I’m gearing up for my first-ever visit to the illustrious Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, and I’m wondering what my debut appearance at the event will have in store. Should I be excited to be reporting from one of the world’s largest and most reputable trade events, or, as some have warned, will I find it long, exhausting and very tough-going?
The manic already began weeks ago, as my phone has not stopped ringing with company PR representatives pitching meetings with spokespeople who will be at the event. It appears that every company with a stand at the event in Barcelona wants to arrange briefings with Telecoms.com and share their news about products, strategies or deals that they’ve signed. This, of course, is great news for us; the team takes pride in being the go-to site for the industry to come to for their daily helping of news, interviews and events that take place during Mobile World Congress. But, looking at my schedule, I’m wondering when I can pencil in time to breathe.
The city of Barcelona is one that I’ve been privileged enough to visit a few times over the years, but never during MWC. I’ve been told that the Catalan capital takes on a very different identity for the duration of the event. There are horror stories doing the rounds about pickpockets, scammers and all types of illicit activity in Barcelona during MWC. There is even a website dedicated to the tricks that some of the local crooks pull over the week, warning attendees of what they need to look out for. And to add to all of that this year, it seems that things will be even more frenzied with the Catalan public transport service staff threatening to go on strike for the duration of the event. It seems the transport staff in Catalonia have been taking tips from their counterparts here in London, where they time strikes perfectly to cause as much inconvenience to the general public as possible.
There’s also the wifi service, or lack thereof, which a number of people have now warned me about. Is it really true that the world’s premier mobile technology event doesn’t ever have adequate wifi coverage? I’m expecting many of the keynotes and presentations made at the event to be based around the fact that smartphones are growing massively in popularity and how imperative it is for operators to support the huge growth in data usage that comes with the proliferation of such devices. So how ironic it would be that the event itself would not tackle the same issues that it is warning operators about?
And if what is being said about the wifi coverage is true, writing articles from the event and posting them here on Telecoms.com for all of you to read is not looking like it will be easy. At this stage, it’s looking like reporting from the event will be a real challenge.
However, despite all of the horror stories, I’m determined to derive as much from the event as possible, and in order to do that, I’m relying on you, our readers. Given that I’m relatively new to the world of telecoms, what I’m hoping for most is to meet as many of you as possible.
For a journalist, meeting people in the industry is a real joy. I want to know your thoughts on the coverage we provide on Telecoms.com and how you feel about our bi-monthly publication MCI. It’s also great to learn about the news and gossip about what’s happening in the industry, your views on the trends that are shaping the market and what you’ve taken away from the event.
In fact, if you catch me on the Wednesday afternoon, when I’ll be with our camerawoman, we’re looking to speak to as many people as possible to find out what your views are on 2012’s MWC event, on camera, and you’ll be able to watch back in our ‘TV interviews’ section after the show.
So if you are attending the event, and you recognise me from my mugshot, do feel free to come over for a chat. I’m sure it will be a most welcome break from the mayhem I fully expect to witness at the show.