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February 2011Conference+Meetings World www.c-mw.net23The smartphone has changed the way we function as human beings. Sarah O'Donnellfinds out whateffect it has had on the meetings industry and makes a few recommendations. The meeting planner'sSwiss army knife 2.0Apps are mobile applications thatcan be downloaded and run onsmartphones such as the iPhone,Blackberry or Google Android. At thetime of writing some sources reckonedthere were over 300,000 apps availableon the iTunes directory alone. This doesnot take into account apps created forother devices. The following apps can either be foundat the iTunes store, the Blackberry andAndroid alternatives, or are custom-made for your events. All areavailable for under US$10 or for free. Planning an eventSupper Planner provides toolsfor meeting and eventplanners such as calculationsfor venue capacity, staffing,catering, staging, projections as well asrelated useful tips. The sections aredivided into Food and Beverage,Audiovisual and Venue Capacity. Grupiomakes attending anevent a richer experience byallowing access to the eventdetails, social networks andincludes live updates from organisers. Itdoes, however, need the organiser to setup the initial group to work. EventGenie is a customisedapp for organisers, whichprovides a secure programmefor messaging and apersonalised agenda by highlightingcertain sessions for delegates. From anorganiser's perspective, it also allowsvisitor behaviour analysis enabling themto maximise event revenue. The My EventTECHNOLOGY UPDATEtool allows delegates to record notes, voicememos, photos and videos and downloadexhibitor brochures and speaker slides.Tickets or passes for events can beissued electronically through this app,which also offers delegates the option toscan in business cards. It also has multi-lingual support.ExpensesTired of losing receipts, forgetting whatthey were for and holding them in yourwallet until you return to the office? WellCMWhas found two apps that couldsolve this dilemma:Gorilla Expenseis a combination of theonline Gorilla Expense system and amobile application. When you pay for anexpensable item while travelling, take aphoto of the receipt, edit a few detailsabout the expense and it will be addedto your account for later use. The servicecan also be customised to automate thereporting process, restrict expenses thatinfringe company policy and handleMeetingApps.comCredited as the world's first portal formeeting apps, MeetingApps.com, hasreached its 999th app in its directory.Since the launch of the free-to-usewebsite in August 2010 the portal is nowused by meeting professionals in 83countries. "We are all driven to prove the value ofmeetings and to work more efficiently,"says its co-founder, Kirsten Strand. The site enables planners and tourismindustry professionals to locate iPhone,iPad and BlackBerry apps related to themeetings and events industry in certaincategories such as travel, cool tools andconferences. Vancouver-based event managementcompany, Invenia Incentives, joinedforces with the meetings tradeshoworganiser IMEX Group to launch the site.IMEX will be promoting it at IMEXAmerica 2011 in Las Vegas in October. ????MeetingApps.com co-founder Kirsten Strand