I wasn’t at LeWeb last week – it has never been one of those events that has appealed to me and the bad press it got last year certainly didn’t do much to change that opinion. It seems to have been more warmly received this year though and one of the real hits was Mobile Roadie iPhone app for the conference. Mobile Roadie is a service that allows you to quickly pull together a custom iPhone app – initially it was aimed at musicians etc thus the name but they are beginning to branch out and events seem to be a natural fit.
MoRo offers an iPhone app that pulls together the programme information, backchannel, conference buzz, personalised maps based on your GPS and even integrates the UStream video of the event (plus a fair bit more I think – I’ve only had a quick play). The cost of all this appears to be reasonable and could spell the end of printed event materials – especially if MobileRoadie follow through with their promise of offering Android and Blackberry solutions as a part of the package.
I could see this sort of thing being a real hit at tech conferences and the fact it also includes push notifications could be a real godsend for event organisers.
I really like the idea of this and think it is potentially a real game changer for large technical conferences – not sure quite how it would fit into the growing green agenda for events as well but anything that prevents things being printed is probably a good thing as well. The ability for these apps to include some advertising would also help make up for the shortfall that the move away from sponsored inserts and conference bags has left.
I think in .ac.uk land we would need the Android and Blackberry options before we could justify playing with it so fingers crossed and that happens sooner rather than later!