What is in this article?:
Special event professionals share their thoughts on the virtues of smartphones versus tablets, along with inventions they wish existed and old-school tools such as paper calendars they will never abandon.
What was an event professional's life like before smartphones and tablets? Most of us don’t want to remember.
According to the latest online poll from Special Events, 66 percent of event professionals love their smartphones and tablets equally well. A total of 21 percent love their smartphones more, while 11 percent say they love their tablets more.
For those who love their phones, it's because they are, well, phones.
GET THE MESSAGE Tony Conway, CMP, CEO of Atlanta-based caterer A Legendary Event, loves his iPhone 5 "much better" than his tablet, thanks to its ability to make calls and send texts. "I could, however, use a much larger battery source," he notes.
By far and away, the ability of smartphones to handle the Big 3 communication modes—calls, emails and texts—makes them the No. 1 choice of planners. And, they're so very portable.
"Calls, texts and emails are used equally for my mode of communication," explains Jocelyn Flanagan, CSEP, CEO of E=MC2 Events, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. "My smartphone is small and fits in my pocket, so it is convenient."
But the larger screen of the tablet has its fans.
Because the tablet is bigger, "I can work faster, and it doesn't get on my nerves," says Deborah Worrall, sommelier at Le Pichet, Charlo, New Brunswick.
"I like both my smartphone and my tablet for different reasons," says Kathy Miller, CEO of Total Event Resources of Schaumburg, Ill. "I love my smartphone when I’m out and about because it’s so easy to access, and I love my tablet when I’m traveling, because it’s so much simpler to use the tablet to answer emails, to use it at conferences when you want to take notes, and to stay connected to the office."
Mary Ann Reilly, founder of Las Vegas-based MA Special Events, thinks she's found the perfect marriage of smartphone and tablet—the bigger-than-a-phone-but-smaller-than-a-tablet Sumsung Note 3.
"Everything about it is fabulous," she says. "It has a memory that is amazing so that when I start to type a phrase, it automatically remembers if I have said it before. The voice recognition is amazing and rarely makes mistakes when sending a text or email. The built-in camera is much better than my last Android. I use it for text, email, photos. Now, if it could only cook dinner … "