The Washington Credit Union League’s Annual Convention will take place next month. And it looks like the league has found at least one way to bring the theme of this year’s conference, Evolve & Emerge, to life. Rather than distributing stacks of paper handouts, presentation slides, program books and conference agendas to every attendee, WCUL has developed a convention app for iPhone and Blackberry. The app eliminates the need for all the unnecessary paper (at least for those with smartphones). Perhaps more importantly, the app also allows attendees to receive the latest updates from the league via Twitter, create their own customized schedules, and collect contact info from other attendees they meet at the convention.
This is the first time I’ve seen a state association develop a conference application like this for an iPhone or Blackberry (if anyone has other examples, please let me know). While I’m not planning to attend the convention, I did download the free app for iPhone to see what it’s all about.
Here’s a screenshot of the app’s homepage. Aside from the smart and easy navigation menu, I was most impressed with the integration of the league’s latest Twitter updates to the homepage. I can see this being a great way to share the latest updates and announcements with conference attendees. Beyond the league’s Twitter updates, the app also lets attendees post Twitter updates directly from the application – each of which automatically includes the hashtag established for the conference: #WaCon (bravo to WCUL for establishing a conference hashtag – it’s still something I wish all banking conferences would adopt and encourage).
The app also gives users quick access to maps of the exhibit hall and breakout session rooms, the conference schedule, and a list of exhibitors – complete with descriptions and contact information.
See more info about the iPhone app, including additional screenshots here.
The simple design and smart features of this app will certainly allow it to enhance the conference experience for attendees who use it. I’m interested to know what percentage of attendees will use the app. And, I’d like to know how the WCUL will encourage people to use it (one idea: make people pay for printed materials because the app is free). Now, if we could only get more conference organizers to offer relevant and useful tools like this.