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Senior Director Business Solutions | News

On the ground at Mobile World Congress 2014

Improve Digital, Staff Blog, Blog, Tech company, Programmatic

Last week Tim and I were fortunate enough to attend Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry.

Our days were non-stop, filled with meetings with potential demand partners, software vendors and technology start-ups. Walking through the vast halls we had the opportunity to see a variety of gadgets and new technology ranging from smart watches to electric cars. I also took part in the event’s Fitbit Challenge, where 1,317 participants were monitored via a Fitbit Flex wristband in a bid to be the most active. I finished in the top 2% (1.6% to be exact), a very respectable finish.

MWC had over 80,000 attendees from over 200 countries so as you can imagine there was a constant buzz no matter which hall you happened to be walking through. The event itself was massive, with almost 1,700 companies showcasing their organizations via exhibition stands and hospitality space across 94,000 square meters through nine halls at the Fira Gran Via.


Some of the biggest exhibitors included Ford, Mozilla, Samsung and Sony. Sony’s presence actually expanded outside of the actual event venue, with heavy advertising for their new wearables covering the walls of the metro hallways.

The biggest exhibitors had “booths” that spanned two floors and included a staircase (see picture above).

Noticeably missing from the event were exhibits by Apple, Google and Microsoft – of which the latter two commonly have a dominant showing at the yearly DMEXCO event.

There were several keynote speakers, and although our tickets didn’t allow us to attend first-hand, we were able to view them live over several large screen TV’s at the venue, including Mark Zuckerberg’s speech on the acquisition of WhatsApp and his vision to connect the world.

Wearables are the hot new consumer products

Our main take-outs from the event are:

– Wearables are the hot new consumer products. Almost every major manufacturer is offering them and the future looks bright. However, it still remains to be seen if these devices will ever be fit for advertising.

– Emerging markets: Whether it is free internet from Zuckerberg or cheap smartphones from Mozilla. Emerging markets are seriously targeted for growth and expansion.

– The internet of things: we were surprised by the demos of the car manufacturers, smart homes and appliances and their impressive new range of “connected” product integrations. As a result new operating systems will arise. Also expect Android and IOS to expand into these new product categories.

To see more news from the 2014 event visit Mobile World Live here

As Improve Digital’s senior director of business solutions, Michelle Appello collaborates with the product, tech and commercial teams within the company. She is responsible for the overall cross-departmental project management of new and upcoming product launches, ensuring the smooth launch of new products.  In a career spanning close to two decades, Michelle built up a wealth of expertise in advertising technology and media by serving in organisations such as Omnicom Media Group, RTL, Adlink and VNU Media before joining Improve Digital in 2013. In addition to applying her significant know-how in-house, Michelle represents Improve Digital in the IAB Europe Privacy, Video and Policy Committees and heads up the IAB Video Taskforce in The Netherlands as its chair. She also regularly shares her extensive knowledge of the advertising technology industry and its trends by contributing articles to industry publications and is co-author of several IAB publications such as the Digital Video Handbook and Attitudes Towards Digital Video Advertising.