Some conference organisers see apps and abstract management in isolation. The necessity of gathering abstracts is clear but the app is often an afterthought.
But these are the two ends of what is, basically, a publishing process. Abstracts are submitted, collated, reviewed and accepted… and then what? They must be published to the conference delegates either in print or, nowadays, as an app.
It's vital to have this in mind from the beginning and make sure that your data is held in a format that allows it to be used for different purposes. Ideally you should keep your abstracts and programme in a database and generate your publications from there in whatever format you need, print or electronic. Even Excel will do as a data store.
All too often we are offered a PDF of the conference programme for loading into the app. Maybe there was a spreadsheet or database at some stage in the process but final changes are all too often made directly in a PDF. Unfortunately PDFs may look very nice but there's no good way to extract the information in a usable format - table structures collapse, words move around... it's a mess.
Get us involved earlier in the process, not at the end. Our scheduling software will help you keep the programme structure up to date and it will generate a styled Word document that you can use as the basis for your printed programme.
Or, of course, abandon the printed programme entirely and just use the app.