That’s a wrap for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017. We had a great time at the event’s biggest year yet, attracting a record 108,000 attendees in Barcelona. We thought we’d round up the event by giving a deeper insight into where majority of our time was spent. Where else, but Hall 8.1 – App Planet.

Hall 8.1 brings together more than 200 app-specific exhibitors in one space. App Planet is a much more intimate space but highly concentrated with stalls from an abundance of app businesses. Contrasting against the larger corporations at the event in halls 2-7, Hall 8.1 ditched the corporate atmosphere and exhibitors opted for more creative and funky stalls. One noteworthy stall was hosted by Appsflyer, who exchanged “Appsflyer dollars” for interactions with their staff which attendees could spend at their shop for merchandise.

It was immediately clear that there are lots of new players in the field. Only a couple of years ago, the two biggest booths in the hall were hosted by large ad networks. It seems that this year a lot of the networks have ditched the booths and are taking the relationship-building into the evening events, as differentiation in functionality between networks arguably starts to narrow.

With fewer networks in the booths, it was clear that mCRM and in-app analytics focused businesses are having a growing presence in the hall, perhaps reflecting the shift in the mobile space from paid acquisition to retention-focused strategies and an emphasis on real, retained users (which we of course welcome!)

This year saw many newcomers exhibiting for the first time such as Apptitude and Leanplum. App businesses are starting to consider the potential that MWC has to offer and many were vocal about the great value of the event, especially as the MWC attendees possess a general interest in apps, the platforms and businesses. With an event that puts networking at the heart of the agenda, it was great to finally put faces to the people from the brands we have communicated with over the years, helping to foster deeper relationships.

The future of App Planet

We expect that App Planet will grow and more businesses will find that they fall into the App Planet category. The app space itself sees new platforms popping up every year and, as a result, there will likely be a continued increase in the range of businesses that consider MWC.

For next time…

Because of the sheer size of MWC, navigating through the event space was difficult. Ensure you get dropped off at the right entrance, this could save walking to the other end of the event space!

So that you don’t miss your favourite exhibitions, we recommend doing your research beforehand, downloading the MWC app and planning an itinerary.

Finally, don’t forget to take plenty of business cards, you’ll be needing them.

Until next year, MWC!

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