If you haven’t developed scars behind your ears from the FP2 face masks which had to be worn, then you just didn’t spend enough time inside the 7 halls of Mobile World Congress this year. Judging from the number of ‘physical attendees’ the GSMA say came to Barcelona last week – over 61,000 – there must be a lot of delegates and exhibitors nursing cauliflower ears while they reflect on their time at MWC 2022.
The overwhelming consensus of those delegates and exhibitors we spoke to was that the turnout was better than expected and that business was good, even if traffic in and around the halls was less crowded than it had been in pre-pandemic times. Stands looked busy and unoccupied seats outside for lunch were few and far between, suggesting that plenty of people had decided to make the journey. While apparently there were participants from almost 200 countries and territories, it did seem that the majority were from EMEA and Asia with few American accents being audible.
And there was no shortage of money spent on exhibition stands, if ‘stands’ is the right word to use. Both Nokia and Huawei seem to have built entire villages again at the end of their respective halls, taking up the entire width of the available space and showcasing their products and services through demonstration theatres, meeting areas and live music performances in what resembled giant Apple stores.
If you’ve not got scale then get inventive, seemed to be the view of the network operators. Attendees were drawn to stands containing VR rides, robot dogs and even a ‘5G’ barman.
Proactive PR was pleased to be able to connect with several of our clients at MWC 2022. Our teams had been working hard to set up over twenty in-person and virtual media interviews and analyst briefings with national, international and key trade publications. We were pleased to be able to catch up with some old friends of the agency and to make some new ones along the way too. Overall, it was great to be back at such a prestigious event in person. Hopefully by the time we get to MWC 2023 we’ll be able to ditch the face masks altogether. Cheers!