Someone did a smart thing and placed every app that could be of use to a meeting planner on a portal called, simply enough, MeetingApps.com. During my quick visit, I saw hundreds of apps listed, and some of the more popular apps are actually reviewed by meeting planners. Apps are organized in categories that are relevant to meeting professionals, like Air Travel, Meeting Management, Conferences, etc. You can also search for apps by platform, including Android, Blackberry, and iPhone. By joining their “App Alert,” you can be notified when new apps are posted. The site was created by Kirsten Strand, of Invenia Incentives in Vancouver, BC. The site is a very smart promotion for their services, as their offerings are subtlety integrated into the fabric of the site. Looking to develop your own app? Invenia can help. The commercial interruptions are minimal, and I didn’t mind, because the content is so great. Here’s the ultimate compliment: I’m wondering why I didn’t think of this.
Google NFC and what do you get? Lots of info about the Dallas Cowboys. Google “NFC -football” and everything changes: there are 37 million pages of info about Near Field Communication, the specification for simplified wireless transactions coming soon to a smart phone near you. I’m working with the Smart Card Alliance and NFC Forum to launch a big new NFC event next year in San Francisco. Of course the badging system needs to be NFC compatible, and we’re working with an NFC-savvy registration company. What I’m learning is that this technology, if it catches on, could change the economics of registration services at major events. With a “true” NFC badging system, any smartphone becomes a lead retrieval device. That’s great for event planners, right? Imagine everyone at your event, vendors, attendees, and press–scanning each other for networking purposes. If you’re running a registration company, you just had a heart attack, because that eliminates your main source of revenue–lead retrieval devices and services. We had a long discussion with the registration company about how to solve this problem and the answer was “Apps. Maybe.” This will be an interesting project because, if it works out, everything at the conference will be scannable: people, booths, technology demos, posters, food service stations, and who knows what else. I’ll keep you updated.