Nov 6th 2019

MWC Barcelona 2020: Stay ahead of the pack

 Meet the mobile influencers at Babel event in November

Winter is coming! Now, while that phrase may signify bad omens for Game of Thrones fans, for technology communicators it’s simply a sign that the silly season is upon us and preparations for MWC Barcelona 2020 are about to begin. The run up to MWC is a particularly busy time for strategic planning. The Barcelona event has become one of the biggest technology shows on the calendar, and while it may just be four days in February, those four days can deliver huge value for brands who know how to capitalise on the event.

At Babel, our preparations for MWC Barcelona 2020 are already well underway. Clients and colleagues alike are keen to understand the topics that are likely to feature in the hottest conversations, the biggest news stories, and drive discussions long after the exhibition halls of the Fira empty out.

During the show some 2,400 companies descend on Barcelona and the surrounding area to showcase their latest innovations, launch their newest products, and engage with their key customers. But with such a complex and crowded event, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to make their voices heard above the noise. The trick is not to place too much emphasis on the show itself. There are lots of opportunities for brands to engage with influencers ahead of the show, providing them with the chance to drive visibility, promote key messages and influence the media agenda. Nowadays the show is the culmination of an intense build-up during which the eyes of the media are firmly fixed on the mobile space. It’s better to commence activity in January and drive a strategic communications programme that spans the busy Q1 period.

This is where a trusted partner, with vast experience of this particular conference, can add huge value. While it may sound counterintuitive for an event that is so ‘of-the-moment’, the earlier you begin the planning the better place you’ll find yourself in when you get to the Fira.

You don’t always need the flashiest product or a speech on the biggest stage to cut through at MWC, although it can certainly help. Often the best results can be achieved by identifying a clear and coherent message, working out how best to deliver that across the full range of channels at your disposal, prior to and during the show, and nailing the execution.

Crafting a coherent message

Time and again brands fail to get their message across at MWC because of the lack of a clear and coherent communications strategy. All too often brands discover that despite their best efforts briefing media, their key messages fail to land, and spokespeople aren’t quoted in any of the prominent news and articles that surround the show.

When attendees span every aspect of mobile technology, from B2C technology services and applications (e.g. media and entertainment, financial services), to more industrial and vertical-oriented solutions ranging from automotive to healthcare and even manufacturing, it may not come as a big surprise that it’s a difficult place for brands to cut through and make an impact.

It doesn’t have to be that way. By starting the planning process now, brands can ensure that they are delivering the right message to the right influencer to create the desired outcome: high-profile coverage that moves the needle for them, in both the reputational and commercial sense.

How to lead the MWC Barcelona agenda

Following the old seven Ps adage will improve your chances of MWC success no end. Working closely with your communications team, whether in-house or an external agency partner, to develop a clear and coherent communications plan will allow your brand to better engage with the media, deliver key messages, and contribute to the overall narrative of the event; allowing you to tap into the hot topics driving discussions in and around the show.

As ever, targeting and tailoring are the aim of the game. Standard corporate messaging in a slide deck, however slick and well-designed, is unlikely to cut the mustard. Making sure you’re delivering the right information, to the right people, in the format that works best for them, will ensure your brand generates real return on investment from their PR and communications programme at MWC Barcelona.

A Babel PR-chaired panel discussion, featuring expert voices from across the business and trade press, will explore some of best ways to engage with media and influencers.

Journalists will talk through what the media typically experience during the intense period of engagement in the lead-up to MWC and at the show itself. They will discuss what success looks like and how a well delivered briefing, piece of news or content, can capture the media’s attention and thrust the company in question into the limelight.

We’ll share examples of the big stories covered at MWC Barcelona in recent years and the driving forces behind that news.

So, just what is it that the media are looking to cover at a show like Mobile World Congress? What type of information is of value to the press? Is it news? If so, what type of news is likely to get their attention? Is it informed industry comment and insight? If so, what level of insight are the press looking for? What makes a good story and how should that story be packaged?

To find out the answers to these questions, come and hear the views of our expert panel at the H Club in Covent Garden on the morning of Thursday, November 28th. The panel will feature:

  • Ewan Spence, Senior Contributor, Forbes
  • James Blackman, Editor, RCR Wireless / Enterprise IoT Insights
  • Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne, Assistant Editor, Comms Business / Technology Business Today
  • Katie Finn, Associate Director, Babel
  • Joanna Timmerman, Director, Babel (Chair)

If you’d like to attend the event and find out how you can maximise the impact of your communications for MWC Barcelona 2020, then please register via Eventbrite.

We look forward to seeing you there!