To understand how to create a great conference system, we have to clearly understand what a participant will want to do prior to the conference, at the conference and after the conference.
Conference IT systems should adjust to the needs and devices that scientists possess. Scientist should not be forced to own certain devices simply to access conference information. The IT systems should be there to help, not rule over the scientists.
We realize that while 100% of scientists have a laptop computer, much fewer own smartphones and even less own tablet PC devices. We recognize that scientists are not necessarily tech-geeks and many will not purchase new fads. There will be “laggards” in the high-tech device sense, but these “laggards” are often the scientists who have a large presence and saying in the scientific community.
We also acknowledge that even though tech-savvy scientists will want to use smartphones or iPads at the conference floor, they will still use traditional PCs in their planning phase at their office. Hence the IT system should seamlessly sync whatever they did on their laptops to their smartphones.
Therefore, an IT system for scientific conferences must work well with laptop computers, and also accomodate new gadgets. Focusing on new gadgets at the expense of laptops is not an option.
Unfortunately, this is contrary to what a lot of conferences are providing.
Looking at competitor activity, it seems that their priorities are;
- Provide a native smartphone application.
- Provide a rudimentary web site for PCs.
- Congre uniquely provides syncing between the PC site and smartphone apps.
- Provide a iMode site (only Congre).
Our priorities are;
- Provide a cutting-edge experience on PCs so that they can do their preparations effectively.
- Attendees can chose whether they want to bring smartphones, tablets PCs, iMode phones or printouts to the conference.
- We support smartphones, tablets, PCs, iMode phones on-site.
- After the event, they can go back to their PCs and create a report.