MWC Shanghai 2017: All Change

For 2017, the conference at Mobile World Congress Shanghai (June 28-30) is moving to a whole new level. And that’s not the only move…

Last year MWC Shanghai topped 53,000 visitors, with 4,100 conference delegates and visitors from over 100 countries. It was a great event, but now – with real, global momentum behind it – it’s time to step things up a gear. New for 2017 we can announce:

  • A new venue for the conference, which will be in a dedicated hall at the heart of the exhibition. Like in Barcelona, the conference hall and auditoria will be custom-built. What does that mean for speakers? Quite simply, the chance to be creative with what you do on stage. Let us know early enough and we should be able to factor in almost anything – our call for papers form includes space for details. Meanwhile, the hall also hosts the VIP Networking Lounge and Innovation City, making the hall the place to be for networking as well as inspiration.


  • A whole new scope and scale for the conference, now moving up to three days and four concurrent streams. This gives us better opportunities to bring together experts and industry leaders from across the globe and find the right context for them to really shine.


  • A new structure for the event. In previous years we would follow our keynotes with a collection of diverse conference sessions. For 2017, on each day we will host a coherent set of conference sessions built as a single unit, a ‘Summit’, in each auditorium. This way people passionate about a topic have one clear place to be – it’s easy to schedule. You can see an overview of the conference structure here.


  • A new kind of event pass. For people who would struggle to justify a full conference pass, we are enabling visitors to MWC Shanghai to upgrade their exhibition pass to attend one or two Summits. Clearly this isn’t as flexible as a full conference pass and it won’t get you into the keynotes or the networking lounge. However, for specialists who just need to see that one particular thing then it’s much more fair than asking for a full conference pass. What does that mean for a speaker? It means that it’s much more easy for the right people to come and watch them.


  • A new speaker experience. This one’s still a work in progress – more news of this over the next month or so. We know that conference speaking is a lot more than just climbing on a stage and chatting, especially at an event like MWC Shanghai; it’s a chance to influence the right people, send out messages to the media, make new business contacts and so much more. Done well, it can boost a career, launch a global initiative, gather investors… even turn around a struggling company. That’s not new, of course; what IS new is the level of support and collaboration you can expect from the MWC Shanghai team to help you deliver on your aims.


  • A new event theme (and some amazing branding – see above). “The Human Element” underlines the fact that, while technology can be fun and interesting, ultimately what really matters is how it affects us as individuals, family members, employees and societies. The world is changing as access to information and communications spreads; as automation and intelligence are embedded into more and more machines; and as we come to occupy a world we can chat as easily with a cuddly toy or an appliance as with a family member. What should we make of these changes and how (as businessmen as well as individuals) should we respond?

To deliver all this, we have a new team at work to deliver a great experience for audience and speakers alike. Over the coming weeks we’ll introduce you to Ted, Sophia and Gabriel as well as the Summits they are leading. Some of you will know Ted He and Sophia Wu from other GSMA activities and programmes they have organised, while Gabriel Jor has recently joined us.

It’s a great team – feel free to approach us with questions, comments and ideas at this email address or send us your topic ideas via call for papers, which is open until March 17th.