Did we start a movement? Nick Lane, senior analyst at Mobilesquared thinks it is. In fact, many in the industry think that #unofficialMWC2020 was in fact a bit of a coup, with many suggesting that it should be something that takes place every year.
With Mobile World Congress being cancelled 10 days before it was due to bring 100,000 people to Barcelona, a loose collective of companies coagulated around Telemedia News and World Telemedia Organisers and a substitute event for billing providers, VAS companies and more took shape.
FIND OUT WHY THE INDUSTRY LOVES THE SHOW
And in less than two weeks, #unofficialMWC2020 has become a hot trending hashtag and almost 1000 people who would have had a very quiet week got to do business with each other in the sunshine –and more importantly didn’t have to write off their travel costs.
The events themselves were marked out from the normal run of MWC by being much more sociable and much more relaxed. They also brought back some of the flavour of the days when congress took place in the ‘old Fira’, where delegates could head to nice bars, restaurants and the Arenas for drinks, food and meetings instead of having to face the enormous queues at Fira Europa for a grotty sandwich.
However, why the #unofficialMWC2020 was such a hit was that it was more underground, less corporate and less po-faced than MWC has become. It took things back to the companies that are involved and let them shape how it played out. It put control back into the hands of little guys.
WHY #unofficialMWC2020 IS SO IMPORTANT
MWC is fine if you are Nokia or Ericsson or, when things calm down, Huawei, but for the thousands of smaller players – who make up the bulk of the exhibition – there is little on offer for them really.
In the old days the telemedia industry at least had Hall 8.1, today it’s not so great. They are lost in the morass of companies and hype. That’s fine, we only make up a tiny part of the mobile industry, but we still need and want to do business here.
And that is why #unofficialMWC2020 was such as massive hit: it put them all together and got them talking and doing business.
CHECK OUT WHAT ALL THE THOUGHT LEADERS HAD TO SAY
So, it is no wonder then that all of them are calling on this spin-off event to take place again next year and to become a regular fixture at Mobile World Congress. Not because it is underground, but because these companies don’t feel they are getting what they need from MWC. The upshot of the cancellation of the congress is that many companies are re-evaluating the show. No, it’s not going to be closed down and yes they will exhibited, but the GSMA has a golden opportunity to revamp the event for 2021 to make it something the delivers for everyone that goes to it – even the smaller companies.
So, if you are listening, give us a call.