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Apps I Use at Conferences

Apps I Use at Conferences

It’s Spring Conference Season, which means I am on the road a lot again, mostly as a speaker, but also as a conference attendee.

I try to make the most out of the conferences I attend by strategically using the apps on my smartphone.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 at the moment — which I LOVE — and all links in this post are to the  Google Play Store.

Top Three Apps I Use at Conferences All the Time


Each conference should have a hashtag, and individual sessions probably have their own too. Set up and save searches so you can open the conference streams quickly. Hootsuite makes it very easy to do this. For example, say there are two sessions you really want to go to at the same time. Pick one and watch the other via the hashtag. If the other one seems more interesting,  vote with your feet and change sessions. I also tell people that if they want to connect with me onsite, use Twitter during the conference rather than calling or emailing me. I’m much more likely to see a message quickly that way.


I am too slow at taking notes live on my phone or tablet, and often don’t want to schlep the laptop to sessions. My solution is taking notes the old fashioned way with a pen and notebook, which is also a good excuse for buying blank books, which I love, love, love. So I take notes by hand, but at the close of each session or at the end of the day, I snap pictures of the pages and save them into Evernote. As long as I am not too sloppy, Evernote can read my handwriting, so my notes are searchable.

Sidenote: I do have a Livescribe pen, and have tried to record sessions while notetaking, which is nice, but the Livescribe pen is too fat and really does hurt my hand, so I have stopped using it.  Loss of the audio isn’t that big a deal because I can record on the phone if I really need it.


This is more about getting there and back rather than the conference itself, but I love TripIt for organizing all of my travel confirmations. TripIt told me to rebook a flight because the odds of a missed connection were suddenly very high, while I was on my way to the airport. Made the call from the car and rebooked my flight, saving immense amounts of stress that would have ensued at the airport otherwise.

Three Apps I Am Trying for the First Time at #13NTC

I am heading to the Nonprofit Technology Conference this week as both an attendee and speaker. I’ve installed three new-to-me apps on my phone for a trial by fire. I will let you know whether I keep them on there after #13NTC.


I will be doing a series of audio interviews using SoundCloud. I will try to record in SoundCloud itself because I like the interface, but even if I end up using another recording app, I will probably still store files there.

Sidenote: Here is a test I did of the iRig Mic Cast with my Galaxy S3 using SoundCloud:


Evernote Hello 

My goal with this app is to return home and remember who I talked to about what. I end up having lots of great conversations with people and then completely forgetting them after the conference. The Android version is apparently much less useful than the iPhone version, but I will give Hello a shot as a way to remember people who I meet as I go, snapping a picture of them or their business card and making a few quick notes about our conversations.


CamCard is a business card reader that will dump information directly into your Contacts. Again, I end up collecting tons of business cards from people I meet and then they sit in a pile in my office until I recycle them years later. I hope this will eliminate the pile entirely.

Here’s another post you might like:

10 Mobile Apps No Conference Attendee Should Be Without (Social Media Examiner)

What apps do you use most while attending conferences?

  • Susan

    Congrats on the new blog! And thanks for sharing these apps. I’ve used some, but not all, so I have good ideas for my next conference.