The trade show: a dizzying assembly of fascinating minds, free pens, and way too many flyers and brochures. It’s also one of the most likely spots to end up glued to your smartphone — for better or for worse. While that device of yours is great for catching up with missed calls from the office, it’s also capable of replacing the canvas swag bag, along with all the clutter.
Android users have it especially good in this regard, with some exclusive features that will maximize your networking. Here are six must-have apps to download on your Android device before booking a flight to your next conference:
The premier note-taking app is a necessity for trade shows, with enough productivity features in one place to replace several less-effective stock Android apps. Taking notes during a presentation and want to capture a great slide? Snap a picture of it directly to your notes, or add some audio of the speaker you’re listening to. Evernote will track your location automatically, so when you want to look at them later you only have to remember the city you were visiting.
“Here, let me give you my card.”
We’ve all heard that phrase countless times at trade shows. What usually follows is that card being tossed in a bag, forever lost in the ether. CamCard creates a virtual Rolodex of your business cards, letting you ditch the paper (intentionally, this time).
Just take a picture of the card and the app automatically pulls names, addresses and numbers into your contacts, along with a snapshot of the original. The info detection can be hit-and-miss, but when it works it feels like magic. You can always go back and edit information manually as well.
Why not ditch the paper cards altogether? Many popular Android devices come equipped with near-field communication (NFC), making exclusive services like POPWings possible. POPWings allows you to create and order a plastic card using any contact details you wish. Simply tap that card to an NFC-enabled device and all your contact info is immediately transferred to the device. The only drawback? You can’t use it to enter the business-card draws.
The last couple apps offer great alternatives to the stale Rolodex, but the reality is the business-card community has largely moved online to LinkedIn. Even if you forget the cards at home, don’t forget to create a profile, or dust off that old one with your latest updates. The benefits of LinkedIn may not be immediately apparent, but you’re more than likely to find your best trade show connections on it.
Whether you’re a regular tweeter, or never really kept up with the account you signed up for years ago, you won’t want to miss out on any live discussion on Twitter during your conference. Find your show’s hashtag, engage with speakers and discover what others in attendance have to say.
A long day of learning and networking has left you longing for some killer shawarma. Find the best spots in your location with Yelp, along with recommendations for other entertainment options to make the most out of your trip.
Did we miss your favourite Android app? Let us know in the comments below and tell us why it’s great for trade shows, conferences or events.