Innovation to Maximize Your Convention Experience

By Andrew Bowen, Program Book Chair

To start, what do we mean by “innovation”? Let’s take the wristwatch as an example. People have long used clocks to tell time. The Swiss, seeing a need for innovation to make the clock portable and accessible, created the pocket watch in the 16th century. But even the pocket watch was not up to the task in World War I, the first mechanized war where large-scale coordination of human forces was necessary. As time became less flexible and soldiers did not have the luxury of being able to fish a pocket watch out of a jacket, the wristwatch was born.

Now in the 21 st century, we find ourselves with less and less time to go fish around for anything – especially information. Anyone remember doing your grade school research by leafing through an encyclopedia?

The committee responsible for producing the Houston convention book has taken a step forward with one foot into the world of technology by adding a mobile application (app) to the convention experience. At the same time, the other foot remains planted to ensure not losing the experience that draws members to these special events.

Our hope is that this innovation will keep you from having to leaf through hundreds of pages of a book to find the information you need during the 2016 convention.

Using the app from your smart phone or tablet, a tap or two will allow you to . . .

  • view the convention schedule;
  • customize your schedule;
  • create ‘To Do’ reminders for meeting an exhibitor, performer, or others;
  • read bios for performers, presenters, etc;
  • locate local bars & restaurants to meet up with friends;
  • access local area maps;
  • access a map of the area around the hotel or the city;
  • take notes in a workshop;
  • read the daily convention newsletter;
  • check updates from the convention committee;
  • review workshop and presenter information;
  • view a concert program;
  • . . . and more!

The themes of simplicity and mobility are guiding our work to help you manage the convention information you need, connect with the people & services you want, and more! Look for future blog posts for more details as well as live and recorded app demonstrations in 2016.