The 10 best conference apps for 2024

8 minute read

Organising a scholarly event? Find help in the places you need it most with our recommendation of the 10 best conference apps and software tools for 2024.

Successfully delivering a mix of captivating speakers, engaging content, slick production, and meaningful networking opportunities for attendees is a tall order for any event planner. Irrespective of whether you’re a seasoned professional or relatively new to the game. Such a significant undertaking requires a comprehensive suite of software solutions, and a robust events team or organising committee.

We’ve put together a curated list of conference apps and tools designed to assist you in the planning of an events programme. A programme that’ll not only impress your attendees, but generate excitement amongst your sponsors. These tools are likely to become indispensable assets to you and your team. You may find yourself wondering how you ever managed without them.

 

1. Ex Ordo 

Screenshot showing samples of the Ex Ordo platform interface - the best conference app for scholarly events
Ex Ordo is custom-built for research conferences

If you’re expecting to receive more than 50 submissions for your event, we strongly advise you invest in a connected conference management system, like Ex Ordo. It is designed specifically for the complexities of academic, scientific, medical, and technical events. Trying to manage lots of stand-alone software tools that don’t talk to each other, and having to manually copy info between systems, eats into your time. It’s also where mistakes happen.

Ex Ordo gives you everything you need to plan and execute your in-person, virtual, or hybrid conference in one central hub. Seamlessly linked into the platform’s core abstract management software is a conference programme, registration system, and mobile conference app, with an integrated events space that allows you to broadcast live sessions to remote attendees, and publish bingeable, on-demand content. 

Opening your in-person conference to a remote audience instantly expands your reach. It also promotes inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility good practices. With Ex Ordo, you can use Webex, Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Restream, or any other live streaming platform. Not only does this make your event content accessible to those attendees who – because of physical, financial, or other barriers – cannot attend the in-person conference. It also gives in-person attendees far more flexibility in how they experience your event content. Gaining the freedom to go as ‘hybrid’ for the duration of a conference – choosing to attend some sessions in-person, and other sessions virtually – is a win for attendees.

Ex Ordo – the best conference management tool for in-person, virtual, and hybrid scholarly events. Learn more in our upcoming open demo. 

 

2. Webex Events Community Platform

Screenshot of the Webex Events Community Events platform interface - one of the best conference apps to build online communities for year-round attendee engagement
Webex Events Community Platform allows your attendees to connect and engage all year round

The Webex Events Community Platform can be used to support your entire events programme. It alsohelp build active online communities for year-round attendee engagement.

Key features of the app include networking, banner ads, gamification, video rooms, and post-event metrics. You can host virtual events, virtual roundtables, games, and more, to facilitate opportunities for conversations and collaborations. Attendees can post on social walls, book 1-2-1 video meetings, and participate in topical industry discussions to level up their knowledge. You can personalise their experience with exclusive content and targeted messaging for different membership levels or segments. And fully customisable layouts allow you and your sponsors to keep everything on brand.

Empowering attendees with high-level engagement tools that allow them to connect with other attendees on their own terms – and not just at your flagship event, but all year round – will certainly add value to and enhance their overall event experience. 

Webex Events Community Platform  – one of the best conference apps to build online communities for year-round attendee engagement.

 

3. Guidebook

"Screenshot
Guidebook makes it simple to create and manage your own mobile conference app

A best-in-class mobile app building platform, Guidebook. With intuitive, drag-and-drop features, you have the creative freedom to design your very own branded app. It’s customised with your own theme colours and logos, that attendees can download from Google Play or the App Store. An eco-friendly solution to the traditional printed programme, attendees can use this event guide to navigate your event from their phones. 

For Ex Ordo customers, a seamless integration with Guidebook allows you to sync your programme or any updates you make in the core Ex Ordo system to Guidebook, which means no more template imports and manual edits. This not only saves you a significant amount of time on tedious data entry, but also reduces the chance for human error. You can make those inevitable last-minute programme changes and communicate these with attendees in real-time through push notifications. 

They also gives you an opportunity to earn some extra revenue by providing sponsorship opportunities for in-app ads, and allows your sponsors and exhibitors to connect and engage with their target audiences.

Your branded app can host multiple guides for multiple conferences. And because all your guides are in one centralised location, you can collect comparable data within your app year-on-year.

Guidebook  – the best app for taking your scholarly events mobile.

 

Ex Ordo Call for Papers Open demo

 

4. Accredible

Screenshot of the Accredible platform interface - one of the best apps for managing your conference's digital credential needs
The Accredible digital certificate and badge platform helps you attract and reward attendees, visualise learning journeys, and grow your certification programme

Accredible is the leading platform for creating, issuing, and managing secure digital certificates and badges. It seamlessly integrates with your LMS and publishing tools to streamline the creation and issuing of certificates without disrupting your workflows. Ready-made templates, retroactive editing, automatic name change handling, expiration, and renewals, save you loads of time, allowing you to focus more of your efforts on driving revenue, and growing your membership plus certification programmes.

With brandable landing pages, emails, URLs and digital wallet cards, you have complete control over the recipient credential experience. You can also gain visibility into the additional value, referrals, and brand exposure your certificates and badges generate for your programmes, including views, social media shares, website click-throughs, and more. Social media sharing options, as well as LinkedIn, website, and email embedding make it easy for recipients to celebrate their recognition in a single click.

Accredible – one of the best conference apps for managing your digital credential needs.

 

5. VoiceMap 

Screenshot of VoiceMap in Google Play or the App Store
VoiceMap is an app that allows attendees to explore your venue with a self-guided audio tour

Sitting in back-to-back sessions, possibly day-in and day-out over the course of a multi-day event, can be physically and mentally taxing. Encouraging your attendees to stretch their legs and clear their heads will do wonders for everyone’s concentration and engagement levels during sessions. And what better way of exploring your conference venue’s surroundings than with a self-guided walking or cycling tour. No awkward groups or rigid schedules. Just a safe way of navigating unfamiliar streets, and being able to take in the sights at your own pace.

VoiceMap is a mobile app that boasts over 1,000 immersive audio tours narrated by insightful local storytellers. These tours are available for more than 30,000 locations, in almost 350 destinations, across 64 countries around the world. You can also create your own tour for attendees, which could include photos, 360 videos, 3D objects, and music. Anything you want to personalise the experience for them.

Once attendees download your tour onto their phones, both the map and audio will be available offline, so they don’t have to pay roaming fees. The app uses GPS autoplay, so they can just put in their headphones, tap on Start, and let VoiceMap guide them. A wonderful little memento to accompany any personal photos they snap or videos they film on their tour, to share with family, friends, or jealous colleagues when they get home. 

VoiceMap one of the best conference apps to help attendees navigate your event’s host city safely.

 

6. Eventbrite

Screenshot of the Eventbrite interface - one of the best registration apps for ticketing small conferences
Eventbrite is a great place to get your attendees to register for a small conference

While certain conference management systems offer an integrated registration platform, for smaller conferences, especially those with low-cost or complimentary entry, a stand-alone tool like Eventbrite might be all you need.

A globally recognised all-in-one ticketing and discovery platform, Eventbrite is widely used for both virtual and in-person events. With customisable event pages, and personalised recommendations tailored to attendees’ interests and location, it’s a pretty nifty tool for organisers to target specific audiences. You can also create no-hassle ads to promote your event across the platform for even more visibility.

Real-time analytics give you more insights on your buyers and where your sales are coming from. You can also engage your attendees, and reach new ones, with a suite of automated email and social marketing tools. 

With built-in, full-service payment processing, you can easily collect event payments, and get paid before your event takes place on a schedule of your choice. For in-person events, you can also check guests in, sell tickets at the door, and track data with the Eventbrite Organiser App.

Eventbrite – one of the best registration apps for ticketing small conferences.

 

7. Rentman

Screenshot showing the Rentman Crew Planner interface
Rentman allows you to manage all your event crew scheduling and communications in one central hub

With in-person conferences comes the often challenging aspect of event staffing, particularly keeping track of which crew members and freelancers are available for a job. It can be extremely time-consuming to monitor multiple communication channels such as emails, phone calls, or WhatsApp messages.

Rentman is event staffing software designed specifically for the AV and Event industry. It allows you to manage all communications with your crew in one central hub. You can view all planned jobs in a timeline, see availability of crew members, give your crew the option to proactively communicate their availability, request availability, filter your crew based on the job’s required skills or expertise and certifications, and assign suitable crew members to job functions.

The app allows multiple planners to collaborate on the same schedule and easily view the current project status. All project updates are tracked, so you’ll know if/when any time schedules were adjusted, extra staff were added, or a project was cancelled. Your crew members can also manage their personal schedules, appointments, and availability with free user accounts.

Rentman –  one of the best conference apps for managing your event staffing needs.

 

8. Trello 

"Screenshot
Trello gives you a visual overview of all the tasks at each stage of your conference planning process

A hyper-visual task management tool, Trello is a much loved for the highly customisable and super intuitive design of its digital kanban boards. They allow you to track a project’s progress, from start to finish. If your team is working remotely and/or asynchronously, a tool like this can hugely enhance efficiency. Especially as you individually and/or collectively work through tasks during each stage of the conference planning process

Essentially, a board gives you a bird’s-eye view of your entire project, using ‘cards’ (sticky notes) to represent tasks, and ‘lists’ (columns) to represent stages. A simple board might have lists for ‘Planned’, ‘In Progress’, and ‘Completed’ stages, but you can add as many lists as you like. Cards will be moved from left to right across the lists as they progress through the stages. At a glance, you can see which tasks have been assigned, quickly assess what’s been completed, and then focus on what still needs to be done.

Advanced checklists help you break down complex tasks into detailed steps. This can be assigned to different team members, with a due date allocated to each checklist item. Everyone then has sight of who is tackling what, by when, and how it all fits together. And no matter where or when anyone checks in on the board, they’ll see the most up-to-date status of all cards. This means a greater level of transparency and accountability.

Trello  – one of the best conference tools for tracking a project’s progress and ensuring no task slips through the cracks. 

Ex Ordo Call for Papers Open demo

 

9. MeetGreen® Calculator 2.0

Screenshot from the MeetGreen® Calculator 2.0 web page
The MeetGreen® Calculator 2.0 assesses your sustainability initiatives and benchmarks your practices 

The MeetGreen® Calculator 2.0 is a comprehensive tool for benchmarking the sustainable elements of your events.  It allows you to capture valuable information throughout the event planning process. Providing a way for you to assess your sustainable meeting initiatives and benchmark your practices before taking additional steps. 

The Calculator integrates aspects of the ISO 20121 and Events Industry Council Sustainable Events Standards. It assesses over 200 event management practices and measurable outcomes across 14 key categories: Accommodations, Agencies, Audio Visual, Carbon Offsets, Catering, CSR Project, Destination, Exhibit Contractors, Exhibitors & Sponsors, Marketing & Communications, Measurement, Onsite, Transportation, and Venue.

Scores are percentage based, showing what portion of eligible points for your event have been earned. Reports allow you to benchmark against previous years’ data, as well as compare against other events, and also help you identify ways of reducing costs.

MeetGreen® Calculator 2.0 –  one of the best tools to benchmark the sustainable elements of your conference.

 

10. Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Infographic showing Google Analytics 4 Stats in 2023
Source: Google Analytics 4 Stats in 2023

Adding an analytics tool to your website allows you to see who’s visiting and what they’re doing. It shows your sponsors that your attendees fit their target market. By analyzing the data, you can determine which channels are generating the most traffic. This includes social media accounts and advertisements in journals.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a cross-platform analytics tool that allows you to monitor site visitors and measure key user behaviours on both your website and app. GA4 has features to keep up with privacy laws across various countries, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It also offers powerful reporting, predictive intelligence, and a deeper integration with other Google products, such as Google Ads.

GA4 – one of the best tools for tracking your attendees’ journey across multiple channels and devices.

 

Ex Ordo - Planning a scholarly conference? - Request a quote

 

Paula Gruben

In late 2020, Paula and her wee clan left South Africa for greener pastures, choosing to settle in the Emerald Isle (hey, the name says it all). When she's not photo-journalling about émigrée life in Éire on Instagram under the pseudonym 'The Tokoloshe and the Leprechaun', she keeps our Ex Ordo community connected through content that informs, empowers, and inspires.