EMS Tips

App Review: American Ambulance Association Conference App

In November I attended the American Ambulance Association (AAA) conference in Las Vegas. The conference was the first I have attended, to my knowledge, that had a conference app. Available for free download in the iTunes store and Android market the app was a guide to the conference, the sessions, and the vendors.

I suspect the app, which was an adaptation of the conference program, is a service offered to conferences. The features in the app

AAA App Home Screen

didn’t seem to reflect any specific knowledge of the conference attendees or our needs. Because of some of the errors in the app vendor listings I also wonder if the app was a proof of concept or a low cost item outsourced by the conference planners without careful inspection of the app contents.

Some of the features of the app:

  • 6 primary navigation choices
  • Easy to navigate between screens
  • Ability to build a personal schedule during the conference
  • List of vendors
  • Links to the vendor websites

Features that would make this app more useful:

  • Social features that would allow me to share my schedule
  • Buttons to share conference session info to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
  • RSS feed for the conference hashtag
  • Photo album of photos taken and tagged by conference attendees
  • Social check-ins and special offers for app users
  • App updates to help me plan for the 2012 conference

AAA App Nav

Interesting Concept, Worth Improving

I like  the idea of a conference app. How do you make a conference app valuable to attendees, presenters, and vendors?

I would encourage conferences to build an app that attendees would learn about before the conference, have a reason and a chance to use before the conference, and continue to engage with attendees through the app after the conference.

Have you used a conference app? Which features were useful? 


By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.