Last week, CES 2022 went as planned despite the emergence of the omicron variant of COVID-19, but the upheaval caused many to cancel visitation plans, even after assurances from organizers and exclamations the show must go on. However, despite the mess that all of this inevitably caused, it became clear that many businesses were actually well enough prepared not to be there, and the virtual CES performed surprisingly well, just in a familiar and generally boring way. .
On February 28, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will open, and organizers have also proclaimed the show must continue, although the health and safety situation is no different from CES. While the MWC should indeed move forward, pushing it as an in-person event is misguided and foolish. Instead, the virtual side should become the heart of MWC, as it is the perfect way to showcase the exciting future of mobile technology.
Remote work worked
I covered CES 2022 remotely, and despite the last-minute switch to online rather than in-person meetings for many companies, it turned out fine. I’ve interviewed executives, seen product demos, and chatted with people I usually only see at CES. Some companies sent in products for review ahead of the show, and most were eager to discuss in detail any upcoming ones in the near future that I couldn’t try for myself.
At no time did I really think that I needed be in Las Vegas. Because big companies have pulled out and others like Samsung and OnePlus didn’t really show off a new product at the show itself, it doesn’t look like I missed much. Definitely judging by the images shared on Twitter about the infrequent press conferences and empty rooms, it wasn’t a bustling life on the exhibition floor, which the media traditionally scoured for new products and interesting stories.
Obviously, none of the social aspects of CES were possible for me, but from what I understand, not much has happened in that regard anyway. When you take away the socializing, all trade shows are all about work and I have worked smoothly from home. But CES Online 2022 was the exact same old online meeting format I had in the past. It’s fine for most of the ordinary days, but it’s a wasted opportunity at a high-tech event that catches the world’s attention.
MWC is coming
Six weeks from now, MWC 2022 will face the same issues as CES 2022, as it seems unlikely that the situation regarding Covid-19 will be so different from now on. Businesses hesitate, wonder if they should attend, and unfortunately, just like CES, the procrastination will continue before someone, somewhere decides it’s not worth the risk and effort to attend. Once one does, others will follow, just like at CES, and once again the virtual side of the show is going to suddenly become important. However, it absolutely won’t be as good as it could be because of all this dithering.
It is a tiring and counterproductive approach. Now is the time to learn from CES and all similar events over the past couple of years. Those thinking about what to do about MWC should set the trend and plan a small contingent in person if warranted, and in parallel, host some engaging and informative online events. Delaying because no one knows what to do for the best is a waste of time, so instead of waiting for the dominoes to start falling, don’t participate in the game in the first place.
The industry should be proactive rather than sneaking up on everyone to take the first step. This will improve the show, ensure we as the media present new products in an informed and informative manner, and exciting innovations will receive the attention they deserve. Plus, done right, MWC would be really focused on mobile innovation.
What about the use of technology?
Making the decision to prioritize the online aspect of MWC is just the start. It must be an event in itself. Mobile World Congress is about, you guessed it, mobile technology, so why not use it? It’s hard to expect many exciting communication technologies at MWC, whether it’s advancements in audio and video, a new front-facing camera on a phone, a VR meeting space, or the 5G, so why not demonstrate it?
At CES it was proven that the basics are all in place, but MWC can do better, and it’s an opportunity for companies that talk about innovation and lead the way. Why not forge partnerships, set up collaborations, and adapt? OnePlus has shown what is possible with its augmented reality launch from the North, and ahead of the pandemic with the virtual reality launch of the OnePlus 3.
Just because the hip aspect of being a digital nomad isn’t here right now – I’m at home, not on the beach – doesn’t mean the concept of working from wherever you want is. less relevant, especially as more companies delay a return to the office. More than ever, people want to work how and where they want to work, and they will rely on mobile technology to do so. With the right planning and the right effort, MWC can illustrate how the pandemic has made this even more realistic than ever.
Shows happen because of the money
It is important to remember that the insistence that the in-person show must take place is motivated by money, whether for the city in which the event is taking place, the organizing body or the men of the event. business that makes deals. The hard truth is that shows are becoming less and less important to the media and consumers, as I discovered by not to be at CES 2022. Forward-thinking organizations know it, but others stubbornly cling to the past and prioritize profits over innovation.
Proof that the mobile and tech industry is lagging behind came when the E3 gaming fair announced in January that it would be an online, not in-person event this year, and it didn’t. does not take place until June. The move has relieved businesses and potential attendees, gives them months to prepare, and will almost certainly result in a better, more cohesive show.
Still, I fear the mobile industry will stumble head-first in February with a vague plan that seems to involve wondering what everyone else will do, accepting it until the nerves break, and then having to change tactics at the last minute.
Do not do that. Why not decide now to make the inevitable virtual shows as good as possible, to demonstrate mobile technology in an innovative, exciting and relevant way, and not to just wait until you have to? I want to see the mobile industry take the lead and lead the way in innovation of remote work, virtual spaces, the potential of 5G and even the metaverse by making MWC 2022 a truly exciting, led event. by mobile and accessible from anywhere. remember.