James Rosewell writes:
I noticed a new phenomenon at Mobile World Congress this year: Beer O’Clock. Come 5pm Monday through Wednesday, companies with larger booths would break out the Cerveza, Vino, Cava and a small number of Orange juices. All very sociable and fun… until the music started.
Beer O’Clock for many was also accompanied by music. In the case of Hall 7, trumpets and drums played very loudly for two hours. I attended a meeting at 6pm on a stand that was two aisles back from one fiesta and we genuinely struggled to hold a conversation. Goodness knows what it would have been like had we been any closer. We agreed to reschedule the meeting for 9am on Thursday when many were nursing hangovers and the party spirit was more subdued. In fact many stands struggled to ensure they were manned during the opening hours, probably falling foul of the GSMA exhibitor agreement.
I understand that drinks, canapés, music and a more relaxed environment are a major part of modern business. But this can be done in the many open areas away from the main exhibition halls throughout Gran Via. The GSMA needs to clamp down on disruptive stand parties and accept that the minor extra revenue they might generate by serving even more beverages is a small price to pay for a more professional experience.
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