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July 24th, 2012

In the first days of the Information Age, when home PCs were still pricey novelty items, “computer user” was synonymous with “programmer.” It was not possible to get a PC desktop computer rental stuffed full of applications for writing, design, database work, engineering and so on. In fact, if you needed a new program, you either wrote it or paid someone else to do so.  Today lets consider three ways to get the unique software you need – by writing the code, paying for it or some combination of the two – in this introduction to custom conference apps.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) methods to coding

The first commercial software packages to appear were operating systems, but the 1980s brought productivity programs, the 1990s saw hardware breakthroughs and the early 2000s gave us total connectivity . As the years passed, off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all software couldn’t cover all the bases, so custom apps – at first only for desktops, then for laptops and now for tablets (like our iPad rental) and smart phones – began growing in popularity. With the power and flexibility now available on mobile devices, they have become the latest, greatest platform for custom conference apps. So, how do you get exactly what you need?

DIY methods range from really doing it all yourself to leveraging various technologies like WordPress to simplify the process. In the first instance, either you or your “code head” need solid experience as developers – on multiple platforms, with various programming languages – to build the apps you need for specialized conference use. For a fully integrated, works-anywhere strategy, your apps will need to have versions for tablet PC rentals, Apple and Android smart phones, netbooks and laptops.

Plug-in and play option for Conference Apps

One option is use a WordPress plug-in developed by Top Quark. Working together, this plug-in can create a custom mobile app for Android, Blackberry and iOS. Without having to deal with any original coding, you simply make adjustments on a settings page to create custom apps for conferences. A smart phone can now download all the conference data so conference attendees can run the app even in “airplane mode.”

IntoMotion, Zerista, TripBuilder EventMobile, Conference Compass and other firms can provide a menu of services for building a custom conference app, doing either a little or a lot as you decide. With some firms advertising $20,000 custom app “bargains” as others promote $99 specials, it is important to look into all possible alternatives for creating a custom conference app.

Even though we don’t develop custom conference app, CRE can help keep you moving forward with everything from trade show convention rentals to special post-production gear. A single call or e-mail, or a brief visit to our Quick Rental Quote form, gets it all done. Call now!

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