Tag Archives: Barcelona


Next week I’m off to Barcelona for work. It’ll be a busy week, supporting clients at an industry event during the day, networking in the many bars and tapas restaurants in the evening. I’m not going to pretend that it’ll be terrible.

I'm only going to a work event, nothing more exciting unfortunately.

I’m only going to a work event, nothing more exciting unfortunately.

What I’d like to do while I’m there though is make time for a swim.

So, can anyone recommend any good pools to swim in? I’m staying very central, so something close to the centre and La Rambla would be good, but equally, I’ll have a metro card.

But, if anyone reading this is in Barcelona and will be around for swim (I’m aiming for around Sunday lunchtime, possibly Wednesday morning too) then do let me know.


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MWC 15 Summary

This is a work-related post, specifically about a recent mobile conference in Barcelona. If you’re hoping to read more about swimming nonsense, then please come back later 😉

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As I have done every year except one for the last 12 years I was out at Mobile World Congress last week. I spent two days at the show itself, two nights out in Barcelona and had two flights that were mainly full of congress attendees. Based on that short sojourn here are the key points I picked up from the show.

‘Mobile’ is dead
Although the show is ‘Mobile World Congress’ the term mobile is now pointless / redundant / undefinable. Does ‘mobile’ mean the handset you have? If so, where do we classify tablets, or even watches? Or maybe we use it as a verb and talk about ‘being mobile’ – but what about laptops or even fridges connected to data with a sim card? Or the fact that wifi is where all the ‘mobile’ traffic is now?
Throughout the show people were struggling with the concept of mobile and defining it differently for their own purposes in each different meeting attended.

Disruption of the network
One of the biggest issues that I came across was the fact that the OTT players are now the new norm in the content & platform part of the industry – leaving the operators in their wake. The next level of disruption they seem to be targeting is the network itself. This is of course linked to the announcement of a Google MVNO and Zuckerberg’s push for more free data to be offered to users.
This is all without talking about the event’s biggest elephant in the room. Apple never attends MWC formally, yet I heard some chatter about them ‘creating’ their own network. An iPhone-sized disruption to the network layer…?

Lots of buzz
There was lots of positivity around in Barcelona last week, possibly more than I’ve witnessed in the last few years. It may of course have been linked to my own positivity (I have a renewed enthusiasm for the show after a couple of years of it waning), but there were a lot of stands, visitors and, if the overheard conversations are anything to go by, deals struck.
And of course the biggest measurement of ‘buzz’ – there was plenty of beer drunk and ‘good times’ had.

A sleazy side to Barcelona
We have seen a sleazy side to the show in the past that appeared to be cleaned up by the GSMA (although apparently CBoss were back again this year). However this year we saw the sleazy side to the city with ads from the local ‘massage parlours’ being targeted directly at the show’s attendees.
While we can’t expect to speak for the city for the other 51 weeks of the year, there is a sense that the GSMA has to place itself above the likes of FIFA and when spending this much money demand a certain level of ‘behaviour’ from the city.

I loved it
Screenshot 2015-03-09 17.31.14My final point, as I’ve mentioned above, is I loved the show this year. Partly due to the fact that of where I stayed (thanks Helen), partly due to the Joshua PR sponsorship of Swedish Beers (and what a fun night that was!), partly due to the happy clients, partly due to people I met and partly due to the meetings I’ve already arranged on the back of the show’s activities.
Roll on MWC ’16!

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Dear EasyJet

This isn’t going to be some rant about the planes or the flights or the punctuality. I’m actually generally positive about EasyJet when it comes to these things. Yes the seats are cramped, but you’re only in them for a couple of hours and the crew on EasyJet flights appear to genuinely enjoy their job, which makes for a pleasant flight (unlike an Irish based low-cost airline – where the atmosphere on board is generally terrible).

No, this is actually in response to me leaving my iPad on the plane as I flew out to Barcelona last week.

I took it on board to do some work (which I did), but then put it into the seat pocket in front once I’d finished. As the plane landed I remember to collect the free newspaper, but left the iPad behind.


The social media team was great

I realised I’d forgotten it once I got into the cab to leave the airport. So as soon as I arrived at the show I tweeted the @easyJet team:

Tweet to @easyJet

Tweet to @easyJet

I’m sure they get hundreds of tweets (many of them not very complimentary), but they responded extremely quickly – told me what to do next, gave me a number to call – which I called and they had already found the iPad.

Because of their quick, friendly and efficient response my mind was put at ease and I decided to collect the iPad as I flew out again.

The crew at the airport need some work

So I arrived in good time to check in for my flight home so I could pick up the forgotten iPad. As I dropped my bag off I asked where Lost & Found was and was told – just in the next door building, a two minute walk away. As I was given no further instructions I assumed that it must be easy to find and so I set off with a spring in my step.

However when I got to the next door building (Terminal 2B) it was nowhere to be found. I walked up and down and up and down. Finally I asked at the information desk and they said that Lost & Found was in Terminal 1 – which was across the other side of the airport, at least a ten minute shuttle bus ride away.

Disgruntled I went back to the check-in desk to explain my annoyance and see what could be done.

– “No, it’s definitely in Terminal 2B.”
– “But I’ve just been told by the airport information staff that it is in Terminal 1.”
– “No, the EasyJet Lost and Found is in 2B, you just have to ask the security guard to let you through the Arrivals door and there it is.”

Now you bloody tell me!

A quick sprint back to Terminal 2B – asking the security guard – going through the side door into the Arrivals / baggage carousel area – finding the office – signing the forms – and finally I was reunited with my iPad. All I had to do then was sprint back again to Terminal 2C and run through the security gates without looking like a mad terrorist to get to my plane before it took off in the next 10 minutes.

Fortunately I did and me and my iPad made it back to the UK!

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