For just over a week, the main manufacturers and technology brands come together in the corridors of the Fira de Barcelona to put their proposals on telephony, communication networks and mobility systems on the table to show them to the more than 80,000 visitors that the organization expects to receive in this edition.
Having such a showcase for suppliers and users makes the 240,000 m2 of exhibition of the Mobile World Congress skyrocket their prices, making them unaffordable for many SMEs dedicated to innovation and technology.
The entire organization of the event falls into the hands of the GSMA Associationwho is in charge of managing the exhibition space, as well as a wide range of services for exhibitors ranging from the rental of a simple vase, to cleaning services, catering or connectivity services for the stands.
The problem is that as each exhibitor individually negotiates its space with the GSMA, there is no standard price list, and in this negotiation aspects such as the importance of the exhibitor and its weight in the GSMA as a collaborating partner in the event, occupied area and even height.
Of course, From Computerhoy.com we have asked the GSMA organization for these data, as well as some companies present at the MWC, but we have not received any response and the secrecy and lack of transparency in this area is absolute.
Public administrations, the last resort for SMEs to have visibility at the MWC
At the opposite pole of the general secrecy around the contracting of the MWC exhibition space We find public administrations, which have a reserved space to give visibility to technological SMEs in their respective territories.
In this case, the participation of companies is regulated by a series of requirements that all applicants for vacant positions must comply with, something that is not particularly complicated in most cases.
In this case we find the Spanish pavilion managed by the public entity Red.es, a representative space located in Hall 4 of the Fira de Barcelona in which the organization has enabled spaces of about 4 m2 per company.
The specifications for applying for the 38 available spaces are public and applicants have the option to occupy this space in order of application and must meet a series of specific parameters.
Companies that are validly constituted under Spanish law and that do not exceed 500 employees in the last fiscal year. Preference will be given to those that do not exceed 250 employees.
Only companies that present products or services of their own manufacture and over which they have marketing rights may participate. In addition, candidates must have a current and registered voluntary Equality plan and cannot have participated in any previous edition of the Spain Pavilion at MWC.
In addition to that, companies that meet all the conditions mentioned they must pay 4,527 euros plus 10% additional indirect taxes.
SPC is a small company based in the north of Spain that has more than 30 years of experience, more than 30 million turnover in 2022 and made up of some 85 professionals, thus fulfilling all the requirements demanded by the participation regulations and from their space at the Spain stand they told us that despite considering themselves as an SME, 1 out of 3 mobile phones sold in Spain is SPC.
In addition, its presence at the MWC aims to publicize a new generation of IoT devices based on Artificial Intelligence and Big DataTherefore, the MWC showcase is a key element for the development of your business, something that would be completely impossible if it were not for being under the umbrella of the Spanish pavilion at the MWC for the very high prices of this congress.
On the other hand, the regional administrations also have a presence at this MWC, especially when they play at home like the Catalan administration, which has a large representation at the event with a large pavilion in which companies based in Catalonia coexist.
In this case, the Generalitat has established a series of conditions that companies aspiring to occupy one of the spaces of little more than 3 m2. Some of the most outstanding conditions, in addition to offering mobile technology services linked to the sector, is having invoiced less than 7 million euros between 2019 and 2021.
In addition, participants may not have a presence, either directly or indirectly, in other private stands or those of other administrations and present a plan of quantitative and qualitative objectives regarding their presence in the technological event. The economic amount to pay for this space is 2,755.76 euros plus VAT.
Not everything is big corporations: public investment to support SMEs in the MWC million-dollar business
As the data indicates, the amounts that small and medium-sized companies that benefit from state programs must pay have little to do with the figures that are considered sotto voce and unofficially about what the exuberant stands at the MWC cost brands.
Specifically, the representation of the business fabric of Spain at the MWC 2023 has cost public coffers 1 million euros, while the crowded space provided by the Generalitat de Catalunya that occupies one of the central corridors of the fairgrounds, has meant an investment that could exceed 15 million euros.
Mobility Congress: paid WiFi at millionaire prices
One of the usual complaints among exhibitors is the high prices for the WiFi connection of the fairgrounds.
It’s about a additional service to the space rental price and varies depending on the number of devices that want to connect. The Servifira company is in charge of managing the connection service and many other logistics, decoration and cleaning services, and exhibitors must contract all additional services with them.
According to its website, the cost of the Starter package for 10 devices has a starting price of 950 euros per day, or 550 euros a day for 5 devices. This would leave a bill of 3,800 euros for the 4 days that the MWC 2023 lasts. Unofficial sources consulted by Computerhoy.com confirm these data and indicate that the costs may even double.
However, once again, variations in the negotiation of prices are raised based on the weight of the exhibitor. For example, the central administration will spend a total of 53,845 euros as internet services to cover the connection needs of the exhibitors under its umbrella.
It is enough to navigate a little through the online store of services offered by Servifira to realize the outlay that companies have to attend this international event in which a simple 10-meter cable connected to the electrical network and with a plug socket has a cost of 44.46 euros per day.
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