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Mobile World Congress sees over 60,000 industry delegates descend on Barcelona, the Mobile World Capital, for a power-charged week of networking, professional development, business and product launches, and industry trend analysis and market updates.

This year, the Heroes of the Mobile World Fringe Festival runs alongside the main event offering more opportunities for smaller players to get noticed and make connections with global players. We talk to mobile marketing guru, Congress veteran and Fringe organizer, Helen Keegan, about how to get the most out of Mobile World Congress in 2012.

1. Come early.

Helen recommends arriving the weekend before Mobile World Congress officially gets underway, and to entice early starters, the Fringe will be holding events over the weekend to get visitors into the swing of it. “Arrive in Barcelona on the Saturday or Sunday and ease yourself into it”, Helen says. If you are new to Barcelona, it makes for the perfect time to scout the venue and do a dryrun commute so you are not flustered on the actual event days. Barcelona transport is easy to use and accessible, so you can choose anywhere in the city for your Barcelona apartments stay and know that it is easy to get to and from Fira de Barcelona each day. When catching the metro, look to be on the red (L1) or green (L3) lines and get off at Plaza Espanya.

2. Eat properly

“Make sure you eat properly and drink lots of water”, Helen advises. There are often long queues for food at the event, so make sure you stock up on a healthy, energy-generating breakfast each morning. Staying in our Barcelona apartments makes it easy to organize your diet, as you have full kitchen facilities rather than having to rely on the Barcelona breakfast menus, which can be a bit pastry-heavy to offer you the carb and protein load you need to stay on your feet all day.

3. Get involved

“For independent apps developers and smaller businesses, don’t rely on walking around the exhibitor stalls and expect to somehow get noticed. You need to meet with industry players and be proactive about participating in networking events,” says Helen. Where MWC industry events can be dauntingly massive, the Fringe Festival offers more accessible ways to be linked up with representatives and delegates that are interested in your business. Events like roundtable lunches and meet a guru sessions are specifically designed by Heroes of the Mobile World Fringe to connect you to the best of the industry stakeholders.

4. Pace yourself

2012 will be Helen’s eighth Mobile World Congress. She believes that each year, newcomers still underestimate the enormity of the event and the frantic rthythm at which it operates. “It really is intense”, she warns. Do your research beforehand and know who you want to meet, what events at Congress and Fringe you want to attend, and make advance contact. Plans may change on the day, but having an overall strategy and being able to move from event to event can prevent the four days whizzing past in a blur.

5. Have your elevator script ready.

We have previously recommended this as an absolute necessity when attending any business event in Barcelona, but none moreso than Mobile World Congress. Know how to describe your business, what you can offer, and why people should be interested in you. You may only have thirty seconds to make an impression or to create a hook that keeps your contact lingering and asking for more. Don’t forget to be interested in their business and to ask questions rather than focus on yourself all the time.

Thanks to Helen Keegan for sharing her advice. Find out more about the MWC Fringe Festival events. Enjoy Barcelona still has some ideal apartments available to rent for Mobile World Congress.