MWC 19 Shanghai: The planning starts here

It seems like a long way away, but believe me the time will fly. With minor interruptions like MWC Barcelona to take into account, it is worth having a think earlier rather than later if you want to be involved.

For 2019, the team working on MWC Shanghai have started really taking a look at how we can make the whole experience easier. For example, before the event we want to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for at the show. This applies across all the different parts of MWC Shanghai, not just the conference. So let’s say you’re maybe coming from the financial industry and want to see if anything is happening that you might find helpful – we will aim to show you, in a simple search, all the relevant content going on in the show plus any networking, tours, and so on, so that you can pick and choose to build up a personalised agenda quite simply.

We are also working hard to build more networking opportunities into the event to help you get the most out of being on site with other business leaders. Over the months to come you should find lots of small elements popping up to help you out, such as lounge areas where you can relax, have informal meetings and check your inbox, and more organised opportunities for people with shared interests to come together.
All of this should open up a lot more opportunities for our speakers, too, to capitalise on getting in front of an audience. And that, I guess, is what you are really interested in, so…

Conference Planning Timeline

Late November 2018 – The first version of the MWC19 Shanghai website goes live… and, with that, the Call for Speakers site will also be up and running.

This year we have sketched out a set of topic areas that we will be running conference activities on. It is a very superficial agenda at this stage, literally just names. The aim will be to define it better later in part as a result of ideas through Call for Speakers. It should help you in thinking about how any topic proposal might fit into the event, though.

As in previous years, there will be three elements to the conference:

– Keynotes. These are designed for CEOs and Chairs of companies and organisations that are creating real impact in the APAC region. As for MWC19 Barcelona, the overall event theme is ‘Intelligent connectivity’; that is, looking at how the combination of broadband, data analytics (and maybe AI) and the Internet of Things is continuing to shape industries and economies across Asia Pacific. The keynotes will be drawn from leaders across the region and beyond who are either leading this change (for example, Lazada in creating a very different retail and logistics landscape in ASEAN), or who are providing the foundations for companies to do this (such as a GE or Hitachi for their IoT platforms)
– Summits. These are really the heart of the conference, where we can dig into particular topics in more detail. These typically last for a half-day and host executives (58% of 2018 speakers were C-level or VP-level) sharing insights and debating the difficult questions relevant to an industry, a technology or a concept. For example, in 2018 the ‘Tomorrow’s Operator Summit’ addressed questions around how big telcos can gain the agility they need; how they can respond to changes in customer demands; security as a strategic advantage as well as a business necessity; and the inevitable questions over 5G.
– Leaders Stage. This is a unique environment, which looks at issues that we are all facing as individuals and citizens, not just with our ‘business hat’ on. It is open to everyone, not only conference pass-holders, and tends to be highly interactive. We showcase thought leaders and business leaders, from start-ups and artists to operator CEOs.

The end of January is when the first round of Call for Speakers ends. At that time we will have a much better sense of the agenda, and will be able to start making invitations for speakers. We will aim to reply to everyone who sent in a proposal by the end of February.

After this we will keep the Call for Speakers website open… but obviously we will be filling up speaking positions on the agenda, so over time it will become harder for us to accommodate even really good suggestions. We will close the Call for Speakers site at the end of March and aim to get any remaining responses out by the end of April.

2018 speakers came from all over APAC and beyond