Thursday, February 16, 2006

My view on Barcelona

So I went to 3GSM at the start of the week. First impressions were blunted by the travel issues, but unlike some my delays were caused by the delights of Britsh Airports rather than the distance traveled. Yes getting to the conference was a lot better than when it was in France.

Once I was at the site I thought that it might as well have been in Hanover becuae this was no longer the congress it had started out as. Informa and the GSMA have turned the whole thing into a trade fair. I have not problem with the fact that it has no become a big commercial event rather than somewhere that you came to in an effort to build bridges and cemment ralationships. However with this now just one big shop window and everyone trying to sell to everyone perhaps its time to review whats it all about?

I for one spent a little time in the exhibition halls. I did a quick spin around two of the giant halls before heading off to talk with people who were based away from the main area in Hospitality suites. The more enlightened had decided to make use of the near by hotels whilst others use the large sheds to try and create rooms but lacked any facilities compared to the hotels. The downside of all this walking is that in an effort to pack as much as possible in my feet to a pounding and by the end of the day I was not a happy bunny.

I managed to bunp into a few friends whilst there and they like me were questioning the value of the event, two were unhappy that they seemed to waste time meeting co-workers rather than spending time with clients.

The most interesting point was that of the thirty people I spoke with only ONE was there to attend the conference and he worked for the GSMA. This I think proves that it has now become little more than a trade fair and as such I can give it a miss every other year by alternating it with CeBIT. The problem for the organisors is that the exhibitors who pay for this event might start taking the same view and like me decide that they need not attend and that the whole thing impodes on itself.

Perhaps now is the time for everyone to review what GSM World is about and how best it can meet the needs of the Mobile industry? It is evident that we need some global event as well as local ones in an effort to expand the business and show off. However too many people thinking like me and we will not have many more events like Barcelona.

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