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Why MWC is like a four-day rave

Posted by Helen Gough - February 11, 2016

Here we go again…the mobile industry’s biggest get-together is set to open its big Fira doors in just two weeks’ time.

For some this conjures up excited anticipation, time spent with old friends, and the chance to hear the hottest news first. For others, it just means bucket loads of sweat from the collars of eager sales teams and marketers alike.

As anyone who has attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in the past will tell first-timers – you’re going to feel battered by the end of the week.  You’ll never see Barcelona in the same way again, you’ll master how to recite the same conversation with each person you meet, and that flight home will just be a bit of a blur.

Familiar feeling? Here’s why apart from the months of hard work and nail biting, MWC is actually one big party.

Bright lights, big noise

That first day walking into the Fira Gran Via is always a jaw dropper – bright lights, visual effects, loud base tones and, in some cases, performances that wouldn’t look out of place on a Vegas stage.

Who can forget the CBOSS girls (ahem)? As brands compete head to head from the same halls, the buzz is apparent and inspiring. Where to go first? If you have the time get on one of the MWC tours, or pre-plan the MUST see stands and conference sessions, as it is easy to get distracted.

Are you on trend?

The show’s official theme for 2016 is ‘Mobile is Everything’ and this is very much reflected in the diverse span of topics covered in the event’s conference panel sessions.

Common topics in the programme cover everything from big data, devices and financial services to broader topics such as connecting the unconnected, emerging markets, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things, mobile identity and privacy, network evolution and security. And for those looking to claim the limelight, the IoT is most prevalent, with security and privacy following closely behind.

We met in the queue

There is still nothing more satisfying than breezing past the long queue for the GENTS. Yes ladies, the only place in the world you can get into the toilet in half the time. Whilst the line of men snakes down the concourse, saved time in the restroom provides ample opportunity to partake in bizarre toilet chat; “do you have a spare Compeed?”, “how can we get into the Google party?” and “isn’t Zuckerberg looking hot?”

Avoiding party poopers

Yes GSMWC and 3GSM veterans, we are talking about you. The pace of mobile innovation has never been so fast, yet the buzzkill still echoes in the halls “it’s not like the glory days of Cannes”. Avoid.

Party pooper two is your outfit choice. You’ll be on your feet all day and night, so this is not the place for high heels and heavy suits. And anyone that has attempted the travellator up to Hall 8 will be able to tell you all about the blisters. Ouch!

Don’t forget to hide your pass, multiple phones and tablets when you’re outside the Fira. Barcelona’s pickpockets see this time of year as a goldmine – especially if they manage to get their hands on the new device being unveiled…oh wait…

After the after-party

As the on-stand drinks dry up, the parties conclude and the after-party wraps – where to next?

Savvy attendees will have a few options up their sleeve, Dahhling. Keep your ears open throughout the event and if in doubt check out one of the helpful online MWC party guides. Networking sessions like these present many a business opportunity, so it’s worth taking the time to know what’s happening and where.

Re-live the highlights

The mighty show daily has evolved to epic proportions. As well as the glossy magazines and web content, the Mobile World Live TV service is broadcast live to 90,000 event attendees through gigantic monitors strategically located within the Fira Gran Via.

Needing a respite, or sitting comfortably back in the UK? Keep up with the highlights, live streaming of ALL the keynotes and Suzi Perry’s GLOMO awards via a dedicated channel that reaches 24,000 hotel rooms in Barcelona, on the MWC app or via

Make sure you check back to the Octopus Group blog between February 22nd to 25th for our round-up of the show’s best bits.

Images via and  GIF via GIPHY

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