Mobile phones are changing the meeting experience, from how we interact with a destination to the way we register on site. Here are five new applications that illustrate the trend.
Augmented Reality App for Vegas. For meetings in Las Vegas, point your attendees to the five free apps launched in May by MGM Mirage. Visitors can get oriented to the city with “Vegas Reality,” an augmented reality app. Just point an iPhone camera at a resort or attraction and information about the venue floats over the image on the screen. The company has also launched an “Entertainment of Las Vegas” app, which provides event calendars, video previews of shows, show times, and directions, and allows users to purchase tickets. The company has also launched apps for three of its Las Vegas hotels—Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, and New York-New York—with others on the way. The comprehensive property apps (including room-service ordering!) allow meeting planners to create private pages only viewable to attendees, with event agendas, party photos, and more. Search: MGM Mirage at the iTunes app store.
Register This! ITN International, which provides registration, attendee-tracking, lead-retrieval, and other data services to the events industry, launched a service in June to simplify the event check-in process. Attendees can now have their event credential confirmation sent directly to their smart phones in the form of a bar code. ITN has upgraded its barcode readers to be able to scan the image on a phone’s screen, so attendees can skip the paper registration form and just display the bar code image. The system works with iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids, and other smart phones.
AMEX App Aids Travel Policy Compliance. American Express Business Travel launched an app called mobileXtend in late May that provides useful tools to travelers on the road and, with a feature called Policy Manager, delivers messages that promote compliance with an organization’s travel policy. MobileXtend’s features include intinerary management, including on-time alerts and alternative flight suggestions when necessary; dining search; maps; currency conversions; click-to-call travel agent access; social-media integration; and world clocks. The system can also broadcast targeted messages to groups of travelers or individuals, and can be used to conduct surveys.
Shanghai City Guide. If you’re one of the 70 million visitors expected at Expo 2010 in Shanghai this year, a new app from eventagency Vok Dams is just what your iPhone needs. The free Shanghai city guide includes info on the mega exposition, which began in May, as well as restaurants, nightlife, shopping and sights around the city. One helpful feature is direct access to Google maps, with a button that translates the address of your destination into Chinese. Vok Dams also offers a Beijing city guide app. Search: Vok Dams at the iTunes app store.
2,500 Downloads for ASCRS. Swift Media, the same company that built the free mobile phone app for the Boston Convention Exhibition Center, built its first app for a major medical convention this spring. Almost 2,500 downloads of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2010 iPhone and BlackBerry applications were recorded. Attendees could use the free app to view the event agenda, schedule appointments, locate an exhibitor by name or booth number, update Twitter (auto-embedded with the event hashtag), get real-time travel information, and more. Search: ASCRS at the iTunes app store.