by Michael Shapiro | June 27, 2014

It appears we'll be seeing more of Social Tables, a company I first wrote about in our January issue with respect to their room-diagramming software and their partnership with Hyatt. Last month the developer released a caterer-centric version of their app, which added the ability to tweak table types and linens, for example, and see those changes in real time.

But lately they’ve also been working on something completely different: In partnership with the Convention Industry Council, Social Tables has developed Pocket Planner, an app that helps planners calculate a variety of F&B, safety and staffing specs, based on official CIC standards. It is slated for a July 11 release, so I haven't seen it yet, but the concept calls to mind Super Planner, the reference app built by Howard Givner that sells for $9.99 in the Apple App Store and Google Play. It seems Pocket Planner won't cover quite the same scope of topics, but it will be a free download for iOS and Android devices. Plus, it will link directly to the soon-to-come mobile edition of the CIC Manual, so that one may purchase and consult the manual directly through the app.

"We try to be as forward-thinking as possible," Social Tables public relations manager Claire Harrington, CMP, told me. "We've been accumulating this knowledge base that we share internally with our team, and we thought we should be sharing the info on a broader scale. We started talking to our customers about that, and they were just overwhelmingly excited about the possibility."

Harrington suggested as an example the need to quickly consult how many gallons of coffee may be needed for a reception of a given number of people; one could quickly consult that number through the app and then save the answer to a customized list for easy future reference.

A more official announcement will be forthcoming from Social Tables and the CIC. But a free app that allows one to quickly consult the specs that may not always be top of mind sounds like a welcome addition to any planner's app collection.