Regardless of your particular industry, there are a ton of conferences, industry gatherings, trade shows, and networking events being held throughout the year for you to take advantage of. Attending these events can be a bit of a whirlwind with new faces, new solutions, and exciting discussions around every corner. I think that it’s important to take two things away from a conference: things that enhance your work and business, and those that extend your personal contacts and network.
The good news is that there are a ton of apps to help you accomplish tasks in each of those categories. We put our heads together and rounded up our “staff picks” for the top 10 BlackBerry® smartphone apps that you can use at networking events. This list is by no means exhaustive, so head over to the gold mine that is the BlackBerry App World™ storefront and start exploring! Mention any of your favorites not on the list in the comments below.
On to the list!
Concur – Expense and Travel Management
Track your expenses and mileage while on the road
Taxi fares, lunches, hotels… It’s important to keep track of your expenses while traveling and attending events. It’s also important to accomplish this in a way that helps make it easy, keeps it organized, is rapidly accessible, and super convenient. This pretty much sums up Concur, an app built to manage not only expenses, but also mileage.
Save on roaming charges by tracking your minutes
On the note of keeping a handle on your expenses, the Minute Saver app for BlackBerry smartphones will notify you once your call has reached a certain time limit, which helps you to save on roaming charges. The app options allow you to customize the notifications to meet your needs, even differentiating between incoming and outgoing calls.
Get familiar in a new city
In the evenings, you may find yourself looking for a place to grab a bite, see a movie, find some shopping place to dive into, or get some good deals in any of those categories. I still return to Poynt as my go-to tool for finding my way in a new city. If you rented a car for your trip to a conference, Poynt also offers fuel price information near your location for the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Discover the world around you
This app allows you to discover your surroundings on the cutting edge of technology with augmented reality. Find events, articles, localized tweets, Wikipedia articles, and more. You can even create your own personalized virtual world, and contribute to what’s already available. This is a great way to find points of interest, BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) contacts, information about what you’re looking at, and a whole lot more. Many modern events even utilize Wikitude within the conference itself, so be sure to give it a try!
Keep important documents accessible
Before heading out to an event, I like to synchronize important documents that I may want to reference or share to a cloud storage account like Dropbox. This way, I have synchronized access while on the go, and I can also upload photos from my smartphone to the account. The best part? Downloading Dropbox for your BlackBerry smartphone provides you with 2GB of free storage!
Navigate transit routes like a pro
The above link will push you over to BlackBerry App World with the search term “Transit” already plugged in. There are transit-based apps for many major cities around the world, allowing you to get a handle on the routes and schedules for where you’re at. With one of these apps at your side, you can discover how to quickly and cheaply navigate a city, while timing it just right to help you never be late for an appointment.
Convert business cards to BlackBerry smartphone contacts
This is a solution for converting business card contact information into a BlackBerry smartphone contact entry. Simply open this app, snap a picture of the business card, and the details are transcribed. Purchase credits to utilize the Manual Transcription Team that helps to verify the information. Check the BlackBerry App World download page for this app regularly; there are often great promotions available!
Tag and bag all of the snippets and ideas that you come across
This is one of my all-time favorite apps and, in my opinion, a must-have for heading out into the world with your BlackBerry smartphone. I’m constantly finding interesting bits of information, whether it’s something that I see while browsing, or something I snap a picture of using my BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone. Evernote keeps me sane by allowing me to tag, organize, and synchronize all of this information – allowing me to keep track of it all. The applications for this app extend far into both business and personal use cases.
ItsMe! – share your contact info with NFC
A simple tap and you’re connected
The use cases for NFC technology are plentiful at networking events. With this new app, you choose a contact entry that represents your information, then launch the app, and simply tap your NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone with another NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone to allow an individual to accept your contact information into their address book. It’s clean, it’s simple, and it’s fast.
Tungle.me for BlackBerry
Schedule appointments across organizations, calendar systems, and time zones
Tungle.me helps you to share your calendar and send meeting invitations without the mess of phone calls, emails, and double bookings. Your Tungle.me account can synchronize with popular online calendar systems including BlackBerry, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Entourage for Mac, Lotus Notes, Yahoo! and Windows Live. My favorite feature of this app is how it allows you to connect with others from different organizations even though you may not be using the same platform.
BONUS: 5 Useful BlackBerry shortcuts to use at events
More on the Inside BlackBerry Help Blog!
- Press and hold the “Q” button on your keyboard to toggle between your current sound profile and vibrate. Great for quickly silencing your phone while attending a meeting or having a coffee with a colleague.
- Looking for information in a specific email or from a particular contact? While in the Messages app, press the “S” key on your keyboard to open up the search dialogue.
- Trying to move fast? When selecting a menu item after pressing the Menu key, you can simply begin typing the first letter of the menu item that you want, and quickly jump to its location.
- When typing in a message or BBM chat, enter the word (without quotes) “mypin” or “mynumber”; they’ll automatically be swapped for what they describe!
- Made a few more BBM friends at the conference? Organize them into groups, and then use the spacebar to navigate between them in the BBM app.
What are your favorite apps, shortcuts, or techniques to utilize mobile technology at conferences or networking events? Share yours in the comments below.