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I'm currently attending a conference, and considering that (almost) everybody has a smartphone, but not necessarily an Internet access (because of roaming charges), it could be nice to have an application that could cache the program, the local map, the list of attendees, that could be updated with program changes.

Does anyone know such an application? Ideally, that should be a "meta"-application, that could be instantiated for specific conferences (a bit like Easychair).

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    considering that everybody has a smartphone — [checks pockets] Nope. – JeffE Sep 12 '12 at 14:22
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    @JeffE: fixed. Maybe you would get one if there were such an application ;) – user102 Sep 12 '12 at 16:50
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    that's a great Question for any android/iphone forum. Why can't the mobile browser just cache webpages (and avoid refreshing them when there's no internet, so that they will not be replaced with the "page not found" error). Seems to me as a simple feature that is missing from all current mobile browsers – Ran G. Sep 13 '12 at 14:30
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    Most of the conferences I have attended recently offered free wi-fi access for the participants in the conference venue. (sent while at a conference) – Federico Poloni Sep 14 '12 at 7:33
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    @FedericoPoloni: The problem is that the coverage is not always perfect, and also might not exist outside of the conference venue. Clearly, it's possible to deal with it, I was just wondering if there were a cool application that would make my life easier :) – user102 Sep 14 '12 at 9:12
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Conference4me will do this more or less automatically. It displays the conference schedule including talk titles, authors, and abstracts, as well as maps of the venue, the list of participants, and other information. All this can be browsed offline but the app will automatically update it every several hours if it has an active internet connection. You can add sessions to your agenda and the app also makes it reasonably easy to add them to your calendar system of choice (at least it works with Google Calendar on Android).

However, the app's functionality depends on some cooperation from the conference organizers. For starters, it can only pull information from Indico, EDAS, and OpenConf, so the conference has to be organized using one of those systems, and all the relevant information has to be uploaded. Additionally, the conference organizers will have to ask the app's developers to manually set up the link between the conference website and Conference4me's data stream. It's apparently not a very involved process for the organizers, but you can't just download the app and immediately use it on any arbitrary conference with a website.

  • conference4me is very cheap compared to other alternatives. But unfortunately, it doesn't support easychair. – Fibo Kowalsky Oct 9 '18 at 23:14
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AFAIR Lanyrd offers such an application. It works mostly for programming conferences, not so much for academic ones.

Personally, I use Dropbox and upload conference book (pdf) there. For maps and additional info (on travel, accommodation, etc) I use Evernote.

However, they are not very specific solutions and I'm missing an app that would make it easy to collect all conference stuff. Including "which talk to choose out of competing ones" and to tick talks and participants I would like to attend slash talk to.

And also, sometimes it's hard to beat printed maps, and a combination of the conference book + a pen.

  • Lanyrd is pretty nice, and you can add events yourself. I need to check if they work offline though. – user102 Sep 14 '12 at 9:13
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I recently attended the annual meetings of the European Economic Association. They had a quite nice mobile version of the conference web page combined with free wifi at the conference venue. I had good use of the webpage (almost a web application). The page is apparently still up, at:

http://www.eea-esem.com/eea-esem/2012/m/

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The Event App Bible is a free and very useful PDF download from the Event Manager Blog. It outlines and compares the numerous event apps that are available - there are now lots of these! The guys there recently released the 3rd edition for 2015.

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CrowdCompass develops native mobile apps specifically for conferences. A native app works perfectly for conferences because it doesn't depend on the Internet to work. Our content management system (the backend) is easy-to-use and lets you make updates any time. All of these updates happen in the background so it doesn't affect the user's experience.

The app shows the contact info for all the attendees who download the app. This lets attendees start networking with each other before the event even starts, and it makes it easier to stay in touch when the event is over.

Attendees can also use the app to navigate the conference area and find speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors more easily. They can use the map feature to find local attractions (which is especially nice if they're not from the area).

The top 3 features for attendees and organizers are listed here: http://www.crowdcompass.com/blog/best-mobile-app-features-for-attendees/. We've got a lot more resources if you want to do some mobile research. Just check out http://www.crowdcompass.com.

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There's no generic application. However, some conferences offer features geared towards smartphones (customizable calendars being the most useful one). I also use Dropbox and a note-taking application to cobble together a conference environment.

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One recent conference I've heard that supports such an application is Ubicomp 2012. They have mobile applications with the content of conference programs and they are available on Android and iOS.

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Another app in this space is ConferenceToGo - this app is specifically geared towards multi-day medium to large academic conferences with multiple parallel tracks going on. Has all the features available in general conference apps, and a bunch of others that are specific to academic conferences, like complete offline use, exhibitor list, session discovery based on interest etc.

Check out the app at the website

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    Do you have any affiliation with this application? Your affiliation is not declared, and we like to know if people are promoting their own sites (it's OK, just must be declared) – jakebeal Feb 16 '15 at 18:36
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Both the Society for Epidemiological Research and IDWeek have had phone apps that interact with calendar apps to help you build schedules, find local restaurants, etc.

I'm not sure who developed them, but I will say that I found the IDWeek app, which was heavily dependent on being able to download information to update itself, to occasionally be stressful in the dubious connection space that is a convention center.