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Finding your future

MWC 2017. Think vertical. Act collaborative.

As I wait for my flight to whisk me off to another MWC in Barcelona, I smile. The 3G icon blinks on my iPhone. 5G will no doubt be all the rage at MWC. Yet 4G seems as elusive as ever. And before you say, ‘Switch operator’.  My contract is with one of the world’s largest mobile service providers. So, it’s a good thing these keynote events are about creating belief in the future. We need the boost.

Finding your company’s place in the future is never easy at MWC. Yes, the event is a huge success. The great and the good descend. However, exhibitors – big and small – latch onto the same themes. Luc Besson references to the Fifth Element aside (love that film) you can expect the drum roll of 5G, connected life, IoT and cloud based solutions.

So how can your company stand-out?

Firstly, think like a brand, not a technology provider. Focus on emotions and the dynamics of the relationship. The future is about merging your business into new eco-systems. That demands working with a wide range of stakeholders. Everyone has the same tech and if they don’t, it’s copied in no time. What clients seek is a relationship that will be collaborative, agile and creative. It’s about people and company culture.

When I get to MWC this year I am looking for brands whose booth design shouts the following:

  1. Our people know how to collaborate
  2. Our company has deep vertical sector knowledge
  3. Our brand is committed to a better world

It’s about attitude. That first moment of truth where you probe, listen and engage rather than broadcast your company’s place in the future. I am looking for demos where the first step is putting questions to the visitor and revealing cultural insights about markets before launching into, ‘how cool our new tech is.’

As the week unfolds, I’ll report back on MWC 2017.

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