Is there really any difference between Christmas and the Mobile World Congress?
Both happen once a year, come round quicker than you think, involve an immense amount of preparation for a short period of time, intense daytime activity, the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, and of course spending precious time with loved ones. OK, the analogy falls on weakened ground at this last point (well for the majority, for the minority, you know who you are), but the comparison has been made.
The fact remains that the Mobile World Congress is only 114 days away. Seems like a long time? Well, it feels like only yesterday since the London Olympics finished. That was 80 days ago.
Business preparations for MWC 2013 started as MWC 2012 closed its doors. But it’s always a different tale when it comes to media planning. MWC media briefings should never be an afterthought, but as a PR agency, you would expect us to say that. Planning for media briefings, regardless of whether you will have news at the event or not (get those research projects kicked-off now), should already underway, primarily because there are greater considerations to be accounted for at MWC 2013. Not least because MWC has moved home, from the old Fira to a new Fira that is 50% bigger.
From a media perspective, that could potentially spell “briefing mayhem”. As an ex-journalist that has been attending the event since 1998, I can tell you exactly what that means: Missed briefings; and plenty of them. The layout has changed, companies are no longer where they once were, and the distance between one briefing and the next is unknown. Journalists will have no bearings of the venue, and therefore location for briefings.
For PRs, it will mean a lot of “I’m sure they’re on their way”, or “I’ll just give them a call to see where they are”, to disgruntled and increasingly frustrated clients. Sounds harsh, but it will happen, just as it did when the-then 3GSM event moved from Cannes to its previous home in Barcelona.
No doubt all good PR agencies will have introduced a series of measures to ensure missed media briefings are minimised and that the media enter MWC 2013 with a good degree of familiarity already. A great PR agency will develop an innovative concept that provides a compelling solution to clients and the media, and guarantees a seamless transition to the new Fira.
Based on the previous sentence, you will now not be surprised to hear that we have created exactly that. We call it the Liberty MWC Briefing Express, and it involves a luxury train journey from London-to-Paris-to-Barcelona, with an overnight stop at Perpignan for some fine French refreshment. It combines the necessity of travel with the opportunity to conduct media briefings and develop media relations over a 24-hour period.
From the media’s perspective, it replaces the burden of organising travel and accommodation (we have done that) and provides them with copy and numerous stories before they have even reached Barcelona. For clients, besides ensuring they have conducted multiple briefings prior to the event and started to develop strong relations with their core media, it also means they have more time for client or new business meetings during the Congress when upwards of 70,000 people will traversing the show floor.
One person that won’t be traversing the show floor is Father Christmas, whom will no doubt be chilling in the North Pole after another busy Christmas period. But if there are other comparisons to be drawn from Christmas and MWC, it would not be between Father Christmas and GSMA CEO John Hoffman. That said, I know exactly what I’d do with my iPhone 4 if Hoffman came down my chimney on Christmas Eve. I know there is not an app for that!
Bookings for the Liberty MWC Briefing Express are now being taken. For full information, please call +44 (0) 207 751 4444.