Philadelphia Flower Show app review

Phila. Flower Show splash screen

We know what flower shows can be like: Amidst the beauty, our feet ache, we strug­gle to carry our pur­chases, and try to find the near­est restroom or a way­ward friend. An app designed for atten­dees is incred­i­bly handy. After all, we already have our smart­phones out to take pictures.

The Philadel­phia Flower Show runs from March 2 through 10, 2013. It’s well-known to be the world’s longest-running flower show. And it’s also the world’s largest, with 33 indoor acres alone. What bet­ter show to have an app of its own?

The app is free and avail­able now for the iPhone/iPad, Android, mobile web, and desk­top. When you start the app for the first time, you’re asked to reg­is­ter. You can run the app as a guest, but if you reg­is­ter by enter­ing your email address, what­ever you save in the app (Favorites, notes, etc). will be synced across all your mobile (and desk­top) devices.

After the reg­is­tra­tion screen, you get to choose among six options: Attrac­tions, Sched­ule, Maps & Show Info, PHS 365, Deals & Spon­sors, and My Show.

Phila. Flower Show home screen

Attrac­tions menu

Click­ing the Attrac­tions but­ton takes you to the Attrac­tions submenu.

Attractions

Here you’ll find the Exhibitors of the 2013 show listed by main cat­e­gories, such as “Dis­play Gar­den – Flo­ral” and “Plant Societies.”

Exhibitor categories

Click­ing on one of these links yields spe­cific exhibitors…

Exhibitors

…and click­ing fur­ther shows the Details page, con­tain­ing the exhibitors’ con­tact infor­ma­tion and a descrip­tion of the exhibit.

Exhibitor details

Most impor­tant of all is the exhibit’s loca­tion (such as “Show Floor Hall B Rear”) which, when clicked, will take you to a handy map sec­tion of the flower show floor. I call it a map sec­tion because it’s just one piece of an over­all map. It won’t zoom in on a booth, but instead present just a screen­ful of a very large over­all floor map. You can zoom in on the screen for a closer look. I was expect­ing the abil­ity to see an entire floor by using the left/right but­tons at the top of the map page, but as of this writ­ing, the but­tons don’t function.

Regard­ing the but­tons, here’s an expla­na­tion from Bravura Tech­nolo­gies, the app devel­oper: “The Left/Stop/Right but­tons on the browser view is the way it works on Apple—its default but­tons that come up on any browser view from within the app and can­not be dis­abled pro­gram­mat­i­cally. What it is meant to do is, if you have a link within the page you are view­ing and you click on that, then you can go back to the pre­vi­ous page. For exam­ple, if you go to PHS Blog, then click on some link within that page and nav­i­gate to another page, then the pre­vi­ous (left) but­ton will allow you to go back to the pre­vi­ous PHS Blog page.”

Exhibitor map - portrait with buttons

Exhibitor map

Rather than use the pre-chosen cat­e­gories, a search fea­ture lets you type in any par­tic­u­lar inter­est (such as “Rhodo­den­drons”) and you’ll be pre­sented with a list of exhibitors with that inter­est area in their descriptions.

Add an exhibitor to your Favorites list from an exhibitor’s Detail page for retrieval later on (more on Favorites in just a bit).

Shop­ping is sim­i­lar to Exhibitors, with con­tact, booth info, and a Favorites but­ton. Round­ing out Attrac­tions is Flower Show Fun, with con­tests, sur­veys, and trivia games, and a Twit­ter feed of the lat­est tweets from @PhilaFlowerShow.

Sched­ule menu

You can see all the goings-on by Track or Date, or use Search to find some­thing spe­cific. When you find some­thing you like, click “Add to My Sched­ule” on the Detail page and it’ll appear under “My Schedule.”

Schedule

You won’t be able to see your entire sched­ule on a sin­gle screen, though; so if you know you saved some­thing and you see “No infor­ma­tion avail­able,” scroll through your saved events using the blue but­tons at the top. Your events are only saved on the day they are held. This could work to your favor if you know you’ll only be able to attend a sin­gle day and have to pack a lot into your trip. Save to your heart’s con­tent, then scroll through the days to see which day has filled up the most.

Maps and Show Info menu

This sec­tion con­tains how to get tick­ets, where to eat, mem­ber and vis­i­tor services—lost & found, ATM machines, coat check, auto emer­gen­cies, hand stamp­ing pro­ce­dure, allowed photo equip­ment, stroller info—all the nitty-gritty details you’d expect to find at any con­ven­tion of this size. Also included are fur­ther details about pro­grams and spe­cial events. You’ll also find twelve over­all maps of the show floor, ball­room, Philadel­phia, etc. which will help in get­ting oriented.

Ballroom map

PHS 365 menu

Con­nect with the Penn­syl­va­nia Hor­ti­cul­ture Soci­ety on this menu. They spon­sor pro­grams “365 days a year,” not just this one show! Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is the “Gar­den­ing Infor­ma­tion” sec­tion, where you’ll find rec­om­mended book lists, sub­ject guides, and the unique “Ask a gar­dener.” Type in your gar­den­ing ques­tion and a list of fre­quently asked ques­tions will appear. If you don’t see the answer, you can fill out a form and sub­mit your question.

Ask a gardener

Deals & Sponsors

This menu lists the flower show spon­sors with spe­cial deals offered by PHS, the exhibitors, or the city of Philadel­phia itself. Try search­ing for a deal, such as “ticket” or “tour,” and see what comes up.

My Show

Here’s a short­cut to My Sched­ule that you cre­ated under the Sched­ule menu. You’ll also find your saved Favorites – and you can even add per­sonal, to-do type stuff to the list. As of this writ­ing, there’s noth­ing listed under Announce­ments, but there likely will be as it gets closer to the show date.

My Show

My Favorites

Over­all, the Philadel­phia Flower Show app is a handy ref­er­ence that is well worth the download—well before you attend the show—to help plan your trip.

Have fun at the show!

Direct down­loads to the Philadel­phia Flower Show app:

iTunes for iPhone/iPad
Google Play for Android
Web app
Desk­top app


The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
I’m the “Leaf­mas­ter” for Leafport.com — Gar­den apps for mobile devices. I’m an avid gar­dener and com­puter geek, and com­bine the two hob­bies as often as possible.

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Comments

  1. Excel­lent review! I’m so look­ing for­ward to the show. I can’t wait to use the app at the show.

  2. This blog warms my heart. The future is in hand­held devices for infor­ma­tion but alas no Android app. yet for weeding

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