POLITICS

The conventions: There's an app for that

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

Mitt Romney isn't the only one getting app happy this summer. (He's supposedly announcing his Veep choice via Smartphone app). Several companies have recently launched apps to help Washingtonians traveling to Tampa and Charlotte for the conventions to make the experience more of a breeze. Here are some of the most exciting features each app includes:

The Ticket Master -- On Thursday night, Bloomberg Government and Event Farm hosted a small cocktail party on Capitol Hill to announce their joint venture -- convention apps My2012Tampa and My2012Charlotte. Event Farm co-founder Ryan Costello explained how at conventions past, the logistics of distributing and swapping tickets for the hundreds of parties, happy hours, lunches, etc., was often a logistical mess. "How do we get people to be able to distribute and transfer tickets in a more digital and electronic way?" he asked. The app does just that. Once folks are signed up with Event Farm, the app builds a schedule of users RSVPs, allowing the them to swap tickets, while also alerting them, using their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, which of their friends is coming too. "The app actually gives you arrival alerts when people actually check in at events," Costello said.

The News and Transportation Wiz -- The folks at National Journal and the Atlantic debuted their convention app at the end of July, called RE:CON. This app provides users with scheduling information, breaking news and photos, but also -- for the ease of reporters and delegates alike -- it includes contact info for many of the key players and also lists where each state's delegates are staying in each city. The National Journal's 2012 Convention Director Ory Rinat also told Yeas & Nays that they plan to link up their app with Uber, the popular town car service that launched in D.C. last December, which will help convention attendees get from party to party. "What the app is going to let you do, even if you don't have the Uber app on your phone, you can open Uber through our app," Rinat explained.

The Welcome Wagon -- Lastly, Tampa Bay Online, or TBO.com, has launched an RNC 2012 Visitors Guide in app form. While it doesn't have many of the bells and whistles that the other apps have, it does have lists of things to do, maps of Tampa, news and, most importantly, weather.

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Nikki Schwab

Staff Reporter - Yeas & Nays
The Washington Examiner