Podcast: Conference Compass’ Jelmer van Ast discusses apps for conferences

For this week’s episode, podcast host, James Dickson, spoke to CEO and founder of Conference Compass, Jelmer van Ast. Founded in 2010, Conference Compass is an event app provider for the conference sector.

Speaking during the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress, Jelmer explained the benefits of designing and developing an app for one specific sector.

Due to the event industry being so broad, the technology that supports it has to be adaptable. Though both are live events, a band concert in a park and a multi-strand conference are two very different occasions, therefore, they require different products, services and technology. This is also the same for the event app.

Focusing on creating apps for the conference sector allows the team at Conference Compass to develop sector-specific solutions for organisers.

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“Pick one thing and do it well,” James agreed, stating that an app that is suitable for different events would offer a “diluted” offering as opposed to something that is specifically designed for one type of event.

Conference Compass set out to replace the printed programme with a digital version before developing the technology to create more interaction with attendees.

Other technological advancements such as new mobile devices, WiFi and internet speeds help guide Conference Compass’ developments. Jelmer explained that he develops apps that do not solely rely on external technology such as WiFi and data – if the external technology is faulty, it makes the app look faulty.

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