Heading to Mobile World Congress?

So Mobile World Congress 2013 is nearly here – the GSMA event team, along with thousands of exhibitors and contractors, are already on site making sure this year’s event is going to be the best ever. Whether you are preparing to head to Barcelona or are already there, we thought we’d share a few tips to help you make the most of the show.

  • With more than 70,000 people expected to attend Mobile World Congress, the city is already starting to fill up. Arriving as early as possible will help you avoid congestion at the airport and will also afford you the opportunity to investigate the venue and to test the commute.
  • If you are able, pick up your pass from the airport collection points or Fira Gran Via before the show officially begins, then you can take the Fast Track on Monday morning! And then each day, to avoid unnecessary queuing before you enter the venue, always remember your badge and ID. Opening hours and more information are on the MWC13 website. This year as part of the NFC experience you can also utilise an NFC-enabled badge, which can also streamline your entry to the venue.
  • This one is important! In 2013, Mobile World Congress has moved to its new home, Fira Gran Via in the Port Olimpic district of Barcelona. The physical address of Fira Gran Via is: Av. Joan Carles I, 64, 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. Fira Gran Via is significantly larger than our previous location, and because all halls are under one roof, attendees will be unaffected by February’s changeable weather.
  • Attendees will be provided a complimentary transportation ticket, which is valid for the four event days (Monday – Thursday) when they pick up their pass. Transport passes are valid for unlimited combined journeys using any means of transport within zone 1 (Barcelona city and Fira Gran Via), including metro, bus, and train. For information on how to get to the new Fira Gran Via by bus, FGC, and metro, head here.
  • If you need to travel outside of Fira Gran Via for meetings, there are expanded taxi ranks outside of the main exits, but remember these can still get quite busy at peak times, so give yourself plenty of time. And when making your way about the city, it’s always worth carrying a small card or piece of paper with your destinations written in Spanish and Catalan to show to cab drivers. Take one of your hotels business cards with you, to make returning to your hotel even easier.
  • To help you get to and from meetings as easily as possible, take a look at the interactive maps and floor plan carefully before you get there. Arrive early so that you can get your bearings and confirm exactly where you are going for each appointment on your schedule.
  • Keep an eye on our social media channels for important updates and news during the event – more information on GSMA social media can be found here, but the key ones to note are @GSMA & @GSMA_Care on twitter, the Google + community and the Facebook page here. My MWC, the event portal for attendees, is useful for planning your schedule. It can be found online or within the official GSMA Mobile World Congress mobile app. It has maps, a customisable schedule, and more.
  • Ensure that you bring a pair of comfortable shoes (or maybe two!) as the venue encompasses a large area and you are likely to be on your feet for most of the day. And we suggest avoiding high heels! Bring a comfortable bag to carry all your necessary items – a backpack or rucksack to can be useful to keep your hands free throughout the show.
  • To maintain the level of energy needed for intense MWC schedules ensure that you eat well and drink plenty of water. There are many food outlets at the new venue, make sure you map out the locations, and some restaurants nearby as well – check out Sascha Segan’s guide to the event here for some recommendations. Booking services for restaurants are available and highly recommended for those important meetings.
  • Recharge your devices every night and carry spare batteries with you. Failing that, carry a spare battery or battery charger with you. This year there are two charging stations within Fira Gran Via, so this should help if you run out of juice completely.
  • There will be free public Wi-Fi connections in Fira Gran Via, and hotspots have increased by over 50% since 2012, and network capacity has increased by 250% so more people can connect. In fact, Mobile World Congress 2013 will be one of the world’s largest public Wi-Fi offerings.• For all that’s new at this year’s event, check out the event website at www.mobileworldcongress.com, there’s plenty on including the Connected City and the NFC Experience.
  • And of course, if it’s possible, try to plan time after the event to enjoy the beautiful city of Barcelona – the city is full of amazing sights and great cultural experiences.