6 Event Apps to Enhance Your Next Meeting

Six new tools that can help meeting planners run a better conference.


Hoping to improve your productivity, bolster your memory, appease various stakeholders and collaborate more effectively with your coworkers? Never fear — there are apps for that. Whatever combination of event-tech solutions you're already using, these six apps could very well help you get your job done more efficiently and effectively — and improve your meetings in the process.  

1. Bring Along Your AI Assistant 

Voicea is a personal virtual assistant for meetings. It takes notes, creates meeting summaries, and funnels action items to other apps and platforms. The app helps ensure that meetings are productive human interactions, says founder and CEO Omar Tawakol: It allows participants to focus on the other people in a meeting, not a screen in their hands; and it provides summaries, agendas and action items without the need to take notes.

Voicea's enterprise voice assistant, affectionately known as EVA, is akin to Siri and Alexa, but programmed for business. She listens to create meeting highlights, record action items and sync with a wide variety of platforms. Invite EVA to your meetings and she follows along; have her "call in" to conference calls; or simply hit record on the Voicea app and she will summarize your face-to-face discussions.

You can request certain actions of her during the meeting; for example, if you ask her to remind you to send the presentation deck to your colleague next Wednesday, she'll add that to your calendar in real time. You can also customize EVA so that she automatically dispenses notes on a Slack channel following each meeting, or records updates about leads directly to Salesforce, for instance. More than 15 platform integrations are available.

Powered by AI, EVA recognizes the most important dialogue from a meeting based on keywords and includes these snippets among the highlights. You can add and modify trigger words to alert EVA to important actions or topics of discussion.

Voicea incorporates a few important event-tech trends. First, the app records all audio — and even video, if that was part of your meeting. So an archive is created of everything discussed, just as in high-end digitized spaces such as Cisco WebEx Teams. Voicea preserves the content, either for reference or for repurposing — particularly useful when the agenda includes education that can be used for training.

Second, the app uses artificial intelligence and speech-to-text processing to generate a transcript of the entire meeting. Everything that was said is indexed, so you can search both the original audio and transcript for keywords and hone in on key aspects of the discussion.

And finally, via EVA, the app applies AI to help you process all of that saved content and make it useful and actionable. As you become more accustomed to using the platform — and triggering EVA to record the most salient points — there's less of a need to search within that transcript or original recording for answers. Action items have already been noted, and meeting takeaways can be shared at the end.

That's an impressive range of functionality for an app, the basic version of which is free. The price grows depending on the range of features your team requires and the number of users. Annual subscription costs go from $7.99 per month, per user for the Standard version, to $31.99 per month, per user for the Premium version. An Enterprise/Teams version is available, as well.

2. Capture Every Word

Otter was developed specifically to record and transcribe meetings — or really any conversation. Otter processes speech to create instantaneous transcriptions and, therefore, a searchable record of verbal interactions, be they by phone or in person. Although originally designed for more individual use, the recent release of Otter for Teams acknowledges the power this kind of tool can have in the collaborative workplace.

The new Teams version lets an account manager assign different access levels and responsibilities to team members who can then share live conversations with others in the group.

While Otter doesn't currently offer the breadth of platform integrations available with Voicea, it partners with Zoom (a popular virtual meetings/video platform), and Zoom conversations can be uploaded to Otter, transcribed and shared.

Otter offers both free and premium versions ($8.33 per user, per month, with an annual subscription); Otter for Teams costs $12.50 per month with an annual contract.

3. Accomplish Tasks and Collaborate

App stores are well stocked with solutions to manage to-do lists, from the most basic task-makers to robust shared-workplace platforms. What we find intriguing about Taskade is that despite its clean and simple look, it packs in a variety of nifty collaboration and communication features, even in the free version.

Taskade is a productivity app that can be adapted easily for planning teams: New tasks can be added to a shared workspace, delegated and edited in real time, and deadlines assigned. Team members can add notes or upload files, chat with each other directly in the app or even videoconference with others in the group. Videoconferences can be recorded as well.

A range of templates are available for getting started, including weekly planners, meeting notes, project overviews and road maps.

The best part: All of this functionality is free. There's a limit on the number of workspaces and templates in use for the free version, however: Storage space for uploads maxes out at 5MB per file and 100MB total. For $7 per month with an annual subscription, the Pro version removes those caps and will soon add new features — recurring tasks, a road-map calendar and team permissions among them.

Taskade is available for use on the web, as a Firefox or Chrome plug-in, as a MacOS app, and for iOS and Android. 

4. Ratchet Up Your Productivity

For more complex project management, Ora is a powerful productivity app with a focus on time management. Using "sprints," teams can challenge themselves to complete tasks and projects, getting a sense of how much time the tasks should take and allowing for more efficient scheduling as projects are added to your calendar.

Similar to the popular Trello app, tasks are represented by cards. The layout is clean and can be very detailed, according to the complexity of each task. Using the Kanban scheduling system — a color-coded card-chart layout — cards can be displayed and moved around with drag-and-drop simplicity; but layouts also can be changed according to individual team-member preferences.

Ora can be used for a wide variety of projects and lends itself well to event-planning logistics. It's currently available as a web app that runs best in Chrome or Firefox, or as a downloadable app for MacOS, Windows or Linux. Native apps for iOS and Android are coming soon. Price varies from a basic free version to Startup ($4.33 per month, per user, if billed annually, for up to eight people); Professional ($5.99 per month, per user, if billed annually), or soon, an enterprise version ($15.99 per month, per user, for an unlimited number of users).

Ora's web app brings complex project management to all devices, and native versions soon will be available for smartphones.

5. Maximize the Potential of Swag

To keep exhibitors coming back, show organizers must demonstrate that their events represent a solid return on investment. A slew of lead-generation tools do this quite well, but getting exhibitors to embrace the ones that the organizers put in place can be a challenge. The Balou app is a very simple marketing solution that can boost booth traffic and lead generation by focusing on the most of basic of attendee needs: free swag.

The attendee-facing app allows users to track free giveaways and prizes. In fact, they can track goodies at multiple exhibitions, just to make sure they don't miss anything.

Marketing solutions from Balou boost booth traffic and lead generation.

One might argue the app actually places too much value on trade-show freebies. But the goodies and raffles exist to draw people in and help them remember a brand; the giveaways aren't serving their purpose if people don't know the goodies are available. Balou attempts to level the exhibitor playing field, providing a forum where everyone could receive equal attention regardless of booth location or size.

With Balou, potentially both exhibitors and show organizers can benefit from greater engagement on the show floor. The app won't be right for every show, but it's an easy way to boost awareness of the promotional materials that participants already expect to see on the show floor.

Balou is free for attendees to download; exhibitors pay $199 per show. The Balou team can motivate show organizers, via revenue-sharing, to promote the platform to exhibitors and attendees.

6. Foster Better Communication

Interactio represents the next-gen tool for overcoming language barriers. The audio-delivery solution can be used for a variety of purposes on-site, chief among them as a real-time interpretation app that can replace pricey translation equipment. Interactio runs as a mobile app on attendee devices; it can even run in parallel with the general event app, accessible by a click. Instead of signing out cumbersome audio-translation receivers and headsets, attendees simply use their own devices and any set of earbuds or headphones. You'll still need to hire interpreters, but they can be stationed anywhere, in the room or even off-site.

What's more, because Interactio is a mobile system that replaces audio-streaming hardware, it can serve a whole host of audio purposes beyond real-time translation. Attendees can listen to a real-time audio stream of any presentation, even if they can't get a seat in the room. The technology is ideal for overflow audiences or layouts that feature multiple presentations in close proximity to one another. Depending on how organizers choose to set up the service, it can even be streamed to off-site attendees.

Interactio can, in effect, solve the age-old problem for a participant who needs to be in two places at once, wrapping up a meeting on one side of the exhibition hall and still catching a keynote presentation that begins moments later on the other. The system also could be used to capture audio recordings of the presentations. It can stream via mobile data, WiFi or, when required, through a dedicated call-in number.

The app is free for listeners in both iOS and Android versions. Contact Interactio for an enterprise quote.