It’s back! After two years of pandemic restrictions, one of the largest and most influential events in the mobile connectivity industry resumes in Barcelona.
After two years of Zoom conferences and postponed events, it will be overwhelming even for the most experienced of attendees. With this is mind we’ve pulled together an MWC survival guide – whether it’s your first time, or you’re a MWC veteran.
It’s always been a stringent process to register for MWC, and Covid-19 has only increased the steps you need to take before attending. The GSMA have outlined here very clear guidelines on how to register for your badge, plus requirements on testing and vaccination certificates. And, if you’re a Brit on your first post-Brexit trip to Spain, don’t forget you need at least six months left on your passport.
Don’t forget the right face masks
MWC event organisers have stated that it is mandatory to wear a face mask that “complies with all applicable event regulations”. They have dubbed acceptable face masks as:
Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFP2) masks, without a valve, satisfying European Standard EN 149:2001 and bearing the CE mark.
Surgical masks and cloth face masks are NOT deemed acceptable.
Those without the correct face mask (who don’t have exemption) may be denied entry – so it’s best to stock up and have some spare.
Have food and water on hand
In Barcelona you won’t struggle to find great dining options in the city, and there’s plenty on site in the Fira to choose from. However, the days (and queues) can be long, and you might find yourself running from one meeting or talk to another at the last minute. Keep a bottle of water on you at all times, and some snacks to tide you over depending on how busy your timetable is during the day.
Create a team WhatsApp group
Whether you’re on the ground yourself or managing people who are there in person – it’s a good idea to create a team WhatsApp group. For those last-minute questions, or simply to communicate how it’s going – it’ll be less of a headache than managing several email chains.
Bring an energy pack
It goes without saying that you should ensure your mobile device is fully charged each day, but that might not be enough if you’re checking emails, taking photos, recording a meeting. There are charger ports in the venue, but never enough to go around. To be safe, bring a fully charged energy pack with you so you don’t get caught short.
Wear comfortable shoes
This is something that every past MWC attendee will attest to. It’s a 20-minute walk from one side of the Fira conference centre to the other, and you could easily find yourself clocking north of 20,000 steps in a single day.
Leave time in between meetings
As stated above, the Fira is big – and busy. Where possible try and leave in at least a half hour buffer time between meetings to ensure you’re not having to run from one end of the Fira to another.
Keep your valuables safe
Barcelona is a great city, but it’s notorious for pick-pocketing – and the thousands of visitors attending a technology conference is a tempting target. Keep your possessions close to you, and don’t flash your valuables outside of the venue. To that end, make sure that all your devices are secured with secure and complex passwords – if not two-factor authentication.
Book in advance
If you’re looking for evening entertainment, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Barcelona. However, with some 40-60,000 people expected to flock to the city this year – it’d be wise to book restaurants or entertainment in advance to avoid disappointment (and to avoid pacing up and down the Ramblas to find an free table).
Don’t forget to explore Barcelona
No matter where you are in the world, most conference centres look the same – and it’s easy to forget where you are. Barcelona is a bustling, cosmopolitan city – famous for its art, architecture, and food. Before you fly home try and catch some of the sights if you can.
Drop by and say hello
We’ve been at the show for many years, so come by the booth (Hall 2 – Stand 2J30) for the latest in trusted mobile and IoT solutions, or just for a rest and a chat. If you want a preview, or can’t make it to the show then take a look over here.