Mobile World Congress 2023: The Ultimate Guide to MWC 2023

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Mobile World Congress 2023 is just around the corner. As usual, it will provide the perfect scenario to learn about all the latest innovations and technology from more than 2,400 leading companies and organizations. Big events are back After the lull in in-situ events due to the pandemic. Mobile World Congress 2020 was canceled, and 2021 saw a reduced format. However, the impressive results of Mobile World Congress 2022 set things clear: the return of big tech in-person events is here.

Learning about new technologies is only part of the experience. Businesses are regaining momentum in a post-covid environment, and the ever-changing technology and innovation environment, more than being seen as a disruption, can and should be seen as an opportunity to adopt radical growth. With this, Mobile World Congress 2023 sets the scenes for the most significant event for the connectivity industry.

What is Mobile World Congress 2023?

The Mobile World Congress (MWC Barcelona) is the largest and most influential event for the connectivity and mobile communications sector. Organized by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), professionals across various verticals related to connectivity can attend the annual trade show. This vast number of attendees and sessions should make it an essential feature in any corporate event marketing strategy within that industry.

MWC can provide an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn about new trends and innovations, liaise with peers or potential leads from their community, and gain insights into features they may want to incorporate into their products and services. Attendees can also hear and participate in the most critical debates concerning mobile communications.

Who Goes to Mobile World Congress?

MWC Barcelona unites technology and innovation with commerce and specialized communities under one roof. Attendees from SMEs conjoin with the biggest giants in the tech industry to discuss affairs that influence their businesses. These attendees can fare from different backgrounds, such as global mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, or vendors.

Thought leaders, senior executives, trailblazers, and representatives from international governments can also converge in a scenario where ideas turn into deals, and networking opportunities become solid connections.

Where is Mobile World Congress 2023 Going to Take Place? 

The Mobile World Congress 2023 will take place in Barcelona, Spain. It’s held at the Fira de Barcelona in Gran Vía. While GSMA has extended MWC to cities like Shanghai and Las Vegas, the event in Barcelona is still the flagship one, which has been held since 2006.

Mobile World Congress 2023 Dates: When is The Event?

MWC Barcelona will take place from Thursday, 23rd February, to Friday, 3rd March 2023. The event usually takes place around this time of the year. Opening hours vary from 08:00 – 21:00 or 07:00 – 21:00 throughout the week.

Why Should I Attend the 2023 Mobile World Congress? 

Attending MWC Barcelona 2023 enables you to participate in a congress where the decisions are made that give form to the mobile and technology industry. But this isn’t the only perk of this event. Here are more reasons to go to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress in 2023.

Incomparable Networking Opportunities

MWC can set the scene for your business’s most successful lead generation campaign. The ingredients are all laid out for you. Tens of thousands of senior industry decision-makers will drive closed deals in exhibition calls. You can meet the industry elite, negotiate with international companies and build a strong contact portfolio.

MWC planners have also learned to appreciate the use of technology to provide event intelligence to help attendees get the best out of their networking opportunities. The MWC app has been developed to help attendees network before, during, and after the event, by recommending some contacts based on interests and expertise. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg in making data-driven event marketing. Richer solutions, such as those provided by Vendelux, can provide insights into who will be attending specific events and side parties so that marketing can establish a networking plan before arriving in Barcelona. 

Priceless Industry Knowledge

The keynotes, conferences, seminars, and partner programs can help you liaise with industry experts and mobile and tech influencers. Trailblazers and innovators in the sector will use this week to collaborate, share insights and accelerate change in the industry. There is potential to gain priceless and diverse industry knowledge in every corner. There are opportunities for collaboration, meeting with leaders, sharing ideas, and learning from others.

Extensive Team-Building Opportunities

Businesses can send their marketing teams to grow and learn in groups and return stronger than ever to the office with a rich portfolio of contacts. MWC Barcelona provides multiple meeting rooms that can be booked for networking or negotiating business deals, bonding with your teams, and developing marketing strategies to make the most of your B2B lead generation opportunities. 

Unique Exhibitions and Conferences

The 2023 Mobile World Congress provides priceless insights into the future of technology. The MWC23 Exhibition will showcase technology in action while driving network opportunities. Demo areas can let attendees gain first-hand insights into these new technologies, while the 4YFN startup event will find pitch stages, startup pods, and tech programs to leverage the wealth of knowledge on the show. 

A Beautiful City

Barcelona is undoubtedly a city worth visiting. Beyond visiting the Mobile World Congress and the multiple after-events available after the congress, Barcelona also stands out for its sports culture, stunning architecture, nightlife, beaches, and world-class cuisine. If visiting one of the most standout events in your industry isn’t enough, the fact that it’s held in one of the world’s most beautiful cities should help you make that extra step. 

Who Will be Speaking at MWC Barcelona 2023?

The Mobile World Congress will be an excellent opportunity to hear insights from the brightest minds in the mobile and communications industry. Some of the speakers who are already listed to give keynotes include:

  • Andrew Feinberg, CEO of Netcracker
  • Chsitan Heydemann, CEO of Orange
  • Börje Ekholm, President, and CEO of Ericsson
  • Dupree Bogdan-Martin, Secretary General-Elect of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
  • Jose María Alvarez-Pallete, Chairman and CEO of Telefónica
  • Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA
  • Vincent Clark, CEO of Ocean and Logistics at Maersk

What Kind of Sessions Are There at MWC Barcelona 2023?

There is a wide array of sessions and conferences at MWC that event marketers need to parse and decide which ones to attend. Here is a summary of the sessions you can expect at the Mobile World Congress in 2023.

Keynotes

During this event, executives from some of the world’s top organizations stand alongside cutting-edge innovators. While being a mobile event, leaders from a wide array of industries touched by wireless and mobile communication provide their perspectives, from 5G, to AI, to content stream, to the automobile industry. 

Conference Programmes and GSMA Seminars

The Mobile World Congress hosts debates on all the issues that need to be discussed around their industry and focuses on four themes. These are:

5G Acceleration:

With 5G technology redefining how the world connects, the vast number of new data collected from 5G raises new issues that need to be discussed. These include greater software development, digital innovation, 5G delivery, and business models that can transform the industry and lead the way toward 6G. Topics being discussed in these themes, sponsored by Jio Platforms, include: 

  • FWA: The Real 5G Success Story
  • Going Green: Are we Meeting Targets?
  • Ready to Talk 6G?
  • 5G Advance, Read for Take-Off!
  • Is a 5G Future for Everyone?
  • 5G: Modernize to Monetize
  • A Quantum Leap into the Future
  • Spectrum: Delivering a 6G Future
  • Are Private Networks Over-Hyped?

Reality +

Sponsored by Deloitte, this theme talks about Immersive technology and 5G and how they change how we live, work and consume information. With advanced technologies enabling touchpoints on the customer journey, creating an outstanding experience is essential. 

With the continued exploration of the metaverse and extended reality, how can 5G enable the latest innovations in the physical, digital, and virtual worlds? Topics related to this theme include: 

  • From Metaverse to Matterverse, How To Do It Right?
  • Who are the New Consumers in Web 3.0
  • The F-word of Metaverse: Future, Fad, or Fraud?
  • Natural Intelligence: Can AI really think for itself?
  • Is there anything that can’t be connected?
  • How Immersive Technologies Can Transform the World?
  • XR, AI & 5G for a New Immersive Experience
  • Connecting Everyone and Everything Beyond the Mobile
  • Player One, Are You Ready?

OpenNet

Openness in mobile networks provides high value and can make networks more agile. Mobile operators can create differentiated value propositions that deliver scalable next-generation digital services by leveraging 5G, IoT, Edge, and Cloud capabilities with open API functionalities. This raises the question: should we begin to embrace open networks? Key topics in this theme, sponsored by Kyndryl, include:

  • OpenRAN: The Debate
  • That’s My Slice!
  • How are Digital Twins Driving Network Transformation
  • Open Network Security: Who is Responsible?
  • A Match Made in Space: The Relationship of Satellite and the Edge
  • Conception to Execution: Optimizing the Testing Process
  • Adapting to Network Demands on the Edge
  • Building Metaverse Ready Networks
  • The Value of the Partner Ecosystem Event

FinTech

We’ve all heard of NFTs (Non-fungible tokens), cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. There is no doubt that fintech is taking the financial industry by storm. Even though technology in financial services is nothing new, COVID-19 accelerated mobile banking and people’s approach to currency. The growth in digital currencies and trade in BFTs provide new ways to transact within a global digital economy and is a key theme explored in MWC 2023. Topics include:

  • NFTs: The One-Hit Wonder?
  • Breaking Down Fraud
  • Let’s Disrupt FinTech!
  • Is the Future of Everything Decentralized?
  • DeFi-ning Opportunities
  • The Race Against Volatility: Shaping the Next Generation of Finance
  • Who Let the Cryptos Out? Widespread Adoption of Digital Currencies

Digital Everything

Digital technologies have expanded to multiple industry verticals. Digitalization, IoT, and the combination of the real and digital worlds can be the next step in the evolution to Industry 4.0 and beyond. Topics in this theme include: 

  • Remote Control: Connecting an Industrial Revolution
  • The Smart Factory & Warehouse: Accelerating Digital Transformation with 5G
  • Digital Reality manufacturing in the Industrial Metaverse
  • Fraud: Fighting Back Against Financial Crime
  • Digital Payments: The Beating Heart of the Digital Transformation
  • Money in the Metaverse
  • Delivery Beyond Speed
  • Travel Beyond Cars
  • Connect Beyond the Sky
  • Reach for the Impossible

Exhibitions

Different exhibitions will be on show at MWC Barcelona 2023. The MWC23 Exhibition hall will showcase most of the technology and multiple stands from exhibitors and will be the central hub for networking opportunities.

The 4YFN event will also stand out as the startup event within MWC Barcelona. As Europe’s fifth biggest startup hub, Barcelona prides itself in uniting the startup ecosystem alongside the Mobile World Congress with the ninth edition of 4YFN. The goal of the 4YFN is quite clear: to support startups, investors, and companies to connect and launch new business ventures together. 

Additionally, MWC 2023 will have Industry City, a new content, networking, and demo area that will explore connectivity in FinTech, manufacturing, and smart mobility. 

With smart manufacturing, IoT connections have been growing in recent years, and these developments are affecting financial services and development in multiple sectors like urban sustainability, electrification, autonomous vehicles, smart city infrastructure, intelligent logistics, and air vehicles. This will be an opportunity to join key industry players and explore the potential of connected technology and experience demos. 

Events After MWC Barcelona 2023

Barcelona is an ideal location to liaise and meet people from your industry. This rings true even after the planned events at MWC Barcelona take place. With thousands of potential leads and partners concentrated in one place, side events can also provide opportunities to network and generate leads for your business. 

However, selecting the right event to go to when there are so many to choose from can take time and effort. This is where event intelligence can make a big difference to help you get insights into who will be attending what and where to invest your time and resources to bring in leads and partnership opportunities. Imagine how convenient it would be to have all this attendee data before the event begins.

What to Expect from MWC Barcelona 2023

Plenty has been said about the opportunities available at the Mobile World Congress. However, the expectations and targets you set for MWC 2023 should be in line with the preparation you make for it. Marketing teams should go to Barcelona with their homework done. This includes setting clear KPIs and objectives and identifying a target audience. 

Attendees may need to justify the investment in going to Barcelona. If you arrive at the event but do not connect with the right people or return to work without established networks, your CMO may think that your attendance has been a waste of time, money, and resources.  

The Mobile World Congress attracts and unites industry sectors from multiple scopes. This means that there is a wide range of opportunities but also thousands of attendees who may need to fit in with your business objectives. You can network on a trial-and-error basis, but this could mean missing out on many partners and leads. Suppose you can identify your ideal customer profile (ICP) before arriving in Barcelona and leverage event intelligence to forecast who will attend the event and side events. In that case, it will be easier to establish marketing strategies that can provide quality leads. 

Is MWC 2023 Worth it?

Despite the cancellation of MWC 2020, the stats are there to show when it comes to showcasing the success and opportunities available at the Mobile World Congress. The numbers from last year are a great indicator for this year’s upcoming event. Here we will highlight some of the event’s most interesting attendee data and stats. 

MWC is a Feast for Startups 

Over 1,063 startup founders attended MWC Barcelona 2022. 624 startups and exhibitors were also present at 4YFN. 

Thousands of Attendees from Telco and Beyond

Over 10,700 physical attendees from industry sectors were present at MWC Barcelona 2022. Of these, over 46% belonged to the Telco industry. There were also representations from ministerial programs and international organizations. 161 delegations to ministerial programs, representing 124 countries and 27 international organizations, attended last year. 

A High Representation of Director and C-Suite Level Attendees

Over 49% of MWC Barcelona 2022 attendees were director-level and above. According to Vendelux’s attendee data for MWC 2023. 38% currently registered for MWC 2023 are Founders and Management. Regarding analyzing seniority, 46% of attendees are C-Suite, and 23% are VPs and Directors. 

Attendee Data: Learn Who’s Attending and Prepare for it

As seen before, Vendelux already has MWC Barcelona 2023 attendee data with thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors and sponsors who will be going to Catalonia for the event. This information lets you analyze the kind of audience who will be at the event. For now, the audience includes 75% of peers with professional seniority, 13% are VPs and Directors, and 12% are C-suite executives. 

Multiple industries are represented in this event too. For example, 32% come from the software industry, 12% come from Hardware, and 8% belong to Telecommunications. Using event intelligence, you can determine which event includes more people from the industry that best represents you and target them. 

If done with preparation and attention to detail, attending MWC 2023 can provide you with leads and partnership opportunities that can consequently deliver a positive ROI.

Things to Consider When Registering for MWC Barcelona 2023 

Here is all you need to know to understand the different passes, processes, and requisites to register for the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona.

Where Can I Register for MWC Barcelona 2023?

Registration must be completed online before you arrive at the venue. Registration is now open on the MWC website.

However, this, unfortunately, means that you cannot register onsite. The event no longer provides registration facilities onsite. Therefore, all attendees must be registered before they arrive at the Fira de Barcelona.

As a tip, take your time to register and avoid doing it at the last minute. You will need to have your ID and photograph checked, and this can take some time if many requests are made during busy periods, so it’s better to play it safe. If you have any issues during your registration, the WMC website provides a chat facility for assistance.

What Types of Passes are there for the Mobile World Congress 2023? 

Attendees can choose the pass combination that best suits their needs. The passes are divided into three.

Discovery Pass: This pass allows attendees to access the entire MWC exhibition floor, experience the congress’ startup event, 4YFC, and witness the demos, broadcast studios, and meetings while benefiting from networking opportunities, partner programs, and GSMA seminars. This pass costs 878.90 EUR with VAT.

Leader’s Pass: This pass is designed to give you a leadership profile. Attendees with this pass will have access to the same features as the Discovery Pass and extra access to all keynotes and conferences available at MWC Barcelona 2023. This will consist of over 35 CEO keynotes, 300 speakers, and 40 track sessions. At the 4YFN startup event, there will also be over 60 keynotes, more than 200 speakers, and 20 main-stage sessions. Importantly, this pass also includes enhanced networking and onsite restaurant booking services. This pass costs 2,415.60 EUR with VAT.

VIP Pass: This is the complete pass for VIP executives. It includes all the features of the Leader’s Pass, with exclusive VIP privileges to boot. These include airport transfers, car entrance drop-off assistance, and access to top hotels and the GSMA Members Lounge for better networking opportunities. Attendees with this pass will also have priority seating at keynotes and exclusive onsite speaker engagement opportunities. The VIP Pass costs 4,498.90 EUR with VAT.

Exhibitors, partners, and sponsors must register through the GSMA Exhibitor & Partner Registration System.

Press, industry analysts, and other media members who would like to attend MWC 2023 also have another portal and accreditation guidelines to follow.

Is There a Registration Deadline for MWC Barcelona 2023?

Attendees can register even throughout the event. But, while there isn’t a deadline, attendees are still recommended to register as early as possible, bearing in mind that all attendees need to have their identity checked before arriving at the venue. Your registration account will display whether you have completed all mandatory requirements and are ready to enter the venue.

What Are the ID and Photo Credential Requirements to Register for MWC Barcelona 2023?

Only valid passports or EU National IDs are accepted to complete your registration. Attendees need to have an identity check to access the venue. Usually, this was done during the badge collection. However, now that registration and access are digital, this ID and photo credential check will also be done online.

You will be asked to scan your password or EU National ID card during your registration. All you need to do after that is follow the online instructions that will appear to guide you through the process.

You can select two processes for the photo and ID check. The manual option will require processing the images via a contact center and can take several days, depending on the volume of other requests. There is also a facial recognition tool (BREEZ) that can instantly check your ID.

Attendees who fail to provide their identification will be unable to complete their registration or enter MWC. You can only register in full for your pass. If you want to purchase passes for other people, a Group purchase section is available on the website.

Will MWC 2023 Also be Available to See as a Virtual Event? 

Unlike in 2021, The Mobile World Congress, in 2023, is designed as an in-person event. However, with digital events still forming part of the current event planning landscape, there will be access to virtual content at MWC 2O23. Streaming and video-on-demand access to conference sessions and keynotes from the MWC exhibition and programs will be available on My MWC and Mobile World Live.

How Do I Plan for MWC 2023, and What Do I Do After the Event?

It would be best if you had a carefully elaborated plan to make the most of this event. This requires organizing what to do once you arrive in Barcelona and preparing yourself for after-parties and post-event networking opportunities. 

To do so, you need to scope out the sessions of interest to your company, filtering those relevant to your sector and expertise. Review the sponsors who will be attending too, and make a plan of who you would like to connect with. Once that is done, gather all the necessary MWC Barcelona attendee data, and leverage the insights into the attendees you want to network with. 

This can be done by targeting the audience you want from this event. This is why pre-planning is important if you use the right technology to help pick the events that best suit you.

Where Can I Stay When I’m Traveling to MWC Barcelona 2023?

If you finally decide to go to MWC Barcelona, you will need to know a bit more about the city and find a hotel. Barcelona is a touristic location, so finding hotels and Airbnb shouldn’t be a problem. Accommodation in Barcelona can range from budget hotels to luxury five-star hotels, apartments, b&bs, and cheap hostels. However, prices can be quite high when you approach the event dates, so it’s better to book a hotel with some time. 

As with most events, MWC has an official accommodation agency that can provide the best available rates at over 400 properties across a variety of budgets. Exhibitors also have flexible conditions making group block bookings. 

Traveling to Fira Gran Via is easy, so even if your hotel isn’t too close by, you can still enjoy the city and easily access the event, albeit by using the city’s metro, train, or taxis. 

However, if you must stay near Barcelona’s exhibition district to frequently access the event and other after-shows quickly, there are hotels within walking distance from MWC, such as:

  • The Catalonia Barcelona Plaza (4*)
  • The Gran Via BCN hotel (4*)
  • Hotel Porta Fira (4*)
  • Fira Congress (4*)
  • Travelodge Barcelona Fira (3*)
  • Fira Gran Via- Barcelona4Seasons (3*)

Tips When Traveling to Barcelona for MWC 2023

Barcelona is a city that boasts good travel infrastructure to get you from one place to another. Public transport is a timely and sustainable way to travel around the city. MWC and 4YFN offer free public transport passes to attendees to help them get around the city. The free pass can be used during the four days of the event in all public transport modes in zone 1 of the city, plus a trip to the airport. The free public transport pass can be collected at Fira Gran Via from Saturday, 25th February. 

There are three stops within walking distance of the Fira Gran Via venue.

  • L9S Europa Fira station and Fira station are closest to the south entrance and halls 1 to 4.
  • L10 Foc station is closest to the north entrance, and 4YFN is in hall 8.

You can also board any FGC train at Plaça Espanya station and disembark at Europa/Fira station to access the South entrance in around seven minutes. 

MWC Barcelona 2023 Summary

MWC Barcelona 2023 is a standout event for marketers in the telecom and tech sector. However, attending these events requires money, time, and resources investments. Managers need to ensure that their visit will be worth it and that they can leverage the face-to-face networking opportunities, along with the keynotes, sessions, and side events happening in Barcelona. 

Fortunately, event marketing strategies can help teams achieve these ROIs. When combined with data-driven insights, even intelligence can help marketers reach their expectations by guiding them to the events that best suit their needs and increasing their chances of finding potential leads. That way, combining a prestigious event with careful, insightful planning will make it easy to enjoy the Mobile World Congress in 2023 while delivering positive ROIs and lead-generation results to your business. 

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