Posts Tagged ‘Mobile World Congress’


Sexy scandals at MWC12 and CeBIT: Mixed messages rule in eventsville

March 8, 2012

By Hans Cett @HansCett

After outrage from MWC visitors last week about the Russian dancing girls on the CBOSS Stand, CBOSS is barred from MWC 2013. Now zoom into the more conservative Northern German regal city, Hannover, as CeBIT’s own organizers embrace “Security is sexy” with a pole dancing robot.

Yes. This is seriously a pole-dancing robot.

I have to laugh as the mighty GSMA bows to industry pressure to ban a telco that, according to an industry expert and long-time Congress attendee, “had actually toned down their dancing girls routine over the years”. I am far from condoning CBOSS’s marketing efforts, but the ban seems a little heavy handed, especially since parading scantily clad women on the show floor has been CBOSS’s MO at MWC for years. With that said, however, MWC needed to take action, and I’m not sure what alternative I would suggest.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Perhaps the embarrassment isn’t so much about what CBOSS did, but what was said in a high-profile British national newspaper about the incident. The original headline for Katherine Rushton and Jonathan Russell’s piece in The Daily Telegraph began “BT funded show…” A real shame, as MWC is not a BT-backed show. It is run by a trade association of which BT is a member, along with hundreds of other organizations from the operator, vendor and services space. The original headline has now been removed and a more sedate headline reads: “Trade show offered executives ‘romantic dinners’ with young Russian escorts”. All references to BT and Vodafone in the headline of the updated piece the next day have been removed, quite rightly so. But the intro to the piece still reads: “Delegates at a trade show funded by companies including Vodafone and BT…”. In a classic “light fuse and stand well back”, it also transpires that the authoress of the piece is on holiday (presumably not in Moscow!).

Anyway, it appears that sex still sells,  as long as you don’t cross the line and upset the wrong people. Maybe if CBOSS can get some cyborg gogo dancers for 2014 they’ll be allowed back to play at MWC. We’ll keep you posted.


Q and A with Heather McLean – freelancer mobile journalist and Smart Chimps founder – Only #MWC12 pitches with punch need apply to this martial arts expert

February 17, 2012

By Rose Ross, AKA @Rose_at_O

Busy with preparation for the launch of her new mobile publishing venture, Smart Chimps we grabbed some time with martial arts expert and freelance mobile journalist, Heather McLean.

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am a kungfu instructor in my spare time, and one of the styles I teach is tiger. My natural aptitude for tiger makes me a bit of a hunter in work as well as play; I’m attracted to fresh ideas, exciting stories, new technologies that will change the way we live, and anything that makes the world of mobile a more exhilarating, fast moving, great place to be. I avoid anything slow or dull like the plague. Life is too short.

Q. Tell us a little bit about the titles you write for and their interest in mobile technology:

I’m currently in the process of launching a new online mobile publication, Smart Chimps Smart Chimps is the place where bright people and hot mobile technology evolve together. Smart Chimps focuses on the mobile ecosystem with a particular interest in the content that is driving the evolution of this marketplace: operating systems; gaming; NFC; mobile payment; mobile security; developers; devices; and all that, including how this affects businesses and consumers. The site is B2B and B2C, news-focused, and includes features, case studies, Q&A’s, video, and opinion, all with a strong, fresh style.

Smart Chimps is going to be great, and although it’s very early days right now, it is really exciting to be able to develop and grow it over 2012. Over 2009 to late 2010 I was part of a similar business called Smart Gorillas, with my business partner and friend, Anne Morris. Smart Gorillas allowed me to cut my teeth and find out what direction I really wanted to be heading in with regard to my own publication. So Smart Chimps is my mobile love child and I’m going it alone!

I’m also (and will probably always be) a freelance reporter, editor, and media trainer, so I write and have written for many publications, from The Times, The Guardian and The Independent, to many of the mobile and telecoms titles in the market today. I cover topics from mobile and telecoms, to business, education and electronic foreign exchange trading, plus all the corporate stuff that comes along.

Q. What’s hot in mobiles and telecoms this year?

NFC, mobile payments and how that integrates into mobile security is a very hot area this year. Despite the dodgy economy these areas have continued to grow rapidly, and are leaping ahead now. This is my favourite area for now.

Q. How many events do you attend each year?  Which one are you most looking forward to?

The biggest event I attend for mobile each year is, of course, Mobile World Congress. It fuels my knowledge for the rest of the year and is unmissable as far as I’m concerned. It’s also very good fun, with lots of friends from around the world meeting up, and lots of cava and tapas to be consumed.

Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year?

This year I’m most interested in mobile money, security, NFC and developer stories. This will all tie in with Smart Chimps as I move the site forward.

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail? And how many interviews do you do per week?

I prefer email pitches, as nine times out of 10, calls consist of: ‘I sent you a press release three weeks ago and wondered if you’d used it?’, so I can be grumpy on the phone.

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology? And what do you think is the most

important development in mobiles and telecoms to date?

My favourite piece of mobile technology is my HTC phone. I’ve got an HTC Desire at the moment, which I like a lot; I love being connected to the internet all the time, and I like the way HTC pulls it all together with HTC Sense. The most important development in this industry to date is definitely the smartphone; all roads lead from the smartphone to the smartphone. It drives consumer desire, and the industry can simply grow itself and all these amazing technologies around that demand.

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Email me. See note about being grumpy above. And make it interesting! I don’t care if your client is desperate for coverage; don’t waste my time with dull pitches! I can’t get those minutes back!

Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

Best press trips: China, Israel and Egypt. Why: Far away, got to see some of those countries while there, and fun!

Worst: Orlando, Disney World. Why: Orlando, Disney World….

Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter? Quora? Google+?

I am liking social media more and more, for staying in touch with people, networking and finding stories and ideas. I’m on Facebook for close friends, LinkedIn for work, and Twitter for both.

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?

Apart from kungfu at and travelling to China at least once a year to train with my Masters in Fujian Calling White Crane Quan and Yong Tai Tiger Boxing, the rest are secret!

Copyright ©Launchpad Europe 2012. All rights reserved. You may copy and distribute this material as long as  you credit the author where possible; the copies are distributed only for non-commercial purposes and at no charge; and you include this copyright notice and link to, the original source of the work.

If you have any questions, please contact Launchpad Europe,


@teresacottam on “Maximising your exposure at #MWC12: How to cheat the system and win!”

February 16, 2012

Welcome to a guest blog from Teresa Cottam (@teresacottam) founder and BSSOSS analyst at Telesperience. And read our interview with Teresa here:

I have roughly 50 companies on my reserve list for MWC12 this year and we’re still getting calls, emails, skypes and tweets. They’re all companies I’d like to meet and catch up with, but in truth few of them will see me at the show. Why? Well I’ve been fully booked from 7.45am until 10pm each day for weeks now.

This situation isn’t unusual. Many smaller vendors, and even quite a few of the bigger ones who have adopted a more laid-back approach to meeting people, are going to struggle to meet and greet their target analysts and journalists as the pressure on our time is phenomenal.

Even if you’ve got us on your list to see, a lot can still go wrong – not being able to find you in the hall, overruns, public transport issues, and just sheer exhaustion. You may have the most earth shattering news in the mobile industry, but if you’re trying to impart that after say Tuesday 3pm then the chances are your chosen conduits will be pretty much dead on their feet, their minds already overstuffed with earth shattering information from everyone else in the  Congress.

So do yourself a favour – whether you’ve a fully booked calendar of analyst and journalist meetings or not – and rather than working harder, work smarter.

Firstly, accept that the journo-analyst is going to be tired and overwhelmed and will not have the time they would like to spend with you to watch in-depth demos or really understand your ethos, your products or the significance of your news. Go easy on them and find ways to ensure you’re going to get covered in the next 12 months. Kindness and thoughtfulness does a lot to build long-lasting relationships. Believe me we do not remember the 10th demo of the day, but we will remember someone who took the effort to meet our needs.

Here’s a few of my top tips to develop a winning strategy for #MWC12 communications:

  1. See this as an opportunity to develop and deepen the relationship with your target analysts and journalists, and not just an opportunity to stuff more information into their heads – believe me they’ll appreciate your consideration. All breaking news should have been shared pre show, with requisite embargoes and NDAs in place
  2. Cater for the personal needs of busy journalists and analysts – eg do they need a drink or would they appreciate sitting down after 8 hours on their feet? I once met a vendor I knew very well and asked them if they’d mind us just sitting in peace and quiet for half an hour after eight hours of non-stop talk and noise – the vendor was pleased to do this (they were tired too) and I never forgot their consideration. Post-show we developed a great relationship and did the in-depth technical stuff at a more appropriate time
  3. Consider a “grab bag” approach for press and analysts. Put everything you want them to know on a data stick and create a neat package with a giveaway in it. The idea is if the analyst or journalist is really in a rush, shake their hand then press a grab bag into it. It ensures maximum use of both your own precious time and theirs. Rose Ross suggested that a sandwich plus bottle of water might be attractive at lunchtime; most analysts/journalists I know are actually looking for something to stash in their bag to take home for their kids. My big tip is don’t even contemplate paper as they simply cannot carry the weight, and they’re not going to pay for excess baggage in order to take your brochure with them
  4. Consider a “mail back” approach for press and analysts. You really want to continue the interaction after the show – get a mailing address for them and offer to mail them the datastick plus a little giveaway. If they prefer, you could email the PDF to them… Remember to do it and offer a follow-up interview in the email or package. But remember to ask them which channel they prefer to receive information in, because everyone has their own particular likes and dislikes, and this is great information to help build the relationship further.
  5. Refine what you want to say to a very small number of key ideas – preferably one. Bother to find out what the journalist or analyst is covering and then tailor the message to those needs. Don’t go into a lot of detail – just seed the idea with a powerful, simple message and follow up afterwards. When you follow up, remind them that you met at the show and if possible a few details of the conversation to jog that sluggish memory
  6. I’ve been asked over and over again what the most effective marketing giveaways are. They are often not what you think. One of the things I always take home from shows are re-usable cloth bags, as they’re fantastic for shopping. Most blokes I know wouldn’t even think of doing this. Lanyards are much in demand by teenage kids if you have them… The point is that it doesn’t have to be expensive: useful or novel are the two characteristics of a winning giveaway. However, bear in mind the experience I had at a show in Dublin. A lot of vendors were giving away umbrellas because the weather there is fairly inclement. At security checks on the way back home though, the guard was somewhat baffled when in response to the question: “any umbrellas?” I pulled out four with various vendors’ logos on them! Fortunately for me, he had both a sense of humour and the wit to realise I was an overburdened analyst returning from a trade show and not an international terrorist!

Teresa Cottam is a BSSOSS analyst, founder and research director at Telesperience

She is @teresacottam on Twitter

Copyright ©Launchpad Europe 2012. All rights reserved. You may copy and distribute this material as long as  you credit the author where possible; the copies are distributed only for non-commercial purposes and at no charge; and you include this copyright notice and link to, the original source of the work.

If you have any questions, please contact Launchpad Europe,


Free tickets to #MWC12 courtesy of @PoyntEurope v/ @MWCFringe

February 8, 2012

Hot on the heels of the post we did earlier today on the newly launched Heroes of the Mobile Fringe. Living on the mobile edge? No that’s where the partying is. More on that here: @technokitten and her lovely community have a competition to win free tickets to MWC12 itself. BUT get a move on as the five lucky winners will be drawn at 6pm GMT this Friday (10th Feb). The full details of the competition are here.

But again remember even if you don’t win and you aren’t in Barcelona, “Heroes of the Mobile Fringe” are also posting all the #NOTATMWC action too!

I guess I’ll need to sort out a #mobilebeers at #RSAC in San Francisco for all us security lovers who can’t be in Barcelona either. I’ll try not to do too much crying into my beer.


#MWC12 update: No more holding out for a hero – The newly launched Mobile Fringe Festival (@mwcfringe) has them aplenty

February 8, 2012

By Rose Ross, AKA Rose_at_O


Helen Keegan aka @Technokitten – founder of #swedishbeers and mobile marketing guruess [Sp.?] [pictured] has just launched a new festival being held in Barcelona from Sunday 26 February to 2 March 2012 alongside the fabulous Mobile World Congress.

It is called Mobile Fringe Festival and you can find out all about the festival here, its sponsors and community partners, how to get involved, the events that are forming part of the festival, our media and community partners and plenty more to keep you busy at Mobile World Congress and the fringe festival. They will also be doing shout-outs for speakers and letting you know how to book for different events and happenings. So make you sure you have it marked as a favourite and follow the fun at @mwcfringe and on its Facebook page


So when you are packing your suitcase for MWC don’t forget to pack your cape. There’ll be plenty of virtual telephone boxes around for you to transform yourself in.

Here is a small taster of what’s planned;

And there are plenty of ways to get involved – it’s free to add your event, we still need volunteers and we need spaces to host pop-up events too. Don’t be shy. Join in!

But if you are not at MWC, you can still join in the party, not need to be challenged in the fiesta department. There are some #NOTATMWC activities planned in London. More info on that via the Mobile Heroes site here.


MWC 2013 – How do I book my stand? Demystifying #MWC12 #MWC2012

January 23, 2012

By Rose Ross (@Rose_at_O)


If you are new to exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, or are considering booking a space for the first time, it’s helpful to understand the MWC booking system.


The GSMA gives priority to those who have exhibited at previous events and, depending upon a number of elements, allocate points to each exhibitor, which define the choice of the stand available to your company at the show.


What is the MWC points system?


The MWC points system is not so hard to understand, once you become familiar with it. Depending upon the size of the exhibition space that you book, your company is allocated a certain number of points. Additional points are also given for any meeting rooms booked at the event, or any space you may have booked at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress.


Once your space at an event has been secured, additional points may also be accrued from any other supplementary business you do with the GSMA, including booking advertorial or advertising space in the Show Daily, advertising on the ‘MyMWC’ portal, or for becoming GSMA members.


To be included in the points system for MWC 2013, you would have needed to have collected as many points as possible before 1 November, 2011. Priority for booking the following year’s event is given to those with the most points by that cut-off date.


Booking your 2013 space:


If you are already in the MWC points system, you will be invited to attend a sales meeting with the GSMA during this year’s Mobile World Congress 2012. (Some larger exhibitors have already been given the opportunity to secure their space now, but for the rest of us, this chance will be at MWC 2012).


*It is vital not to miss this appointment, as you will lose your place on the points list if you do*


You will be shown a live floorplan of the show, and you will be free to choose from any of the remaining free spaces. You must be prepared to sign the contract for 2013 at the show, or you will not secure your desired position.


I’m too late – I don’t have any points!


If you’re not already booked to exhibit at this year’s event, all is not lost. By contacting the GSMA sales team, you can be added to the waiting list. Once the companies with points have booked, you will be able to choose from any remaining spaces. Accept that it may not be the right hall or the right size, but take comfort that whatever you book will accrue you the points and the opportunity to probably move to something more suitable next year, if not before – it’s not uncommon for cancellations and moves to take place right up until the show, so be sure your GSMA account manager is aware you’d like to be kept informed of any newly available spaces. But you’ll need to be quick – these spaces go on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.


Yes, the planning and preparation for Mobile World Congress seems to be a year-round activity, but the value in participating in the number one European telecoms trade show is, for most of us, worth its weight in gold and is an opportunity not to be missed.



MWC 2013 – On your marks, get set, go!

January 16, 2012

by Rose Ross, AKA @Rose_at_O


Yes, I know we are all busy with final plans for this year’s MWC, but how about 2013? This is the final year that the GSM congress will be at the current Fira venue.

2013 sees the GSM congress move to Barcelona’s second Fira – the Fira Gran Via, in the Hospitalet district of the city, about a 10-minute drive east from the current venue. There is a close by metro stop (Europa Fira), opposite the south entrance of the exhibition venue, and parking for up to 4,000 cars on site. The Hospitalet area has been under constant development over the past few years, with new bars, restaurants and hotels appearing almost every week, meaning there will be no shortage of new local finds just waiting to be discovered by the congress crowd.


The venue itself is something of a pleasant surprise. Large and airy, there are still 8 halls, but with a huge 200,00sqm of exhibition space, compared to 125,000sqm at the current MWC venue. Inside, the main access route for foot traffic is above the halls – connected by moving walkways with glass viewing areas onto each hall, with escalators dropping down into each exhibition hall. This should make getting about considerably faster than at the current venue.  The venue configuration will look something like this:


  • Halls 1 & 2 – hospitality only spaces.


  • Hall 3 – combined hospitality and exhibition spaces for bigger exhibitors – these are large-scale spaces of 200sqm or more.


  • Hall 4 – the conference venue.


  • The media centre will be located between halls 3 & 4.


  • Halls 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be the main exhibition halls, with hall 8 set over two levels, exclusively for App Planet exhibitors.


And, if you’re tired of the same dry sandwiches from the same vendors at the current mobile congress, you’ll be pleased to hear that each hall has a much greater variety of eating options, and there is also a fine dining restaurant situated next to the South Entrance. There is also outside space is located off the majority of the halls, on both the upper and lower levels – useful for those times when you need a break away from it all.


The GSMA are offering exhibitors at this year’s event the opportunity to explore the new venue on a first come, first served basis. The next visits are scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, January 18th, and the morning of Saturday 25th February (the Saturday before MWC 2012). Places can be booked by contacting your GSMA MWC representative.