More than 100,000 entrepreneurs, business leaders, corporate reps, journalists and tech enthusiasts are about to descend on Barcelona. They’re coming to catch a glimpse of mobile future and to experience cutting edge technology at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place from the 26 February to 1st March 2018.
The (tech) star studded event takes place in Barcelona every year and puts the city firmly in the media spotlight. Industry leading companies will unveil their latest products and outline their visions for the future, we’ll see demonstrations, pitches, talks and lots more. It’s always an exciting time in the city for residents and visitors alike.
Whether you can splash out on a ticket and attend the event this year or not, there are plenty of fringe events, networking parties and talks to catch for students to catch during the MWC.
Free fringe events and parties
One of the best things about the MWC are the pop up parties and networking sessions. If you’re studying in the city, we highly recommend taking a look at the programme of events – here we’ve selected a few of the most interesting and diverse.
Barcelona Cocktail MWC Edition – this free event takes place on the Monday 26th February from 17:00 to 20:00 and introduces the LGBT Token. You’ll have the chance to network and learn about this blockchain technology, which has been designed to promote and advance equal rights among the LGBT community.
Ladies Wine & Design is a free event at FIU HOUSE in Barcelona and will take place on the Tuesday 27th February from 19:30 – 22:30. Students interested in gender equality, particularly in creative industries will find this networking event useful. Take the chance to find out about the state of the industry and read founder Jessica Walsh’s article Kill them With Kindness to learn more about the movement and see what inspired LW&D’s rise to success in more than 120 cities across the world.
DrinkEntrepreneurs also takes place on Tuesday the 27th from 19:00 to 22:00. This relaxed networking drinks meetup encourages informal and friendly networking and offers a chance for students to meet local and international entrepreneurs in town for the MWC event.
Israel Mobile Association (IMA) MWC18 Cocktail Party will take place on Tuesday, February 27 from 18:30 to 20:00. The IMA has a worldwide reach, with more than 150 global partners. Students who attend will be able to make the most of the networking opportunities and learn about progress in a whole range of digital technologies.
Interesting paid MWC events
If you have a bit of spare cash to invest, there are a number of excellent paid events to go to, too – though you’ll have to hurry because they sell out quickly!
4YFN (Four Years From Now) is the startup event of the MWC and runs concurrently with the main event from the 26th to the 28th February. Attend this exciting conference to meet a whole range of startup founders, investors and business leaders and make connections and take part in lots of different activities. Tickets cost from €299, but be on the lookout for discounts!
Women in Mobile promises to be a extremely interesting MWC event and takes place Tuesday 27th February from 19:30 to 23:00. Featuring all-female speakers from Google, AVA, Sage, BlaBlaCar, Booking.com and others, attendees will learn about the main theme of the event – Personalization Based on AI. Though the main event is now sold out, students can still take advantage of the online streaming session which takes place in the adjacent room, for just €3 plus tax.
IoT Stars takes place at the Antigua Fàbrica Estrella Damm on the February 26th. Book your place to watch a range of new and established IoT companies pitch their products to an international jury and enjoy a tech focused networking event. Tickets are selling out quickly and range from €35 to €70, plus tax
While some people take to networking like fish to water, others find these events to be quite intimidating and hug the walls. So before you set off to a networking event, conference or startup event, it’s good to go prepared and have a strategy.
Firstly, “business casual” is the usual dress code. You’re not attending an interview, so it’s fine to be a bit more relaxed – but avoid looking scruffy or you’ll seem out of place and people won’t take you seriously.
Remember that you don’t need to talk to everyone in the room. As a student It should be your aim to talk to people who work in the industries you are interested in and find out about what they do.
Don’t be shy. Everyone is in the same situation and most people are more than happy to speak to a friendly face. Introduce yourself and talk about your experience, but try to listen more than you talk and ask lots of questions. Most people appreciate the chance to talk about the subjects that interest them and you never know where the conversation might lead and what opportunities might arise.
Connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn or other appropriate social media networks and send them a note saying it was good to meet them afterwards. In future, there may be internship or other employment opportunities, but more often than not these connections can introduce you to other people in the field.
Finally, always take a fully charged mobile phone with you. Whether you have business cards or not, it’s the best way of sharing contact details – and nearly everyone has WhatsApp.
We hope you find an event or two that interests you and that you can make new connections and new opportunities for your future!