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Mobile World Congress: Five rules of engagement

This blog post, by MD of CCgroup Richard Fogg, was first written for The Holmes Report website.

This year marked my tenth ‘Mobile World Congress’ in 14 years (I got a few off for good behavior). Affectionately knows as MWC, it is the global mobile industry’s annual shindig and challenger to CES. This year’s event attracted some 85,000 people, 3,800 media and analysts and 1,800 exhibitors. It’s been estimated (using the official PR tools of beer mat and a free pen early in the morning) that B2B mobile vendors splash out between 40% and 60% of their annual marketing budget on this event alone.

Lissted CCgroup

As should be expected from such a number, when it comes to engagement at MWC expectations are very, very high. And you’d be forgiven for assuming, given the stakes, that the mobile industry would have MWC nailed as a military marketing operation. Sadly, this is the exception rather than the rule – as evidenced this year, where two weeks before the show our agency received a call from a major brand because its CEO wanted to launch a new product at the event.

In light of this exception, if there’s one thing that we need to underline when engaging at MWC (or indeed at any major conference), it’s the following: firmly set and manage expectations and make sure everyone understands what success looks like.

One major hint: it is not, and should never be, ‘filling the diary of the CEO with media and analyst meetings’. If you’re blowing even 40% of your marketing budget on an event, you need a measurable return like influencer relationships, prospect leads and customer sales. Read more

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