Spare a thought for those in Barcelona next week. Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and technology vendors of all shapes and sizes will descend on the city to show off their latest and greatest products and services to industry analysts and media alike.
Surviving MWC is a badge of honour for anyone in the industry; some love it, whilst others fear it. Calendars are blocked up with hundreds of meetings. Crowds rush around every corner of the vast exhibition halls. Everybody struggles to keep to time as navigational challenges around the city and conference center are inevitably underestimated. Most tech vendors are so caught up in their own cycle that they can often forget what it’s like for the analysts and media trying to cover the show.
With that in mind, please see a few helpful tips for vendors to get the most out of their analyst and media interactions next week:
Make sure calendar invites have floor plan images
It’s hard enough to remember which hall a briefing has been arranged in, let alone figure out where your particular booth is in that hall. A simple floor plan with your booth highlighted will go a long way to reducing stress levels.
Keep briefings concise
No doubt, you want to explain your entire product roadmap and vision for the future and why your latest product/service is the best new thing that will send tremors through the industry, but keep in mind the person you’re briefing has probably just had to run across two halls in under five minutes to get from the last industry-shaping briefing. Have a clear idea of what you can tell them that they will still be able to recall in eight hours, after another sixteen or so briefings.
Provide useful follow-up materials
Avoid overdoing the printouts. By the end of day one, everybody will be carrying or have lost enough paper to have brought down a small forest. A simple USB with all your relevant preloaded releases and assets will provide much more value.
Stop with the swag
Seriously. Nobody wants your lapel pin. If you’re going to give away free swag, give away useful items that people will appreciate. Water. Pens. Bags to carry all that paper you printed, shipped and stockpiled on your booth, only to realise the typo on page one meant having to redo and source a printer somewhere in the city at 6 a.m. the day of the show.
Your briefing with an analyst or journalist likely didn’t require you to move much further than the immediate vicinity of your booth. They might have reasons for running a minute or two behind schedule. Try not to have them waiting around for you.
Keep the conversations that can be had away from MWC, away!
Hopefully you’ve already pre-briefed your relevant targets via in-depth briefings by now. If your comms don’t have to happen at the show, then have the confidence to do them before or after MWC, not during. You’ll probably get more headspace from those you are briefing, allowing your influencers to deliver more value to you. Failing that, make sure you arrange follow-up briefings after the show where relevant.
Everybody is in the same boat. You’re all tired. You’re all a little stressed. Remember that you’re all in it together and at the end of the day, Barcelona has plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants to wind down in. Enjoy it whilst you’re there. Your desk and all the other unread emails will be waiting patiently for your return.
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