The Content Team’s Agenda

FAQ – What Is The Agenda Behind Our Conference Agendas?

We get a lot of questions especially from companies new to us, trying to work out what the GSMA is ‘about’ and therefore what is motivating us to approach them.

This article aims to go behind the GSMA logo, explain where the Content Team sits and how we can hold an editorial position that sometimes sounds, from the outside, a bit too good to be true.

Who is (are?) the GSMA?

The first thing to understand is that the GSMA does a very diverse range of things and how you’ll experience it depends in large part on where you’re coming at it from.

Here’s the official description of the company:

“The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.”

But this doesn’t truly convey what the GSMA does, day in and day out. You can break the GSMA’s activities down into three broad areas:

  • Driving industry programmes on behalf of our members in areas such as Personal Data, Connected Living, Digital Commerce and Network 2020;
  • undertaking advocacy initiatives to facilitate a supportive regulatory environment and create new opportunities for underserved populations;
  • and convening the industry and adjacent market sectors through our leading events portfolio.

Where does the Content Team fit in?

Although from a functional standpoint, we clearly fall into the “convening the industry” bucket per above, the Content Team gains insights from across the GSMA, as we focus on so many different topics in our conference programmes. We’re fortunate to have access to a wide range of industry experts (inside and outside the GSMA), as well as market intelligence and data, giving us a unique view of the mobile industry, from the latest strategies, technologies and companies that are shaping the mobile landscape, to critical viewpoints on key policy and regulatory issues, to case studies on how mobile is positively impacting the day-to-day lives of billions around the world. This builds on top of our own research and conversations with… to be honest… practically anybody to gain fresh perspectives.

And we’re also very fortunate to have the ability to produce an event that is editorially independent and truly represents the entire ecosystem. This means that we have the freedom to work to some (very liberating) principles:

  • We’re Not Pay-To-Play. Sponsorship of an event doesn’t guarantee speaking; in the case of Congress we probably won’t even know whether you have a stand or not. Whether you’re a billion-dollar business or a one-man startup, you’re in with a chance of getting on stage if the topic and speaker is right. This means that we can steer clear of sales pitches that would bore an audience and instead we can inform/amaze/enthuse/terrify/excite them.
  • We Reflect What’s Happening in the Industry. Our events are designed to reflect the broad and growing mobile ecosystem and we bring together a diverse set of perspectives, viewpoints and opinions. We deliver conference programmes that encourage genuine debates, challenge presuppositions and offer insights that people wouldn’t typically find in their daily work.
  • We Keep What You Tell Us Confidential (unless you tell us otherwise). We know that companies sometimes plan to make press announcements or launches around a speaking opportunity. Our policy is to treat everything told the team as confidential, and we can happily back that up with a non-disclosure agreement. Any information you can share with us about your plans (even if they’re not 100% certain) will be helpful in shaping the dynamic, thought-provoking and up-to-the-minute sessions that our attendees want.
  • We Create Impact. “Convening the Industry” is one of the main focus areas for the GSMA and our events do just that, whether it’s at Mobile World Congress, which attracted more than 95,000 attendees in 2015, or our focused, regional Mobile 360 events. We are able to bring together leaders and decision makers from the mobile industry, adjacent industry sectors, governments, development organisations and others, providing a stage to discuss and debate the key issues that will shape mobile for the years to come. And, of course, the audience extends far beyond the auditorium through media and analyst coverage and our own live streaming of select conference content.

This is where you come in. No pressure then…