Reader Input: Mobile App for Conferences?

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve covered several different angles regarding how to attend academic conferences. Mark has addressed going paperless. Derek wrote about encouraging a conference backchannel on Twitter. Erin explained how to deliver an effective conference paper and warned us about re-entry syndrome. Heather provided a few strategies for eating well at conferences, while Erin introduced us to a useful tool for finding restaurants and making reservations. And Natalie shared a few tips for how to add exercise to your conference schedule.

Some, though not all, of these posts have involved the use of mobile apps. As mobile devices of various kinds proliferate—smart phones, tablets, what have you—it’s safe to say that we’ll see more and more apps designed to help us accomplish easily our most common tasks. What about the tasks associated with academic conferences?

  • Traveling to and from the conference location,
  • Taking notes and/or Tweeting during conference sessions,
  • Preparing and delivering our conference talks,
  • Creating and following a schedule based on the official conference program,
  • Receiving official updates regarding the conference,
  • Finding a good (and healthy!) place to eat,
  • Fitting exercise into your schedule,
  • Finding exercise partners for running,
  • Identifying fellow conference-goers who share your academic interests…

These are a few of the tasks where a conference app might prove useful. What are some others?

What I would like to do with this post, dear reader, is solicit your input about what your ideal mobile app would be for attending an academic conference. If you were designing a mobile app specifically for attending academic conferences, what features would that mobile app have? Let us hear from you in the comments!

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by Adam Selwood]

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