“The most relevant event in our industry,” is how Jose Maria Alvarez-Paellete, Telefonica CEO, described Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. Over the past decades, MWC has evolved from an annual shindig for industry executives into one of the biggest technology events in the world.
It has long outgrown its previous venues and cities (it used to be held in Cannes) and now occupies eight vast halls of the Gran Fira exhibition centre in Barcelona, covering not just devices and networks, but the entire mobile ecosystem and beyond.
GSMA Secretary-General Mats Granyard welcomed delegates to the “most ambitious and exciting MWC yet”, claiming 100,000 delegates and 2,300 companies would visit during the week. More than 70 hours of conferences sessions were held, as were an estimated one million meetings.
The average visitor apparently walks more than 10km a day and 1.5 million cups of coffee and water are drunk. Whatever statistic is used, MWC is just big. But is it still as relevant as some would have you believe and is it worth it?