SBL Chicago in a mobile app

If you’re checking in for information on Corinth sessions at the Society of Biblical Literature conference in Chicago, you might look at my post from September. There you will find paper titles organized by day and time with session numbers.

But if you have a mobile device, I’d recommend starting with the SBL conference app. You can get it here. I didn’t attend the conference in 2011 so am not sure whether the app is an improvement on last year’s version, but this app is extremely intuitive, with features to organize, schedule, search, and take notes on papers, among others. This will allow me to leave at home the 500 page program book and bring instead a tool that is a more effective guide. Here is the blurb on the app in the recent email that was sent to conference attendees:

“SBL is committed to being on the leading edge with innovative new event technology and to offering attendees an exceptional program experience. After last year’s successful launch in San Francisco, we will again provide a Mobile Meeting Guide powered by EventPilot Plus. This mobile app provides members with a technically-reliable, intuitive, and functional solution. Download the mobile meeting app via
At no cost, this mobile app provides attendees with:

  • The entire event program, including AAR, SBL, and Additional Meetings sessions
  • Exhibitor information, including an interactive Exhibit Hall map
  • Maps of the Annual Meetings hotels and Convention Center
  • Find-a-Friend functionality to allow you to locate your colleagues
  • Information about Chicago restaurants, attractions, and nightlife
  • Ability to add sessions and personal events to your Annual Meetings Calendar
  • And more!

Attendees will be able to create and customize their own schedule, make notes about sessions, and share information and their schedule with colleagues and friends via built-in social networking. Because EventPilot Plus features an intuitive offline program that is native to Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices, there is no waiting for schedule downloads or web pages to load and no dealing with slow or nonexistent Wi-Fi connections. Schedule changes are downloaded in the background, allowing attendees immediate access to event information. A similar web-based app will be accessible via Blackberry and personal computers.”


The app provides instant results (without internet connection) for keyword and author searches on paper titles and abstracts. Here is a screenshot of the results for Corinth:


Clicking on a session brings up all the papers. You can add the session instantly to your calendar, take notes, and locate it on a plan of McCormick Place (again, with no need for internet connection).


My schedule for Saturday. If you touch the session, it takes you to the papers.


Touching a paper title brings up the abstract, and again, another opportunity to take notes.


This is a nice product, and I hope that other large conferences like the AIA – APA will follow. The rogueclassicist raises the same point.

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