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Mobile World Congress – 5 non-PR tips

Posted by Darren Willsher on 26th January 2012

Ah MWC, time for the entire mobile world to descend on one poor city for a week, drink its wine, eat its chorizo and generally make a bit of noise while they’re there. Also time for tech PR agencies to make useful lists on what do to, how and when to do it and what to avoid. So rather than more tips on how to do PR and getting the press to notice you, here are some useful tips that’ll make the week a bit more fun and hopefully a bit easier.

1) Tea 

Without meaning to sound like a complete English cliché, tea is important. I may have been laughed at for packing the thermos and a box of Twinings, but arriving on the show floor blearly eyed with a good brew is an excellent idea and one that got plenty of jealous looks. No queuing up at the show cafe for an overpriced one and no Liptons or any other nonsense.

2) At some point you will visit Las Ramblas, and someone will try and steal something from you or your friends

Less than ideal and hardly a positive tip, but a sad fact of life. Last year I saw far too many tweets from people who had things stolen from under tables and on the walk home an overly friendly man made decent efforts to go through my pockets.

But you’re not off to some lawless place, all it takes is being a bit sensible. So don’t leave an obvious wallet sticking out of your jeans and don’t leave something under the tables where you can’t see it – even if you think it’ll be ok. If it’s a choice between taking an extra 10 minutes to drop something back to your hotel before dinner or losing your laptop, I’d go with the first one.

3) Explore the city

It’s easy to just visit the bars near La Fira and the ones by your hotel, but speak to the locals and find some restaurants a bit further out. Taxis are cheap enough between a few of you and it’s really worth it, not only are they cheaper than La Ramblas but much, much nicer. The only downside is you might need to speak a bit of Spanish and not, as one client used last year, “Cinqo, er, various tapas please.”

4) Be sociable

There’s a lot going on once the show closes, but after 12 hours on your feet it’s easy to just find a local bar and call it an early one – which seems like a waste. Yes you’ll be knackered by the end of the week, but hey, then it’s the weekend. Get out, go to the bars, meet people, buy someone a drink, who knows it could be the next big customer or the BBC’s tech correspondent. Just remember point 1) for the next day.

5) Do you have to go home?

You’re in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, so when the show closes on Thursday do you *have* to rush home? Unless other commitments dictate otherwise, get a later flight back on Friday, (or even spend the weekend there) have a lie in and go and explore the city a bit. There’s a lot more than La Fira to see and after a manic week, it’s a lot nicer to leave the city with the memory of something other than the show.

Darren Willsher

Darren has been with Wildfire for six years and is one of the driving forces behind the agency’s telecoms and networking portfolio, with experience working on a range of international, multi-channel accounts including CSR, Picochip (now Mindspeed), Real Wireless, The Small Cell Forum, Samsung and Allied Telesis.