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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

My BlackBerry and Conference Coverage

Published November 16, 2010 2:57 PM by Kelly Graham
For the past year I've been saying, "As soon as my BlackBerry dies, I'm downgrading to a basic cell phone just for calling and texting." I can admit that I really do love my pink BlackBerry Pearl and it's multitude of functions sure are useful-but sometimes I just hate being constantly connected in so many ways.

However, Thursday morning I'll board an airplane to head to San Jose, CA, for the Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting and Exhibits, and while I'm there, that BlackBerry will be all but glued to my hand-and I'll be completely grateful the whole time.

As an ADVANCE reader, you're probably familiar with the comprehensive coverage we provide from many of the major industry meetings. You may have noticed that the extent of the coverage has grown exponentially from just a couple of years ago. Not surprisingly, that growth corresponds to the time I hopped on board with the smartphone revolution.

Now, instead of hoping to catch an available computer with free Internet once or twice a day to check any urgent e-mails, I set up my account before leaving to have all e-mails forwarded right to me. If I forget a booth number or the name of the person I'm meeting with, I can pull up an old e-mail and double check. I pull up the meeting program on my phone to check which session I want to head to next. I can even take a photo and upload it directly to the ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory Facebook page.

The notepad function is used to type out a quick blog post, which I'll then e-mail to a colleague to post for me. My travel itinerary and hotel confirmation number are all accessible in my BlackBerry and I can use it to look up the closest sushi restaurant for dinner.

All of this means it's not nearly as overwhelming to get back to the office--I've stayed on top of my e-mails and kept conference coverage up to date.

It's safe to say my smartphone has revolutionized the way I attend and cover conferences. What about you? How does your iPhone, Droid or other smartphone make your life easier when you're away from home?

posted by Kelly Graham

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