MWC 2024: A View from the Show Floor

13 Mar, 2024
Cook + Associates | Technology

It’s 30 years since the first Mobile World Congress – a far cry from Cannes in early spring, surrounded by mimosa, blue skies and mega yachts!  For those of us that remember the beginnings of what has become the world’s largest communications and now connectivity event, MWC 2024 in Barcelona truly celebrated the return of in-person events.  Over 100k visitors, 2700 plus exhibitors, sponsors, and partners, and a celebration of the largest and smallest innovations in the industry. Impressive.

As the C+A team clocked up the miles around the venue and show floor, we wanted to share some of our impressions of this year’s event. As an experience, it was unmatched thanks to the supreme organisation skills of the GSMA.  Smooth entry and exit, no queuing in the pouring rain, comms and wifi that really did hold up despite the numbers – all in all, the epitome of a well-organised and executed event on a mega scale.

From the business perspective, it’s behind the scenes where the real action takes place but there were many fun and interesting elements to note around the aisles. Key themes were obviously AI, sustainability, and the required infrastructure and devices to deliver all of this. Etisalat and (E&) were leading the MWC showcase with a demonstration of their new AI robot.  It could describe what people were wearing, answer questions from an engaged and fascinated crowd, and make them laugh – A standout performance if ever we’ve seen and mastery at work at engaging a technological audience.

But it wasn’t all about product showcase, when it comes to immersive experiences T-Mobile created an almost stadium-like experience of self-discovery moments, harnessing multi-tiered interactive spaces with gamified activations, “Magenta AI room” and even a TED talk-inspired theatres to accommodate to the active and passive audience types to their stand.

We also admired Orbic’s all-inclusive messaging and its 5G-connected AI-powered e-bike – as PCMag described it “… may sound like the fever dream of an AI chatbot asked to imagine a 2025 wireless-industry press release”!  Whale Cloud caught our eye for attracting so many people – they were the only stand with a huge queue just to get on. And Fujitsu’s Christmas-style paper chain walling really stood out as a practical yet eye-catching option to underline their commitment to sustainability.

Yet, with halls full of sensory overload, the spaces that hit the best balance were those that combined the wow factor with serenity and simplicity – acting as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the show floor. Huawei’s takeover of Hall 1 was full of beauty and grandeur with their overhead lighting display, interactive spaces, and product demos but their considered relaxation lounges ‘behind the curtain’ provided the perfect escape to fully absorb the Huawei space. For Nexign, we also mastered this beautifully with their space orientated around the theme of ‘digital tranquility’, balancing the combination of object recognition and demo pods with a tranquility lounge and health bar. Read more about Nexign @ MWC here.

The 1000s of meeting rooms on and off the branded environments were, as always, the heart of the business action and underlined the importance of paying real attention to detail in planning reception areas, staffing, event tools and apps to manage customer engagement and get everyone to where they needed to be. The glitz and glamour are one element but this is a key part to getting the most out of being there.

We can’t wait to engage with everyone once again as we start the planning for MWC 25! Want to know how we can transform your space Or are you looking for something new in 2025? Drop us a line @ or head over to our contact page.