MWC Barcelona 2016 – A Survival Guide

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Are you attending MWC Barcelona? The leading event is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry and related industries, and it is right around the corner. It will take place in Barcelona on February 22-25. It covers all things mobile marketing and is getting bigger and bigger (as well as more and more packed) every year. With thousands of participants attending from all over the world, as well as from all scopes of the industry, it is definitely the place to be. As a sponsor of the event, MobCo Media will be there as well, with a booth in hall 8.1 and a large team present to meet our friends, clients, and business partners.

For those of you who are attending it for the first time and find the venue a bit baffling, or even for the more experienced conference-goers looking to make to the most out of the event, we’ve put together a few essential tips and suggestions to help you come prepared for the conference.

What’s Your Goal?

The most important element in making the most out of your time in the event is planning ahead. From deciding on your goals, scheduling your meetings, rehearsing your elevator pitch, and even packing the right clothes and leaving enough baggage space for giveaways – it’s all about planning.

MWC is a huge venue, with many people and companies attending, and endless exciting (and distracting) things to see and consider. It is very important to stay focused and to have specific goals set for the days of the conference. Why are you attending MWC? What are you looking for, and what do you hope to accomplish? These are the key questions you should ask yourself before defining your goal and developing a game plan for the days of the conference. You might be looking to meet new publishers to drive installs to your apps, to acquire new direct advertising partners to monetize your traffic, finding clients for your technology-driven tracking platform or fraud prevention services, or even just to stay informed with the latest news and trends in the industry. Whatever your goal is, once it is defined, it will be much easier to formulate a clear daily plan for the conference and decide on whom to meet, which booths and stands to visit, and which sessions to attend.

You might find, as we often do, that you are setting out with more than one goal, and that’s fine. Just make sure to keep your goals specific and practical. Don’t set out to change the world (or the industry) in one move, but rather focus on one or two specific aspects that you can accomplish best during the three days of the conference.

Schedule Ahead

Once you have a good plan and you know what and who you’re looking for, start going through the lists of companies and individuals attending the conference and put up a list of those you would like to meet up with. A good place to start your networking quest is the MWC’s networking page, and especially the “My MWC Event App.” Once you have some names of individuals and companies you would like to meet, take the extra mile to log into their websites and read their bios on their LinkedIn or other relevant social networks.

Have you scheduled your meeting yet?
Have you scheduled your meeting yet?

Ask for their phone number so you can contact them on the days of the conference and set up a meeting location (if you haven’t done so by then). It will also give you some flexibility, as you will be able to update the other side if you’re late or need to reschedule. Once you’ve scheduled a meeting with a person, it’s also worth searching for pictures of them so you’ll know how they look like, and can recognize their faces in the (very crowded) conference. Make sure not to wait until the last minute, as many attendees start putting together their schedule a few weeks before the conference. Contacting them early will increase the chances of successfully arranging a meeting with them.

Before you set up your meetings and finalize your schedule, read through the event’s agenda and determine which sessions you would like to attend. There are many interesting industry-related talks going on, including Q&A sessions and panels. Follow MWC’s Twitter and review the list of confirmed speakers on the conference’s website. Once you have a good idea of the sessions you’re going to attend, it will be easier to determine your availability, and to schedule meetings accordingly. In addition, it can be helpful to check the venue’s map to determine possible meeting locations. If you’re still not sure where to set your meetings, it’s always a sure bet to choose an easy-to-find location like the entrance or the registration tables.

Be Prepared

The unofficial dress code of the venue is business casual, although you’ll also inevitably meet people wearing all kinds of clothes, from casual branded T-shirts to suits or formal dresses. Think back on the goals you set for yourself- what image do you want to convey? Once you decide on that, dress accordingly. In addition, make sure to carry some additional outfits with you for the evening parties and networking events. However you choose to dress, the most important thing to remember when it comes to clothing is to wear comfortable shoes. This point really can’t be overstated. You’re going to walk around (or at least stand) all day for three intensive days.

You’re also going to do a lot of face-to-face talking in the conference, so better pack some mints with you as well. Business cards of course are a must, and a handy pen or two (although you can find give-a-way pens in almost every stand, it is worth having your own trusty non-branded pen).

Two other things worth carrying around are a notepad and a stapler. If you follow this guide and prepare well, chances are you’re going to have a lot of meetings and collect a lot of business cards during the conference. Yet the key to a fruitful business meeting is following up after the conference. Most people you meet will not remember what you’ve talked about afterward. What’s worse, you probably won’t remember as well. That is why you’ll want to keep a notepad handy and keep concise notes during meetings (or immediately afterward). Never write directly on the cards. Give each meeting a separate page on your notepad, and use the stapler you smartly brought to attach the business cards next to your notes. That way when you return home, you’ll have a well-ordered notepad full of business cards and notes about each person and company you’ve met.

Another important thing to prepare ahead of time is your sales pitch. The sales pitch, or as it is widely known, the “elevator pitch,” is a concise overview of yourself or your company and your strongest selling points. It should be short enough so you can deliver it in a clear and quick manner in about 30 seconds to a minute. Practice and rehearse it ahead of time so you can create an impressive and long-lasting first impression. You can also make more than one pitch, and have two or three customized pitches for different audiences. When it comes to show time, don’t stress too much on the precise wording of the pitch, and allow yourself to relax and be flexible.

On the Day

Come early to the conference. If possible, come a day ahead, finish registration and tour the venue. It will make it easier for you to pick meeting locations and save you time on the packed registration lines of the first day. Walk around the different stands and feel free to introduce yourself and ask about their business. There’s no need to be shy: everyone is there for the same reason – to network. In addition, it’s also a great opportunity to pick up worthy give-aways and free snacks and drinks.

Put your phone on vibrate so it won’t ring in the middle of a meeting. Even when not in a meeting, try to avoid using your phone/tablet/laptop and focus on networking and enjoying the event. Plan not to work and delay whatever possible to the evenings or the days after the conference.

Take a deep breath. We know it might look like a lot, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable experiences around. Just follow the advice in this guide and make sure to have a lot of fun. And if you’re already there, drop by Hall 8.1, Stand G70 to say hello to our team. We’ll be waiting for you with a smile and great business opportunities.

 

Attending MWC? Schedule a meeting with our team at hello@mobcomedia.com or drop by hall 8.1, stand G70 any time during the conference. 


Blog post originally written for MobCo Media.

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