerdy Best Friend blog.

When you go to a conference, do you find yourself stressed about managing things back home while you’re trying to get the most out of the event? I’ve been doing pre-conference webinars for a number of groups to help attendees get ready to both stay on top of their regular lives while maximizing the ROI of their upcoming events.

Below are the slides from a recent webinar, and here are the tips:

1. Download tripit

TripIt organizes all your travel plans in one place, which makes travel oh-so-much easier. The free version is awesome, and the Pro version will even help you find the best seats on your place and better prices for your tickets.

2. subscribe to safetrek

You can feel safer getting into an elevator with a creepy guy when you have your thumb on the SafeTrek button on your phone. If you remove your thumb and don’t enter the code, the police will be notified of your location and information.

3. discover new restaurants with yelp

The Yelp app has a super-secret feature called Monacle that uses augmented reality to float business reviews over local hotspots so you can look through your phone’s viewfinder and find a yummy place to eat within walking distance.

4. connect with new contacts with discoverly

When you meet someone new, you can use Discoverly to do a little social media research to find out more about your new connection. A little stalky, but very helpful.

5. Scan important information with office lens

These days I’m loving Office Lens as a scanner because you can quickly snap a picture of a document and in a few clients be able to edit the words on the page.

6. Stay in touch with the office with Zoom is a beautiful HD videoconferencing tool that works from any mobile device. If your office has an emergency, you can have your team share their screens so you can review the challenges, and you can see the looks on their faces.

7. Automate Tasks and Collect Content with IFTTT (If this then that)

Setting up little recipes on IFTTT will take some thought and a little time, but it’s worth the investment. You might set up the system to send you a text when an email from a critical client comes in so you don’t have to check your email 20 times a day. Or you can daisy chain your social media postings so you don’t have to visit four sites to share you posts. Or maybe you just want to keep tabs on the weather at home to know whether your kid’s soccer game is going to happen while you’re away.

My favorite IFTTT connection for conferences is to set up a recipe that captures all of the tweets with the conference hashtag and put them into a Google spreadsheet so you can reference all the words of wisdom people shared at an event.

8. log into your remote accounts with lastpass

Sometimes when you’re on the road you don’t have access to critical passwords you need to get into important accounts. Purchase the LastPass pro version for a whopping $12 a year, and all your logins will be available from your mobile devices.

9. capture conference wisdom with evernote

I see many people taking handwritten notes during my sessions. With a snap of your camera, you can import them into Evernote and turn them into searchable notes. You can also add pictures of slides, audio notes and much more so that when you return to the office you can easily find what you need to put your ideas into action.

10. outsource little tasks with Fancy Hands

Starting at $30 a month, US-based virtual assistants from Fancy Hands will take care of small projects that pop up during the event, such as sending flowers to Mom, making appointments for the cats and capturing the info from business cards of new connections.

About the Author


Beth Ziesenis is Your Nerdy Best Friend. She is the author of several books on technology including The Big Book of Apps! Beth travels the country talking to organizations about free and bargain technology.



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