Sun, sea, sand, and massive gathering of Mobile Industry professionals from across the globe - what’s not to love about MWC? Here’s our run down of this year’s conference, complete with tips and tricks on the hottest Mobile topics of 2019.
We kicked off our MWC in style, bouncing into the conference clutching coffees and sunglasses and feeling invincible. A quick whip around the App Hall revealed some awesome booths, including Apps Flyer’s Mobile Jungle and Adjust’s awesome light installation. Kudos.
For years we’ve been seeing the slogan “5G is coming”, but at this year’s MWC some companies - such as Qualcomm - were brave enough to declare “5G is here”. Of course, with carriers still scrambling to upgrade their networks, we still have a long way to go before 5G arrives in the hands of the consumer. But this year’s conference did provide some interesting insights into what the mobile landscape will look like when it does arrive.
The prevalence of personal robots, for one thing, was particularly notable. The exhibition space of Cloudminds was constantly packed with people clamouring to get a look at their robots, who can perform manual tasks such as threading a needle. Their slogan - “The Killer Application” was a little alarming when paired with a robot wielding a sharp instrument. Consumers might feel more comfortable with friendly robot Temi who, I was relieved to learn, doesn’t have any hands.
Temi is essentially a 10 inch tablet mounted on a movable body that can follow you around the house (think personal Pikachu), avoiding obstacles and answering your requests such as “Play music!” or “Order Pizza!”
As personal robots grow more sophisticated, hands-free operation and voice automation will become more prevalent. It’s crucial that apps adapt to this changing nature of usage and incorporate AI that can engage hands-free users.
Once again, we collaborated with a group of top industry players to throw a huge bash on Monday night. This year’s theme was MANGA and attendees were greeted by a host of fantastic creatures, from fur-faced felines to baton-twirling harajuku girls.
Thank you to everyone who came down and partied with us and to our wonderful co-hosts Appsflyer, Urban Airship, Inmobi, mParticle, and App Annie for making it such a special night!
Feeling a little less fresh, we hauled ourselves to the conference with sunglasses firmly on. Luckily a trip to our friends over at Glispa was enough to get us feeling perky again.
We sat down with Johana and Mayuri from Marketing and chatted about the notable absence of “Booth Babes” at this year’s conference, which brings us to our next key topic:
MWC does not have a great reputation for gender diversity. Last year was 24% female - a 1% increase on the year before. Women’s absence from these events makes it easier for companies to ignore their needs when designing products and applications.
The average smart phone is 5.5 inches long, which is too large for most women’s hands. Writing on her experience MWC 2019, BBC journalist Zoe Kleinman recalled a networking event at which she discussed this year’s trend for folding phones with the owner of a mobile phone company:
“I said I would prefer one that folded out to be the size my existing phone is now. He asked me why on Earth that was the case, so I showed him how awkwardly it fits into the pockets of my jeans. And he was absolutely astonished. His fitted just fine, he said - he’d never even thought about it.”
Inclusivity isn’t just a buzzword, it makes basic business sense. Women spend more time on their smartphones than men (8% more on average) and are dominating more traditionally male verticals - women now make up 45% of mobile gamers. When you make a conscious effort to design with them in mind, you can broaden your appeal and boost in-app engagement and spend.
We spent Tuesday evening in the glamorous art deco surroundings of the Feroz club, at the MoPub MWC Party. We shucked oysters, licked up caviar, and drank one too many glasses of crisp white wine with industry folk who had great insights and even better dance moves.
On Wednesday morning, we went along to mParticle’s Demystifying Customer Data Platforms Breakfast Event. We were in urgent need of some revitalisation after two days of meetings and networking parties and eating a pastry on a balcony overlooking the Barcelona marina did just the trick.
Glovo’s Marc Pelejà spoke eloquently about how CDPs relieve pressure from tech teams by enabling app marketers to deploy integrations themselves.
Speakers at the mParticle event also touched one of this year’s hot topics - Customer Experience. Developing a good customer experience strategy is becoming more important for marketers - there are now more touch points than ever before, yet the user’s expectations are rising rapidly.
A seamless experience is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s now an absolute necessity. As mParticle’s Tim Norris emphasized, if an app fails to lead users seamlessly through the purchase funnel, they will simply abandon their cart and open up one of the myriad alternative apps instead.
When it comes to providing a seamless user experience, Deep Links are key. These links direct users to specific pages within your app, therefore providing more context to the user. By ensuring that your ads link to the purchase page of the product shown, you can provide a fluid experience that leads to increased conversions.
On Wednesday we mingled under the vaulted ceilings of Room39 at Mobile Loves You, an exclusive event hosted by Adjust and Google. There were enough delicious craft beers to satisfy even the hippest of hipsters and some incredible tuna tartar nibbles to soak it all up. We came out loving Mobile just as much as it loves us.
That’s a wrap folks. Thank you to everyone who met with us, danced with us, shared insights with us, and raised a glass with us. We’ll see you all again next year.
P.S: Have a look at our LinkedIn and Facebook pages for more videos and photos!
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