This February thousands of visitors will descend on Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress exhibition. Billed as the ‘world’s premier mobile industry event’, the exhibition offers those in the industry a chance to catch a glimpse of the future of mobile technology and software and attend talks by professionals in the field, as well as opportunity to network and further their own careers. Organisers emphasise how mobile technology is not only commonplace but essential in today’s world. The exhibition aims to highlight the best of the technology and showcase what’s next in a rapidly changing industry.
Last year more than 72,000 people attended the exhibition. People such as Drew Houston from Dropbox, Dennis Crowley from Foursquare, and Mitchell Baker and Gary Kovacs from Mozilla made keynote speeches, among many others. More than 17,000 companies exhibited, showing new hardware such as mobiles and tablets, as well as brand new apps. App Developer Conferences were held by companies such as Samsung and Nokia, where attendees could learn about the newest advances in app technology.
Most interestingly, those with NFC enabled handsets were able to take part in the NFC Experience. This meant a virtual badge could be created on their phones, allowing access to the exhibition. This also allowed attendees to pay for food and goods with their phones, download maps and information about the event, and even get access to coupons for attractions around Barcelona.
This year many of these experiences will be coming back. The App Developer Conferences will return, as well as the NFC Experience. Exhibitors will be back to show off their latest creations, and the Global Mobile Awards will be held to honour the most innovative work in the industry. The App Planet exhibition, a dedicated showcase of new app technology, will also be held.
Some news has already been released to heighten anticipation before the event itself. Many companies have released news of their latest handsets, such as LG with their Nexus 5, and and Sony with the Xperia Z2, photos of which have already been leaked online.
This year’s event features some highly anticipated keynote speakers from the app industry. Jan Koum from WhatsApp and Rich Riley from Shazam Entertainment will be speaking, as well as Jon Matonis from the Bitcoin Foundation. Most interestingly Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, will be speaking. As the head of one of the biggest, if not the biggest, social media networks, hopefully there will be some new and exciting announcements in his speech. The Wall Street Journal notes that this will be his first ever appearance at the event.
It’s safe to say that anticipation is high for this year’s Mobile World Congress. With the event growing each year, and the smartphone industry showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, this should be an exciting time for anyone in the industry.