Tag Archives: event app

Google conference app source code now available for free

Yesterday, Google revealed the source code information of the app they provided for their i/O conference 2014 on the Android developers blog. Hundreds of thousand people had downloaded the app.

In the blog post, Bruno Oliveira, Tech Lead of the I/O app project states “If one of the goals of the app is to be useful to conference attendees, the other primary goal is to serve as a practical example of best practices for Android app design and development.”

Google App
Picture taken from the Android Developers blog

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Matchmaking Services by Deutsche Messe AG

In my new assignment (which kind of keeps me busy, as you can tell from the decreased number of blog posts recently ;-) I work closely with Deutsche Messe AG in Hannover.

Running some of the most important tech events like CeBIT and HANNOVER FAIR, they are quite advanced in offering top-notch digital services to exhibitors and visitors. You may want to check their mobile app technology (example: CeBIT app) to get an idea.

Using the app via wifi network connection on the fairgrounds is free-of-charge, while you have to pay for using the wifi network for other services like email or browsing.

An interesting service is Match-and-Meet. It allows visitors and exhibitors to connect before the show, meet up on site (even if you don’t exhibit at all at the show!) and stay in touch after the show. The online service costs 300 EUR for a year’s subscription (for exhibitors at Hannover events, non-exhibiting suppliers pay 600 EUR).

Here, you’ll find more about how to use the services as a visitor or as an exhibitor.

For an event prof, this is definitely worth taking a look at, because ultimately, we show organizers are all longing to offer platforms to connect supply and demand in an efficient and structured way – and by means of a working business model.

Connecting event participants – an interesting attempt based on a mobile app

Too bad I can’t go to TEDx RheinMain this time, because it coincides with the World Publishing Expo. Darren Cooper and the team around the TEDx community in Frankfurt have put together another great program around the topic “Everything communicates”. Here’s more information.

I also became aware that they are including WeLink in their event app. This is a social platform as a service for mobile apps that helps event participants find and connect with like-minded peers.

Will be interesting to follow how that works. Is it just for gadget-lovers or does it have a real value for event participants. Obviously, I am one of the first category, but it’d be interesting to see if that works on a broader scale.

What are your experiences with such tech-based tools?

Here’s a little video about WeLink, and here you can download the TEDx Rhein-Main app.

Mobile Apps: Native Vs Web App

This is a guest post by Tim Masterson, founder of conferencehandbook.com. Thanks, Tim, for the insight!

If you’ve done any poking around in the mobile world lately you may have heard the terms “Native App”, “Web App”  and “HTML 5” app.  They are all different ways to provide apps on your smart phone.  In the next few minutes I hope to demystify these terms a little for you, as well as share the tradeoffs of each technology.
What is the difference between Web App and HTML 5 apps?

Every HTML 5 app is in fact a web app.   But not every web app is HTML 5.  HTML 5 is basically a new set of tags that programmers can use to display your application in a web browser.  HTML 5 supports some really cool stuff like video and it also makes it easier for the developer to do asynchronous calls back to the web server.  The term “Web App” is used to mean any application that needs some form of a webserver to run.

  • Benefits:  Write once for all platforms.  Updates are server side and instantaneous.
  • Trade offs:  All logic is on the web server so network connectivity is required.  Users user the browser to access the app and not an app store icon.  Access to sensors (GPS, Cameras, accelerometers) is limited.

What is a “Native” app?

In general apps you get from the app store are “Native apps”.  A truly native app is written in a language and compiled down to an actual executable that runs natively on your phone with out a browser.  Some native apps, still connect to web servers to interact with data in the cloud or to receive updates.  In general Native apps have access to more sensors than web apps.  They also tend to run faster because more of the processing is done locally.  The draw back is in the cost to develop a native app.  To develop for many platforms you have to rewrite the app for each platform.  (Which explains why it took months for Android users to get their own version of Angry Birds).

  • Benefits:  Access to all sensors, the users address book, schedule, GPS.  Runs without network connectivity.  Graphics are cleaner due to hardware acceleration.  Available on the app store.
  • Trade offs:   Entire app must be rebuilt for each mobile platform. The user must initiate updates, unless the app is built to automatically update itself.

Some apps are in between

It is possible to write a native shell for a web app.  To do this the developer writes the bulk of the app in HTML 5.  Then they write a native wrapper for each platform that basically has an icon, and a page that holds a “Web View” the web view then calls back to the web server to get the app content.  This approach is great for some applications but still has it’s own set of trade offs.

  • Benefits:  Only the shell must be rewritten for each platform.   Users can access the app from the app store.  If use is in a place where network connectivity is good, the user will never know it is mostly a web app.
  • Trade offs:  The app is dependent on network connectivity.  The web app portion of the app will not be able to access the sensors.

The Bottom Line:

Know what you are signing up for when you pick a software vendor.  Understand how they are delivering your content and the tradeoffs associated with that method of delivery.  Make sure their method maximizes the size of your mobile audience while mitigating the tradeoffs.

About the Author:
Tim Masterson is the founder of Total Integrated Mobile, the makers of ConferenceHandbook.com.  A one stop solution for the mobile app for your next conference.

My favourite videos / infographics of 2011 for event managers

It’s amazing to realize that there are so many great videos out there that display relevant information for event managers in an entertaining and compelling way.

Here are some of my favourites of 2011 that are great to use in presentations – or that are just fun to watch for everyone involved in event management and social media!

The 2011 update of the classic “Social Media Revolution” by Eric Qualman:

This is great food for thought for everyone considering to offer an event app for their conference: Think no more, go for it!

5 Years of Twitter – I love the quote from the astronaut…!

A tribute to Event Camp Twin Cities 2011, by the band Spokenfour (shown by Samuel J. Smith at the EIBTM 2011 in Barcelona) – fun to see all those #eventprofs featured in the video!

The pretty cool videos that the guys from Web in Travel WIT Singapore use to promote their event:

Also, I like the Google tool to create your own Search stories - Type in some of your keywords, conference title, company name, the rest is done automatically!

This one’s really great, it shows a promotion that a sausage manufacturer has done via social media, primarily Facebook. It’s in German, though, but it’s really fun and they have really understood how social media works:

So what are your favourites?

World Newspaper Week Vienna: Exhibitor presentation (Review part 4)

4. Presentation of the Exhibitors

At conferences, it is always a bit of a challenge to drive traffic to a lobby exhibition. The delegates primarily attend the conference to network, get information about new trends, take part in the sessions.

So the task is to make sure to connect those delegates with the exhibitor staff – in an appropriate way. You can’t push the delegates, but you want to give the exhibitors and partners visibility and get them in touch with their target audience.

Basically, there are four aspects that we took into consideration in Vienna to make that work:

  • Pay attention to a good Expo floor layout: It seems like a no-brainer, but often times the lobby exhibition does not take off due to bad floor layout planning. It is imperative to combine networking break areas with the exhibition, and to set up a number of coffee outlets in that area. In Vienna, that worked very well. To enter the conference complex, everyone had to pass through the exhibition area. Unfortunately, I have seen quite a number of conferences where this was not taken into account properly, and no matter what sophisticated online networking tools you might have in place, they’re worth nothing if you don’t get those basics right.
  • Allow enough networking time: Minimum is half an hour coffee breaks and 1,5 hours lunch break, I believe. Especially with a larger conference, it takes some time to get the people out of the conference room, let them get their coffee, and afterwards get back into the room. Your schedule has to reflect the need of the exhibitors for face time with their potential customers. I have to say we could have done better here, because we wanted to squeeze in too much content in the sessions. Room for improvement.
  • Provide online networking tools: This time, we put a special focus on the social networks Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn rather than providing a closed network for all delegates and exhibitors like in the past. We encouraged all exhibitors to use the conference hashtags in their pre-show Twitter campaigns, join the Facebook page and the LinkedIn group for the World Newspaper Congress, and, thus, participate actively in the online discussions. I believe this is the right way forward. However, we have to do a better job at training the exhibitors how to best use these platforms, because not all of them are on the same level when it comes to networking skills on social platforms.
  • Think about a good visual presentation: Due to the co-location of the World Newspaper Congress / World Editors Forum with IFRA Expo, we decided to publish one print publication both for the Expo and the accompanying Congress lobby exhibition. Thus the Congress exhibitors got a lot of extra visibility, because the Expo visitors also got to see them. They were also included in the World Newspaper Week app. One feature was particularly appreciated: We invited the exhibitors to a video shooting on the day prior to Congress / Editors Forum opening. We had the video staff on site, anyway, and they produced a very nice clip that ran in the breaks. It was shown at the end of the inauguration ceremony, with very high attention. Click on the video below to see how we did it. The clip presented the exhibitors in a very sympathetic and personal way, much better than just showing still photographs or even only logos.

Vienna 2011 Review:

  1. Live-Eventblog
  2. Twitter coverage
  3. The World Newspaper Week iPad and Smartphone app
  4. Exhibitor presentation at the World Newspaper Congress
  5. The delegate survey, implementing Event ROI methodology (coming soon)