Surface: 94,000 square metres
Companies: 1,700, only 84 of them Spanish
Countries of origin: more than 200
Increased assistance with regard to 2012: 8%
Business volume: 320 million Euros, 19 million more than in 2012
Accredited MEDIA: 3,400, but surely there must have been a few more
Do I hear more? It is easy to figure out through this data that I am talking about the last Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest technological event specialising in the mobile industry and, ultimately, we could say that it is one of the trendiest events.
What other trade fair, congress, symposium, conference or convention is capable of bringing together so many media -and so varied-, and bloggers per square metre? Probably the Olympic Games, maybe a Football World Cup, or possibly the Papal Conclave, but undoubtedly every aspect related to the latest technological developments continues to create expectations and is attractive to the media.
Technology is still one of the global enconomy’s key drivers and an innovative industry, which represents progress, and all related events prove to be quite appealing, especially where technologies available to all are involved. Yet here it is important to emphasise that some trade fairs are more successful than others. It is true that some of these conventions, with such record figures, have fallen victim to their own success and, no matter how hard they try to reinvent themselves, they can no longer get back on their feet; it is somewhat like celebrities who refuse to disappear.
The mobile market is an innovative one, especially due to the emergence of smartphones and tablets. Today everything fits in a mobile: contacts, friends, foes, family, personal life, souvenirs, leisure, pastimes,… and work, of course. We can do everything through a mobile. This gives way to the creativity that is spreading around this sector and anything a company does, in relation with mobiles, is likely to become news.
The media’s interest in everything “mobile and the mobility trends” is such that here we have the MWC’s figures as an example: 3,400 accredited media! Go figure, but it would be worth knowing how many attend at their own expense –possibly a minority- and how many are invited by companies. And we revolve around these: agencies and communications consultants. Everything mobile creates trend and, as I said, implies creativity in many cases. Companies taking part in these congresses raise the creativity exponent to launch their novelties –the bigger they are the better they accomplish this, evidently, given that they usually invest more-, and we are in the middle, trying to reach the height of creativity.
In some cases, the communications professional is expected to work magic, or even “miracles”, to get the media’s attention when it comes to communicating those innovative messages and offering that information in the most engaging way possible, especially when dealing with events such as those referred to above, where the crowd of journalists and bloggers is enormous. Everyone wants us to go “journalist-hunting”, they want to be talked about and to watch themselves in the news, and if this does not happen, it is because you have not done your job. Some of them will think “with all those journalists about, it would be hard not to get one of them to pay attention to you”,while others will ask –or demand, “and if it is a top-level media, all the better”, without making a real assessment exercise on whether what they want to communicate is truly interesting or just more of the same. No! Communications work has a broader scope than this.
On the other hand, the subtle difference is that media invited by a company cover the information of the company which has invited them, while the media attending on their own, as a general rule, can be more objective and have a better global view, as they are not “bound” by their host’s dictates. Predictably, the biggest ones hold more power and resources and, as a result, large companies are better able to invite journalists, something that the smallest ones cannot do, no matter how innovative they might be. For them, attending appointments of this magnitude already implies a great effort… so assigning a budget for inviting the press is out of the question. This aspect should also be taken into account when reading what is finally published by the media, in many cases; it is simply a reflection of what is exposed here.
In view of the media’s evolution, the ways of getting through to them, the new communications channels opened by technologies, or the new parameters established by some of the media to assess what is published and what is not, the world of Communications is living in a constant period of adjustment, but we must not limit ourselves to becoming mere “go-getters”, or at least, we should not allow people to consider us as such. Our work goes much further than that.