Written By: Jennifer Jones
I have attended HITEC now for several years, as both an exhibitor and an attendee. Regardless of my role there, I have learned one valuable lesson: take a vacation after to catch up on sleep! I know that is not realistic, but if my day-to-day job could stop for a week after to allow me to sort through all of the business cards and collateral I collected, not to mention the overflow of emails that came in while at the show, I would not dread the post-HITEC “hangover.”
However, I have started using some tools that help me organize my trips better as well as a centralized place for all of the notes and information that I gather. This should help minimize the weight of my tote bag as well as the decks of cards exploding out of my laptop case.
When I make plane reservations, book hotel stays and reserve rental cars, I use an app called TripCase. It is available free of charge for both iPhone and Android phones. After signing up and registering any of the email addresses you would receive confirmations from, you are all set. Whenever you get an email confirmation from your airline, hotel, etc., all you have to do is forward it to TripCase. The app then neatly organizes your entire itinerary of your travel for you. It alleviates the need from sort through tons of saved emails representing travel you may have booked weeks ago.
Best yet, the app always alerts me of flight delays and cancellations before my airline does. Once, TripCase told me of a flight cancellation 24-hours before my departure. When I called my airline, they had no record of the cancellation until five hours later.
There is a feature that helps alleviate the “George Costanza Wallet” syndrome by tracking all of your receipts. If you are prone to losing receipts or want to stay ahead of the curve and have them organized before you finish your trip, it is well worth it. It will save all of your receipts as photos, stored within your TripCase itinerary, securely in the cloud with titles and notes, and it will allow you to email them as a PDF –essentially having your expense report nearly done.
At HITEC, I am busy shaking hands (and most likely holding a cup of much needed coffee). What I do not have space for is carrying around pen and paper jotting down notes as I go along. That is why I fell in love with the Microsoft OneNote App. While I am on the exhibit hall floor, I can easily create a new section in my OneNote virtual “notebook” to represent a vendor I am speaking with. Not only can I make a checklist of the requirements I want to ask about a particular system with a vendor, I can insert an audio clip of a discussion I had with the CTO, as well as insert a weblink they give me to access more product info, as well as insert an image of the sales representative’s business card. Now I do not have to fly back to Denver with a tote bag full of brochures and business cards.
Everything I enter into the app syncs to my account in the cloud so I can easily review all of my notes on my laptop when I am following up on all of my meetings post-HITEC. I can easily PDF and email every page of notes to colleagues, and I can search for keywords not only in the text I wrote but even within audio clips. There are other note-taking apps as well, like Evernote and Google Keep. Each has their own uniqueness. I highly recommend trying one out to help make your HITEC experience more organized and enjoyable. #HITECtor #HFTP
Jennifer Jones is president at J2 Hospitality Solutions, a technology consulting firm, and is an official guest blogger for HITEC Toronto. She is an active member in the HFTP Rocky Mountain chapter, and she has spent her entire career in the hospitality technology space on both vendor and property sides of the spectrum. Jones is a 1997 graduate of Penn State University’s School of Hospitality Management. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org