Nobody nowadays can have failed to notice the number of people engaged with their mobile phones on city streets, public transport, restaurants and bars and indeed anywhere else where people gather around the world. From social media to internet browsing, from shopping online to GPS the mobile phone in your hand is a true source of wonder and many people ask themselves how did we ever live without it? For the last number of years Barcelona has hosted the most important global event where technology companies from around the globe present their latest products for mobile phones, the Mobile World Congress which takes place annually the last week of February or beginning of March. MWC exhibitors represent some of the most successful companies on the planet.
Barcelona becomes the focus of emerging technology
This highly coveted event that brings more than 105,000 visitors to the city every year for an intensive week of presentations, conferences, meetings and media events. Executives, buyers, manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from 205 countries get together Barcelona.
The Mobile World Congress dates for 2019 are betweenthe 25th and the 28th of February
Barcelona an exemplary city of integrated technology and natural advantages
Barcelona has a long history of hosting significant global events on the world stage, from the Barcelona Universal Exposition of 1888 which was the first time that Spain held a World’s Fair to the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition and the 1992 Olympic Games. The city’s exceptional infrastructure has been laid down over a century and is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the city continues to be a popular venue for the MWC. Public transport, world class hotels and exhibition spaces (in fact some of the buildings where the congress is held each year, Palau de Congresos or the Fira 1 Barcelona were constructed for the 1929 Exposition between Plaza España and Montjuïc).
Barcelona’s unique culinary culture and varied gastronomic offering makes the city the perfect venue for soft business, meetings and social interaction where many times the real business of the MWC is carried out. Places like City Bar & Restaurant where the excellent food is complimented by exemplary service. Coupled with the fact that during the dates when the congress is held Barcelona’s benign climate provides an early spring for the visitors, even at this time of year blue skies and mild temperatures are practically guaranteed due to the city’s micro climate surrounded by mountains and bordering the Mediterranean.
An unequalled infrastructure
The trade fair pavilions La Fira 1 & 2 Barcelona become the focus of attention where most of the conference activities take place. The Fira 2 or Gran Via which is located between the city centre and the airport on Av. Joan Carles I, 64 of Hospitalet de Llobregat, includes 8 pavilions. The futuristic building was designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. In 2016 after many years of planning Fira 2 became accessible by the city metro, one of the new stops on the L8 and L9 that links both airport terminals with the city centre.
However the MWC is a city wide event, parallel activities are held across Barcelona during the week, Plaça Catalunya is an important focus with the Mobile World Centre an exhibition space dedicated to illustrating how mobile technology and the internet impact on our lives, and temporary stands that are erected on the square for the duration of the event aimed at the general public. Barcelona’s restaurants and bars are filled to capacity and making a reservation for these dates is highly recommended. City Bar & Restaurant is an excellent option for visitors interested in combining learning about the renowned cuisine of the Mediterranean in addition being close to the main MWC events. Simple and unpretentious cooking with a contemporary and cosmopolitan twist, based on seasonal fresh produce, a menu designed by chef Alberto Vicente.
Grand Hotel Central is an excellent base for visitors to MWC, not just because of its city centre location close to everything going on during that week but for its business facilities, library, food and concierge service that will take care of booking Mobile World Congress tickets and every other possible requirement in order to make that the experience is an optimum one. After a day of conferences and networking the Grand Hotel Central is the perfect venue to recuperate and prepare for the following day.
Getting around Barcelona, public transport infrastructure; TMB
Parallel events; Mobile World Centre
General info about restaurants and bars in Barcelona; Guía Punto
Photo by Màrius Montón