Mobile World Congress

MWC Barcelona 2022: a chance at normality once again

MWC Barcelona is just a couple of weeks away and we’re starting to see more excitement building in the run up to the show. Now, admittedly, it’s not as it once was. But there are hints to suggest the show is starting to find its feet again. Yes, of course we’ll all have to take extra care, wear masks, go through additional checks etc, but generally, it feels like it’ll be a good time for the industry to get together again.

As this year’s show attempts to make its big comeback following a compulsory hiatus—bar last year’s very low-key affair—telecoms vendors remain hesitant about travelling, and about putting all their eggs in a MWC22-shaped basket. Having spoken to clients over the last few weeks about what this year’s show holds, a fair few have asked questions such as: “Will it really deliver any value?” “Is there any point in us attending?” “Will we get anything out of the show that we couldn’t get via a virtual meeting?” And importantly, “Will any of our key influencers be attending?”

So as telecoms vendors debate whether some marketing spend should go towards Barcelona—and indeed towards any trade shows—this year, and as they actively consider diverting budget into other marketing channels, we know from industry research just how valuable trade events can play during the telco technology buying process and indeed in wider marketing strategies.

According to our Catalyst research published just under a year ago, event participation played an important role in driving vendor selection. But it’s not just participating in trade shows that can prove beneficial; trade events also provide access to trade media and analysts—key channels of influence during the RFP process. According to our research found:

  • For 55% of telco tech buyers trade media has the biggest impact on telco awareness of a vendor;
  • Some of the most proven channels for shortlisting a vendor during the RFP process were found to be industry analysts (51%), internal business analysts (48%), and trade media (45%);
  • The content types that were found to be most influential for driving vendor selection included industry analyst reports (44%), news articles featuring a vendor (32%), and event participation (29%);
  • Indeed, 88% of telco tech buyers said to have contacted vendors after seeing them speak at an industry event

So it’s clear to see that meeting with trade media, industry analysts, and actively participating in trade shows like MWC can come to have significant benefits for telecoms vendors—even in the midst of a pandemic. And where better to meet with industry media, analysts, and to participate in a trade event than at MWC Barcelona?

Sure, the show will be on a smaller scale but the industry hasn’t had an opportunity to come together like this for far too long. It’ll be a reunion of sorts, where much has changed but where we’re also happy to find comfort and familiarity in the Fira (and in complaining about how there are too many halls and that our feet hurt by day 1, hour 1). We’ll be glad to get together over tapas and sangria, and in celebrating having made it through the most challenging two years our industry, and indeed our planet, has experienced since the last World War. And for the telco vendors attending the show, this is a chance to flex, to show off what they’ve been up to while the show has been forced to stop for a moment. So, I guess the questions that remain are: will you be attending MWC Barcelona this year? And if so, have you got your PR strategy in place to make the most of the show?

If you’d like to find out more about our Catalyst Research ‘Navigating Telco Turbulence: Lessons for Vendor Marketing’, download the full whitepaper here.

To find out more about how we could support you at MWC22 and beyond, or to arrange a meeting with us at the show, contact: [email protected]


Written by Anais Merlin


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