It’s that time of year again! Mobile World Congress (MWC) is back in full force this year, with some of the most prominent brands and thought leaders in the mobile and telecoms industry descending on Barcelona. As trade shows go, it’s one of the biggest – and can 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, with all attendees needing to pre-register online and validate their identity. Exact instructions on how to do so can be found here. In a first for this year, there will be no support center at the entrance of the venue. Instead badges for the event will be digital-only and accessible through your mobile phone – however you can always opt to print it out at home if you prefer.
At time of writing, unlike last year there are currently no restrictions on entry or requirements to test. However, it is worth regularly checking, as well as the entry requirements travelling to Spain.
Have food and water on hand
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 a portable charging device to MWC
You should ensure your mobile device is fully charged each day, but that might not be enough if you’re checking emails, taking photos or 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
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 MWC 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.