Mobile World Congress – Not Your Grandma’s Tradeshow

Nick Miles

It’s that time of year again, where the telecom industry is heads down focused on deliverables for Mobile World Congress — the single largest global telecom event hosted by the GSMA at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.

So what is the big deal about trade shows anyway?

The 108k+ attendance volume & the efforts that go into a vast global event such as Mobile World Congress should be of no surprise since Trade Shows are still regarded as the most effective way for a brand to reach and engage a target audience.  So, it is no revelation that events are still the largest spend in marketing today – taking up roughly 12% off the overall marketing budget (certain).  Some of the largest telecom companies, ISV’s, and SI’s in the world spend this or more on Appointment Setting – face to face interactions with their customers and prospects.  In fact, those customers and prospects you interact with at the show are 98% more inclined to buy from you over the competition.  Those are some pretty convincing statistics on the value add of trade show participation. 

For a large event such as Mobile World Congress here are a few pointers for success:

  • Ensure management has clearly defined corporate goals that are anchored and aligned with sales and marketing together! 
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities leading up to the show.  
  • Identify the metrics that will support the overall goal defined by your management team.  Below are a few examples.  Note that when you set your KPI’s against your goals they should be quantifiable.

  • Have a clear and concise alignment of sales and marketing.

  • Have a solid post-show follow up plan that enables a continuation of dialogue with the net new prospects and leads that you have generated from the show.  They may not be ready to completely engage with you today but now you have a reason to stay connected, to nurture the relationship, and to provide the thought leadership and guidance when they are ready to make that purchase. 

The two latter points are critical to measuring the overall success a company will have at a trade show like MWC.  Leverage additional resources when you need to get ahead and drive aggressive ROI metrics.   Have a partner clean the data for you &/or call those new prospects and set onsite meetings with them where sales can begin to build a fruitful relationship.  Build out a process where you can track, report, and enhance the overall customer experience.  This will help your company stand out amongst the endless pool of SI’s, ISV’s, and Operators that attend the show every year. 

Don’t forget your post show engagement and continue to engage your brand and offerings to attendees throughout the year.   

Remember:  The investment you make to ensure  your sales and executive teams are meeting customers and prospects face to face  has a direct impact on your business revenue.   Make sure you seize these opportunities and optimize your investment and time.  If you need assistance in doing so, contact ELEVATE and we can help you drive the best overall results and customer engagement for your next big customer facing event.