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January 28th, 2016

The MWC16 Planning Guide

It’s getting close to Mobile World Congress once again. 4 days of walking the enormous congress halls, talking and meeting with people, having your pockets full of business cards, plus the thousands of press releases, networking events, dinners and parties.

What & When

MWC is the biggest industry event for mobility in the world. Anyone in charge of mobility at a major operator/carrier, mobile device manufacturer, retailer, bank, travel company, healthcare institution or manufacturer needs to be represented. All the C-level executives come together as well as scouts, business developers, app developers, sales people, marketers, procurement representatives, entrepreneurs and IT directors for a once in a year opportunity to meet, network and see what’s going on. For the 11th year in a row MWC will take place in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona on 22-25 of February.

Why Should You Go?

The theme of the event is “Mobile Is Everything” and that probably says it all. If you want to know what’s going on in mobile, then this is the place. However, with close to 100,000 people attending, the chances of you stumbling into the people you really want to meet are fairly slim. Therefore, you need to set your objectives, plan and prepare at least 2-4 weeks in advance when people start locking down their schedules. Here’s all you need to know to get prepared for the event.

The Exhibition

Mobile World Congress is huge. It takes about 20 min to walk rapidly from hall 1 to hall 8. This means that you need to plan your meetings and floor walks well or else you will be running around in panic.

There are no particular themes for the halls other than hall 8.1 (App Planet) but here’s an indicative overview:

Hall 1: Huawei, Acer, NTT Docomo – close to the entrance but you are unlikely to spend much time here.
Hall 2: Ericsson (huge hall with guided tours if you sign up), Ooredoo, Etisalat and Google – apart from this, hall 2 mostly consists of meeting rooms.
Hall 3: Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Lenovo, Intel and the GSMA Pavilion – main hall for the device manufacturers and the biggest stands.
Hall 4: GSMA Conference + Facebook, Intel and GE Digital – this is where the conference is going on with keynotes and more.
Hall 5: Mastercard, Fujitsu, Gemalto and HP – broad mix of smaller exhibitors
Hall 6: VISA, Vodafone, Wiko and Panasonic – broad mix of smaller exhibitors
Hall 7: NFC & Mobile Money Pavilion, Green Technology Pavilion, HTC and GoPro – mostly country pavilions
Hall 8: IoT Pavilion and Graphene – broad mix of smaller exhibitors targeting developers and enterprises
Hall 8.1: App Planet Pavilion, Mobile Cloud Pavilion, Google, AoL and Twitter – broad mix of app related start-ups targeting developers

App Planet (Hall 8.1)
Graphene (Hall 8)
Green Technology (Hall 7)
GSM Innovation City (Hall 3)
Internet of Things (IoT) (Hall 8)
Mobile Cloud (Hall 8.1)
NFC & Mobile Money (Hall 7)
Wearables (between halls 6 and 7)

Key Trends

Last year the predominant topics were 5G, the Internet of Things, mobile advertising, OTT Services, wearables and enterprise mobility security.

The hot topics to look out for this year are:

  • Chat/Messaging Chat applications such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Line continue to disrupt mobile messaging and voice
  • Internet of Things More real solutions, hardware and proven software to keep devices secure and manageable
  • Security With 1/3 of Fortune 500 companies getting “hacked” in 2015 this will continue to be big
  • Payments and Digital Wallet All the major payment providers will be here
  • Mobile Workforce This is coming back as a theme again
  • Big, and Small, Data plus AI Analytics, algorithms, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and self-learning will be a big discussion

The official agenda is set by the GSMA members to a great extent which means that a lot of the keynotes and agenda is focused on telecom operators but the buzz and discussions will be around above trends.


Finally, we get to the most commonly asked question of them all. What parties should I go to? Firstly, most of the best parties are by invitation only and the answer to the question really depends on what you are looking for. Great people to network with? A fantastic venue? The best ratio between men and women (won’t be very good anywhere)? Free drinks and food? Your favorite music?

There are over 400 parties going on during the 4-day event. Among the early parties that are open to everyone our favorites are Nordic Wireless party, WIP Party @ MWC, MEF Connects MWC, Mobile Marketing Mixer, Mobile Sunday (organized by Mobile Monday) and MLOVE @ MWC. For a more detailed list of some of the free parties visit this page. The best parties however are those organized for private guests by Samsung, Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE, Etisalat and a few other big spenders. And if you want a genuine local Barcelona party experience then come and hang out with DMI.

VIP Guided Tours

MWC is big and overwhelming and it’s difficult to find what you need unless you’ve done extensive research. We will be doing tailored floor tours of 90 minutes each once again this year for clients, partners and other contacts. RSVP here to secure your ticket.

DMI Technology Discovery Session

Visit DMI’s Barcelona office on Tuesday 2/23 to experience the latest mobile technology and have some drinks and tapas! Find more and info and RSVP here.

What Are We Doing?

DMI will have lots of people on the floor and organizing events every day. We promise to keep you posted on everything that’s going on as we close in on the event. Shoot us an email if you would like more information about MWC16 or let us know if you want to meet.

Tags: events Mobile world Congress

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