The folks who visited MacWorld this summer with palm computers in their pockets were in luck. Thanks to software developer and entrepreneur Trina Clickner, they could download show info onto their handhelds and leave the show guide back in the room.

Clickner, founder of Seattle-based Palmtop Publishing, is riding the popularity wave of 3Com's Palm OS and Windows CE-based handheld devices. Her company creates downloadable event reference guides for show producers that can include agendas, session descriptions, exhibitor information, product catalogs, floor maps, or other info.

"I don't know any other girl who's got her software in 2,500 pockets," jokes Clickner, referring to the number who downloaded the MacWorld guide from her Web site. In fact, since attendees were also able to download the guide at kiosks on the show floor, the software was undoubtedly in more pockets than that. Clickner, who worked in 3COM's Palm Computer division before going out on her own, has an impressive list of large show clients--PC Expo, CeBIT, Comdex--but has also designed content for corporate events. Recently a market research firm hosted a forum for a few hundred executives and gave each a PalmPilot as a gift, loaded, courtesy of Palmtop Publishing, with interactive datasheets and other key information.

The interactive guides cost $7,500. Advertising opportunities, however, could offset that cost. A sponsor's logo, for example, might be sold as the cover/splash screen. Contact Palmtop Publishing at (206) 923-0901, info@palmtoppublishing.com; or visit www.palmtoppublishing.com.