MWC survival guide: ten top tips for 2017

Georgina Greenspan

25 Feb 2016

We’ve only just landed back in sunny (ahem) London from Barcelona after Mobile World Congress and we’re already thinking about how to improve things next year, so here are our top ten tips for the show whether you’re an exhibitor, an organiser, a PR or a journalist:


  1. Don’t wear flats; wear trainers

You probably already know this, but you walk at a trade show the size of MWC. I mean, you walk a lot. We’ve always gone with the premise that flats work, but actually that doesn’t even stop your feet hurting. Invest in some comfortable trainers and switch to something else when you reach (or are close to) your destination. Your weary legs will thank you come day four.


  1. Don’t get hangry!

There is never not a queue and let’s be honest, the food isn’t all that great. If you’re prone to bouts of hanger, we recommend investing in a snack pack. Your colleagues will thank you. And don’t forget water too – with coffee, beer and soft drinks on offer it’s easy to forget, but having some on you will help you keep at least a little rehydrated.


  1. Get roaming

Because, unfortunately, the wi-fi is still pretty flaky (we’re being nice; it was bad). If you’re going to need to be connected to the office or just the world outside the Fira, or even if you just want to get into a pun battle on Twitter and you don’t want to be stung with a big old bill, we’d recommend it.


  1. Get a portable charger (or two)

We would have learnt this the hard way on the first day had it not been for our lovely client (hat tip Fujitsu). Your phone will run out before your first coffee break. Your laptop probably will too. Be prepared with chargers and adaptors. And have a portable charger as a back-up; plug sockets are rare.


  1. Plan ahead

Which brings us nicely on to – planning! We should all be past masters at this, particularly PRs who spend most of their time pre-MWC organising their clients, but think about what you want to do there. Want to win new business – know who is there, where they are and who you need to talk to. Want to go talks – make sure you’ve got time scheduled for them. And always schedule in the walking time, it’s the difference between on-time and missing the meeting at the Fira.


  1. Actually talk to people – novel huh?

Might seem like an obvious one this, but you’d be surprised by how many people are on their phones the whole time. We had the most fun with the people we met along the way, from clients we’d never met face-to-face to the person we met on the flight and bumped into three times. Sit with a stranger and have lunch. Chat to people in bars. It’s fun.


  1. Don’t be teeny, be platinum

Now this is going to be controversial and GSMA may not thank me for it, but I think there’s a lot to be said about this approach. Consider this, you can spend your money on a tiny stand or alternatively just buy a platinum pass and have access to the executive networking rooms, the talks and the events. Doing that will give you access to a wider pool of people and force you to point 6.


  1. Go to events

Yes the conference is important, but so is everything else around it. From drinks with journalists to Swedish Beers, get out there and mingle! Sure you might be a little “tired” the next day, but you wouldn’t be making the most of Mobile World Congress if you weren’t.


  1. Have some FUN

We invented Mobile World Bingo while we were there (post coming soon) and you’ll see what we mean. It might be work, but it doesn’t have to be boring!


  1. Oh, and be nice.

We know you’re busy. We know you’ve got a meeting to get to. So does everyone else at the show. Don’t be that person who shoves and pushes. Be the person who smiles and is helpful. After all you never know who it is you’re pushing out of the way.