There are lots of reasons to attend networking events and conventions. Sometimes it is because you are a fan of the company throwing the event. Sometimes it is because you are a member of the community at whom the event is aimed. Sometimes you’re trying to break into a certain industry. Whatever the reason for going, there is one universal result of attending conventions, conferences and other types of networking events: you are going to meet a lot of people and see a lot of stuff. Trying to keep track of all of the details can be really difficult…

…unless you have a smart phone. All hail the smart phone! Here are the most important apps for convention and networking event attendees.

1. Social Media Apps

As a PR Pro, you likely already have profiles on all of the major social media sites. Make sure you have apps for these services in your smart phone or tablet before you go to the convention. Having the apps already downloaded makes it much easier to friend or follow someone immediately. This makes a much better impression than simply taking a card and hoping that you’ll remember to look up the person later. It also means that the person is much more likely to remember you, which is helpful for landing clients and gigs.

2. A Business Card App

There are a lot of great business card apps out there. CamCard gets the most attention and has gotten some great reviews. It’s even listed first in PC World’s list of 5 Ways to Digitize Your Business Cards. Most of the time these apps serve as portable scanning software. You take a picture of the card (or both sides of the card) and the information contained on it is stored on your smart device. You should also explore creating your own digital or electronic business card. This way you can quickly send it to whoever has asked for it without ever having to worry about what to do if you’ve run out of your physical cards.

3. Event Apps

Almost every convention and networking event these days utilizes some kind of conference app. These are great from an event organizer’s point of view because they create extra space for advertising, can save on printing costs and give the event organizers an efficient way to communicate schedule or lineup changes or other details. These apps, though, aren’t just great for organizers. They’re great for presenters and attendees as well.

For instance, as someone showcasing your firm at a conference, you can use the conference app to see real time feedback about your booth or panel, immediately connect with audience members and offer additional content. As an attendee, you can give that feedback and you can coordinate your event schedule with other attendees, stay up to date with schedules, etc. Do not forget to download your event’s app!

4. Receipt Managers

Going to events is expensive! And, because you’re doing this for your job (either current, freelance, or the one you hope to land), you need to track every penny that goes out. This means that, not only do you need to ask for a receipt for everything but you need a way to keep track of them. Don’t ever assume that you’ll actually be able to keep track of every tiny paper receipt you’re given. Instead, download a receipt scanning app like Shoeboxed and record every receipt as you receive it. This way if one goes missing (and it will), you won’t have to panic.

These are just four of the very important types of apps that you’ll need to have on your phone before you head out to your next networking event. What are some of the apps that have saved your bacon once you were on site?

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