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Conferences are part of any business, no matter how big or small. Time zone restraints already can take away from a “real-world” feel, but that is one of the obstacles that can’t be avoided. The days of meetings held only with notepads and pen in hand are over. The need for recording crucial information is not. Even the days of lugging a laptop around meetings are numbered. We have entered the mobile era. Now with one simple device (smartphone), you can take notes, pictures and record videos. Technology in the form of phone apps can help maximize a conference experience. These apps can enhance said features:

1) EVERNOTE – One of the oldest business apps around and of the most functional. This one is at the top of the list for note taking. Accessible from a laptop, smartphone or tablet, it allows you to create different notebooks with individual notes for each. You can attach media and photo files as well. Best of all? It’s free.

2) TWITTER – One that may not often be considered for conferencing, it is one of the most powerful. Extremely critical for social media, it is very handy and easy to use. Since most big conferences/conventions promote their own hashtag, it allows for anyone to follow without physically or even virtually having to attend. People can then retweet what they consider important content and compare notes with one another. Twitter is an ideal option if you only have your smartphone in hand.

3) FACEBOOK MESSENGER – A great “real-time” way to communicate with people and/or entire groups.

4) FOURSQUARE – A must for large conferences, it can quickly determine location of attendees. It can pinpoint the best networking location for your type of conference meeting.

5) CARDMUNCH – Networking is a big reason to conferences even happening. After collecting business cards, this app can easily scan them and upload the info into LinkedIn, automatically making contact information available to you.

6) EVERNOTE HELLO – This app can connect contact info from different apps or entries to match, creating a robust profile and making them all handy.

7) CAMERA – Not necessarily an app since it comes equipped on your mobile device. However, there are many advanced camera apps that can allow you to collect information.

8) VIDEO – Again, already equipped on your mobile device, an app version can only enhance content for a conference or presentation, making it easy to share.

9) SHOEBOXED – An excellent way to keep track of business expenses, this app takes a pic of receipts and stores the data for your record keeping convenience. Expense reports can be created and exported to accounting programs right from your phone.

10) FACEBOOK – Most likely an app that is already used daily on your phone, it is a great one for follow up after a conference/convention. You can add new friends you might have met and comment on the even page, if there was one, taking your networking skills on another level.

It never hurts to test out different apps to see which work best for you, but this list can be a decent start. Asking friends and colleagues for their favorites can guide you depending on your industry as well. Check them out on Android and iPhone.