While it is still a good six months until the next Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona next February, the truth is that to really make the most of it, you need to start preparing now. The GSMA is the world’s leading agency charged with organising the Mobile World Congress at the end of February every year. After last year’s competitive city bidding for host status, GSMA announced that Barcelona had retained the rights and the privilege to become the world’s first Mobile City. After getting to know congress participants staying at our apartments in previous years, we were thrilled that the Mobile World Congress in 2012 will be a turning point for Barcelona, as the city settles into a relationship that will now span at least the next 6 years.
For participants planning to attend next year’s industry event, Barcelona’s positioning is worth taking into consideration. You can leverage off the city to foster your own potential growth in the fast-moving, eternally power-shifting world of mobile technologies. One of the great inspirations of this sector is the speed of change and the ease with which entrenched players are usurped by newcomers, and newcomers can rise to become key stakeholders based on their innovation, strive, technical capacity and creative charm. The mobile industry is the great leveller for anyone with a passion for the world of mobile tech and cloud-based apps and with a willingness to maintain a stance of lifelong learning.
That is why six months in advance is the ideal time to start preparing your Mobile World Congress gameplan and to start building a strategy so you can be sure that, amongst the 60,000 plus participants expected next year, your voice will be heard and you will connect with the networks and world players with whom you believe you can build an ongoing future relationship.
Here’s our few tips on getting started …
* Consider visiting Barcelona for a cheap weekend getaway in the next few months. Plan to acquaint yourself with the city and identify some special locations where you can lead your network targets if you need to be able to suggest a late night meal, or to show a colleague a spectacular view of the city. The mobile apps industry in Barcelona also has a new generational energy to it, and you could begin building local relationships now enabling you to introduce your Barcelona networks to your worldwide industry networking targets. The Barcelona local government has invested in building strong design and ICT startup industries here, and the chance to tap into a source of optimistic energy that matches your own will be its own reward beyond the connections and links you can make when you return for Mobile World Congress.
* There is still time to submit a paper if you have the intention of speaking at the event. Organisers recently extended the closing deadline til the 8th of September so if you have a half-polished submission, maybe you should revisit it now and seek to share your insights on the world stage.
* If that is too daunting or still a year or two away from being part of your career path, take the time now to survey the GSMA websites and sign up to the relevant media channels. As you would expect, there are Facebook, Twitter and Linked In groups to subscribe or follow, an email signup, and in coming months GSMA will commence its 2012 networking programs including the app developer centre and the “MyMWC” platform.
* Review who attended last year and make contact with Mobile World Congress veterans who can share their advice on how to navigate the industry intensity of this event. Ask what they appreciated about Barcelona and how they would make more use of the city as a resource next year.
* While there is still some time before you need to lock in a booking, start to consider your accommodation options. Of course, we’re going to recommend a Barcelona apartments stay, but we’re biased: this is how we like to travel, especially for business events where there is a high level of focus across the congress days. We appreciate having our own space to stretch out, perhaps cook a meal, spread out our plans and papers, invite back a colleague for a quieter chat, and feel more as if we have a home base rather than be trapped in a single room with a giant bed in the middle and a slightly musty carpet smell, as is so often the case with a hotel room.
Since the Mobile World Congress finishes on a Thursday, we hope you are able to set aside a few more days and explore Barcelona by staying on for the weekend, or at least until the Sunday. There is good reason why GSMA chose Barcelona and why so many other conference organisers also select this city for their events. It is friendly, safe, easy to get around, stunning, and reliably mild in its climate. The creative energy of the city will help you process your conference experience and help you make novel new connections and insights into the future that awaits you.
At Enjoy Apartments, we were both excited and proud when Barcelona was announced as World Mobile City and we are keen to support all delegates who come to World Mobile Congress, whether they plan to stay in one of our apartments or whether they have alternative MWC accommodation.
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