Posted by Chris Martin 21 February 2014
5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show
We're off to Barcelona next week to Mobile World Congress (MWC) and that might sound like the best thing ever to you but it's not all fun and games. Here are five things we hate about MWC to give you an idea of what it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show.
See also: The future of smartwatch apps.
5 things we hate about MWC: Everything is miles away
We're used to sitting at desks on comfortable chairs typing away while listening to music. So, walking around a huge show isn't something our legs are used to. MWC is one of the smaller shows on the calendar but that doesn't mean it's small. Each hall, of which there are eight, is bigger than the football pitch and is full of stands from different tech manufacturers. This means everything can be literally miles away and it's pretty easy to get lost trying to find a specific stand. All of this and you've got to carry a mobile office on your back.
5 things we hate about MWC: Food
Not unique to MWC, but we tend to end up malnourished at trade shows. The food is foreign, which can be good but also regrettably bad, and you're eating times inevitably get screwed up. CES, in Las Vegas is not so bad for food, mostly because there is a press packed lunch served every day but no such joy in Barcelona.
5 things we hate about MWC: Queues
We're English, so we're naturally good at queuing – or so the saying goes. The queues are MWC are nothing short of horrific. No matter what you're trying to do or where you're trying to go, there will be a gigantic queue. As we already mentioned there are out-the-door queues for food at lunch time, picking up your badge to get you into the show, queues as far as the eye can see for taxis at the end of the day and queues to see devices on stands which everyone wants to get hands-on with (except the rubbish products).
5 things we hate about MWC: Wi-Fi
In order to bring you all the information we're gathering at great speed while pacing round the show, we need a good internet connection. Unfortunately, as with almost every other show and press event, the Wi-Fi is unreliable. Obviously it's going to be difficult to provide a speedy and constant connection to thousands of attendees but nevertheless it doesn't half make our job frustrating. Luckily the press room has hard wired ethernet cables so it's not all bad.
5 things we hate about MWC: Expenses
Ok so this is most definitely a first world problem but expensing a trip like MWC is an absolute nightmare. Remembering to get a receipt for everything you buy is hard enough, not losing said receipts is even harder to accomplish. If you manage to do all that, there's the task of sorting through it all when you're finally back in the office. As the photo shows, this is a pretty tricky, not only logistically but also working out what the items are since the receipts are in Spanish.