Top ten tips for a successful Mobile World Congress 2013

Last updated: 20 March 2014

It’s back! Those of us in the mobile industry and, increasingly, in the banking, consumer tech, start-up, VC, and even retail sectors, are turning our attention to one of the biggest calendar events of the year – Mobile World Congress.

Last year we shared our survivors’ tips for the show; below are our top ten tips on how to make this year as successful a show as possible:

  1. Check the venue location – as simplistic as it sounds, do double check you know where you’re going. The show has moved to a new venue, Fira Gran Via, which is slightly outside Barcelona. Don’t sleepwalk to the old venue, make sure you know where you’re going and get there on time!
  2. Travel smart – Barcelona has plenty of buses, a Metro system (although it doesn’t connect directly with the new venue), trains and many cabs. Leave enough time to get to the new venue, especially on the first day.
  3. Be methodical in your approach – in the words of Ewan MacLeod of Mobile Industry Review, ‘it’s huge!’ Walking from Hall 1 to Hall 8 can take up to 16 minutes to traverse. Plan which companies and stands you’re going to visit and when, and combine trips to certain halls to save precious time.
  4. Combine travel with networking – why not save time (on queuing for cabs) and money, by sharing taxi journeys to and from the venue with other delegates? You never know who you might meet and they could be a potential prospect or influencer.
  5. What technology to bring – your cell phone, tablet device or laptop, chargers (and European adaptors), business cards – although, with the latest NFC technology, these may soon be redundant!) – and spare batteries for your devices. There are few areas where you can charge your devices so plan ahead.
  6. What else to bring – comfortable shoes, there’ll be a lot of walking, clothes for all weather eventualities (previous conferences have seen stunning blue skies and sunshine but a bitterly cold wind, interspersed with warm weather, persistent rain, etc), hand sanitizer and throat lozenges to see you through the week-long conference and long days and nights spent shaking hands with people and talking loudly over music and other conversations in bars.
  7. Register in advance for networking events – there are plenty, especially out of hours and away from the actual venue, but they book up quickly. Many are listed on @Technokitten’s blog as part of the Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival that she started last year, and which has proven a major success.
  8. Stay safe – as more and more attendees descend upon Barcelona for Mobile World Congress each year, there are more and more opportunities for thieves and pickpockets to take advantage of all the devices they are carrying. As ever, the same advice still stands: remove your badge when outside the venue, avoid using your devices when on a darkly lit street, resist hugs from groups of strangers who use the close proximity to lift your wallet out of your pocket, and behave as you would in any large city.
  9. What not to forget – your mobile device! Five years ago, David Murphy of Mobile Marketing Magazine summarized the show with some interesting statistics. These included that 75% of attendees in 2008 owned more than one mobile device, however, 2% had left theirs at home!
  10. Recreating MWC at home – finally, if you’re not going to Mobile World Congress this year, follow all the news on Twitter through #MWC13 or @GemaltoTelecoms, and why not do your own mobile industry networking like the Not at MWC 2013 event in London or create your own event in whichever city you are in.

I look forward to seeing you in Barcelona in the new venue. Come and see us on Hall 5 Stand 5G120 and keep your eyes peeled for a few exciting activities we’ll be hosting during MWC13 itself.

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