Top tech tools for conferences
With MYOB INCITE 2017 fast approaching, what are some of the tech tools that are most useful when heading to conferences?
Long gone are the days of feverishly scribbling down notes and hoping the presentation slides would be sent out afterwards.
Technology now enables attendees to get more out of conferences – from note-taking to networking, file sharing to keeping in touch with work during the breaks.
So, what should you bring to conferences like INCITE next month?
The most obvious tools are your day-to-day devices such as your laptop, tablet or smart phone.
Some people like having a laptop with them to have all the convenience of the office at their fingertips, others prefer more discrete options for use during sessions such as a smart phone.
I find the tablet is a happy medium.
Paired with an attachable bluetooth keyboard, it acts as a laptop when needed but is lighter and easier to carry between sessions.
Power to the people
There is nothing worse than running out of battery halfway through a conference.
Taking a power cord with you is good, however finding outlets to plug them into is not always easy.
A small portable battery pack is an easy way to charge on-the-go.
Spot the hot spot
Let’s face it, conference wifi can be terrible with so many people trying to use it at once.
While most phones act as a personal hot spot for the other devices you’re using (either with a tethering cable or by bluetooth), it can chew through your battery, not to mention your mobile data.
A mobile hot spot device is generally pocket-sized and, enabled with a SIM card, can allow you to access the internet easily.
Keeping a thumb drive on you is a good idea.
Not only can it act as a back-up storage device for files you want to keep handy, it’s also an easy way to transfer files between devices (a handy way of grabbing a copy of that large file presentation).
Of course, when you’re online the cloud is good for file storage and transfer so ensure you have your Dropbox and/or Microsoft 365 accounts at the ready.
One of the best ways of networking at conferences and getting more out of the experience is through social media.
Twitter is great for posting the useful quotes/facts you pick up throughout the day.
It not only enlightens your networks, but can be interesting to look back on at the end of the conference to reinforce what you learned.
Most conferences now promote their own hashtags (such as #MYOBINCITE) so you can group tweets together easily whilst also connecting with others at the event and reading the snippets they share.
LinkedIn is a great networking tool to connect with those you have just met (or remind yourself where you know a familiar face from).
For those that like to take a few snaps, Instagram is a fun way to share your images whether they be of an interesting presentation or simply you enjoying your after-conference cocktail.
Happy, appy days
Some other good apps to have at the ready on your chosen device are:
The conference app
If your conference has its own app, definitely download it to keep the schedule close at hand. Not to mention other useful information such as venue layout, speaker profiles and other useful tips.
This is great for taking and keeping notes on presentations. It allows you to create different notebooks, and keep notes in each one.
So you can create a notebook in the cloud for the conference and then create separate notes for each presentation.
This one scans all those business cards you pick up and pulls all the info into LinkedIn. Brilliant.
If the conference is for work, you might have to keep all your receipts to claim back afterwards.
Handy apps like Shoeboxed allow you to scan and organize your receipt easily rather than having them bunched up in your pocket or bag.
Just because you are away from work doesn’t mean the work goes away. Stay on top of all your accounts and cash flow in the conference breaks through MYOB OnTheGo which automatically updates your MYOB Essentials or AccountRight software.
MYOB INCITE 2017 will reveal how technology is shaping the future of your industry. More importantly, it will challenge you to make a choice. Are you going to sit back and wait to see what tomorrow holds for you? Or are you going to step forward and own tomorrow?