by Michael Shapiro | August 13, 2010

Apps have been multiplying like rabbits of late. Anyone with a smartphone, iPad or other Internet-ready mobile gizmo likely knows this, as we sift through the app morass to find the winners, those favorite apps that will make us more productive, better connected and/or better people. If tech-savvy attendees are likely to show up at your events, they may soon be looking for event-specific conference apps -- that is, if you haven't produced one already.? ?

This week event management company Experient announced a preferred partnership with app developer Core-Apps, which makes the Follow Me and Event Link apps that have been used by dozens of trade shows and conferences. Through the agreement, these meeting apps also will be available directly to Experient customers as part of a suite of services called Experient Connexia. Last month, meeting management company HPN Global announced a similar partnership with developer QuickMobile, which made the apps for MPI's latest MeetDifferent and World Education Congress events. HPN customers will be able to select a private-label version of QuickMobile's app for their events.? ?

The partnerships are representative of the increasing number of opportunities available to planners to create show apps, and just how accessible their use is becoming. Case in point: Be on the lookout for a self-service version of Event Link to be available soon, possibly by the end of this month. According to Core-Apps CEO Jay Tokosch, conference organizers soon will be able to go directly to the Core-Apps site (or, possibly, those of participating partners), upload all of their relevant conference info, logos and such, answer some questions and then receive links to download their show app in short order. As app developers continue to get more show experience under their belts, the process of meeting app creation should continue to move in this direction -- lessening the complexity for planners and show organizers who want to put the entire show program, social media functionality, networking tools and more in the hands of each smartphone-toting attendee.??

Look for an in-depth feature on this topic in M&C next month.