This year was the second time when I visited MWC. It doesn’t give me a status of “expert” but I already formed my opinion about this event and would love to share it with you.
1. First of all, it’s expensive – a basic ticket for the whole conference costs about 750 EUR WITHOUT taxes. If you add taxes on top – be prepared to pay around 1 000 EUR. There are some hacks to get free or cheap tickets. This year, for example, 4YFN offered a ticket for 150 EUR where you can get access to 4YFN exhibitions for all days and one day at the main venue. I’m not experienced in getting free tickets, so would recommend just google how to get them. You can find a lot of articles like this. By the way, with a basic ticket, you will not have access to keynote speeches and many presentations and workshops.
2. The conference is immense. You can spend an entire day just going from one pavilion to another and looking around. It’s interesting first couple of hours but then gets pretty boring.
3. Barcelona loves to earn money on you during the conference. All hotels raise their prices as high as possible and they are booked a long time in advance. If you would like to use Airbnb, you will get the most crappiest apartment without heating and in awful condition for a hell a lot of money. So, if you are going to the conference, book your stay in a very advance (2-3 months).
4. It’s not a safe city. You have to be ALWAYS very careful with people around – there are a lot of pickpockets, prostitutes and drug dealers. It’s recommended to take off conference badges as soon as you leave a venue.
5. It’s all about having fun. I think, 90% people go there to waste company’s budgets. From the first second people start talking about parties, alcohol and where are they planning to hang out. Honestly, it was the most annoying thing about the conference: people are going there only for free promotional products, food and alcohol.
6. Unprofessionalism. I was surprised by two things:
a) some people who were presenting companies at booths speak very poor English, so every time when my colleague was trying to engage them in a dialogue (that was more than just a selling monologue) – it didn’t work.
b) people are desperately trying to sell you everything every second – pitch their project, sell their product and so on. As soon as they realise that you are not their target audience – they loose attention and switch to another “victim”. People thoughtlessly collect business cards just to show their bosses that they were “working”.
7. Idiotic attitude to women. So, if you are a young girl, a lot of guys will decide that you are single and bored to death and will start “entertain” you with stupid talks about their life.
8. For venues like this, I would strongly recommend preparing a list of contacts that you would like to talk to and set up meetings in advance. So, you will have just a set of meetings without wasting time on stupid talks and useless events. It’s much better to explore the city in a free time 😉