The 3GSM World Mobile Congress is one of the most exciting congresses to be held in Barcelona, and it is certainly the most important of its kind. It is organized by the GSMA, which began as the GSM (Groupe Speciale Mobile) in 1982. The GMSA has members from 219 different countries and unites nearly 800 mobile operators. It also has members from more than 200 companies within the industry such handset makers, software companies, and media and entertainment organizations, among others. The GMSA hopes to increase the growth of the mobile communications industry via innovation and the creation of new opportunities for its members.
The 3GSM World Mobile Congress is the world´s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and features some of the world’s most renowned Chief Executives representing mobile operators, vendors, and content owners. The event has been held annually since 1994 and in Barcelona since 2006. The congress is essentially a meeting place for leaders in the mobile technology and cell phone market to gather, collaborate, and network.
In 2009 more than 47,000 people from 182 countries visited the congress, 2,800 of which were CEOs. This year the organizers expect more than 50,000 visitors.
Since 2006, when the congress moved to Barcelona, a partnering event has also taken place, organized by Acció (a department of the Catalan Government´s Ministry of Innovation, University and Enterprise) together with a group of partners from the Enterprise Europe Network. The goal of this event is to help European start-ups, small and medium businesses, and laboratories in the mobile technology sector explore cooperation and initiate partnerships.
To do this the organizers collect technology offers and requests from all over the world and compile them into a catalogue of profiles. Registered users can then request meetings via the online catalogue. If the meeting is confirmed on both sides a face to face meeting will then be scheduled and will take place at the Pavilion during the congress. In 2009 approximately 1,200 meetings took place.
This year the congress will be held February 15-18 at the Fira de Barcelona, in the Sants-Montjuic district. There are four types of passes that will give you entrance into the congress: Gold Pass, Silver Pass, Exhibition Visitor Pass, and Platinum Pass. The Platinum Pass is all inclusive, and costs 4,999 euros. This option is probably best if you want to take advantage of networking opportunities, as it includes entry to all the social events at the congress.
If your only objective is to see the exhibitions then you should be fine with an Exhibition Visitor Pass, which includes entry the exhibitions and seminars and costs 599 euros. You can upgrade you pass at any time, and you will only pay the difference between the two passes.
The congress includes leadership conferences with keynotes speakers and panel discussions, exhibitions of more than 1,300 companies, and an awards ceremony highlighting the world´s most innovative mobile solutions and initiatives. This year´s congress will also feature App Planet, an “event within an event”, which explores the mobile applications market. App Planet will have more than 50 application focused exhibitors revealing their newest technology and will be open to all pass holders.
Also new this year, for the first time in the history of the congress the GSMA Global Mobile Awards will be presented at the congress. There are 105 nominees in 18 different categories such as “Best Technology” and “Best Mobile Services”. The awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, February 16 at 3:45pm and all awards will be presented except for “Best Mobile Handset or Device”, “Mobile Personality of the Year”, and “GSMA Chairman´s Award”.
This event is open to Gold and Platinum pass holders. The last three awards will be presented the same evening at 7:30pm at the Congress Party and Awards Celebration. This event will be hosted by the actor/writer Stephen Fry and will feature a performance by Duran Duran. Tickets are in included in the Platinum pass and can be purchased by all other pass holders on a first-come, first-served basis for 200 euros which will also give you entry into the main awards ceremony.
Monday to Wednesday the conference hours are 9am to 7pm and the exhibition and hospitality suite hours are 7:30am to 10pm. On Thursday the conference hours are 9am to 4pm and the exhibition and hospitality suite hours are 7:30am to 4pm.
The Fira de Barcelona is easily accessible by public transport as in addition the metro and many bus lines also stop there. As with any major event, accommodation can fill up quite quickly so it´s best to book early. Way2Barcelona.com offers affordable accommodation near the Fira de Barcelona which can be booked via the website or by calling +34 93 2375333.
For more information the World Mobile Congress visit the official website at http://www.mobileworldcongress.com