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A Complete Guide to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Mobile World Congress will begin soon in Barcelona, with some of the biggest names in tech descending on the city to show off their latest products. The annual event draws about 100,000 visitors and more than 2,300 companies come together to showcase cutting-edge technologies at this massive exhibition.

This year, MWC18 will take place between 26 February and 1 March 2018, at the Fira hotel in Barcelona, bringing the right people to the right place at the right time. It is the best avenue for mobile leaders to drive business opportunities so BitterStrawberry can’t miss it.

How to make the most of your visit for business and leisure

Barcelona has its own way of life which makes it unique and over the years has become a major hub for business meetings and conferences so there’s a good chance for you to spend some time visiting the main points of interest or just sipping coffee at a local coffee shop in between meetings.

One of the best perks that BitterStrawberry has is the ability to combine work and leisure in traveling for business purpose and wherever you are in Barcelona, there's always something to see nearby: jewels of home-grown Catalan architecture, modernism and contemporary architecture, markets that are a treat for the senses, treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval city, parks where you can unwind.

Having a business travel to Barcelona, means that you will enjoy a glimpse of attractive Mediterranean weather, culture and people. There’s very little hardship in visiting Barcelona on a business trip. You’ll have a choice of high quality and suitable accommodation; the food is fantastic; the amenities will ensure your business is achieved efficiently; and the city atmosphere is fun and lively.

So, if you consider attending MWC18 in Barcelona, we have some tips on how to make the most of your visit for business and leisure:

Choose a business hotel near your event/meeting places and close to all the tourist attractions

Hotel Fira Palace – This is the first option because the conference takes place here. If, like us, one of your biggest bug bears when it comes to corporate travel is the risk of being allocated the pokey single room without a view, then the Hotel Fira Palace might be just the place for you. It boasts the largest bedrooms in the city. It’s a great venue for a business meeting even if you aren’t staying there.

If you enjoy visiting tourist spots, it’s only logical for you to choose a business hotel near those spots.

For example, you may want to consider ALMA Barcelona, a luxury hotel that is minutes away from numerous places of interest, such as Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and Montaner Palace.

If luxury accommodation is not your forte, you can opt for budget accommodation to cut your expenses.  There is one perk that I often saw in a budget hotel: There are usually plenty of local cafes, grocery stores and shops nearby, within walking distance.

Here’s an example: Hotel Jazz. Affordable, modern-looking and in a great location in Barcelona. There are numerous top-rated restaurants and attractions nearby, such as the Manchester Bar, Anima BCN (allegedly serving the best espresso in Spain,) and many more.

Better yet, try Airbnb or similar services.  Renting a room or the whole apartment offers you a chance to enjoy a glimpse of how the local lives.

Wining & Dining Your Clients

Getting out of a meeting room’s tension and formalities, where every detail has to be planned, allows us to have more friendly chats and creates more positive pre-dispositions towards new ideas and proposals.

Whether it’s for discussing business or a formal invitation for building a business relationship, chances are, you will be invited to a business lunch or dinner.

When gathering around the table at a business lunch or with colleagues, we tend to bridge distances and office hierarchies are forgotten. In a relaxed atmosphere we come across more naturally, just the way we are.

Meal times in Spain, in general, are considered as the time to relax and get acquainted. The culinary tastes of this region focus on the area's intense love affair with seafood, which you will find piled high on regional favorites, like paella or fideuas (paella with noodles instead of rice).

The top spots for seafood are the unpretentious beachfront grills and cafés along Port Olympics’ waterfront. These cafes are also a perfect place to gather with colleagues after work for sangria, tapas and people watching as the sun sets.

For a more upscale or celebratory affair, Moments, in the new Mandarin Oriental is sure to impress. Recently awarded a Michelin star after only a year in operation, a mother and son team of chefs turns out traditional Catalan dishes with international influences in a comfortable and elegant dining room.

Bravo24 is also one of the most unique restaurants that we have ever encountered and we are certain that it will not fail to impress any client you care to invite to dine there with you.

The Catalan chef Carles Abellán is the genius behind the scenes, who has put together a menu that he created from the historical and traditional flavors of Barcelona. He has reinterpreted many of the regional culinary basics to serve up dishes that are innovative and playful.

The restaurant’s space is also ideally suited to the business agenda. You can book a private space for your meeting or you can blow your clients away by reserving a table on the terrace with its spectacular views of the sea.

Be aware of business meeting customs and habits

Unless you are a Spaniard, attending a business meeting with Spaniards requires you to understand the customs and habits.  As a general rule of thumb, Spaniards are generally interested in building a relationship and becoming acquainted with you before you proceed with a business talk.  So, be sure you are well-prepared with questions related to your background.  One more thing: Meetings with Spaniards will need you to be more flexible with your agenda.

Time to spare….

You’re in for a serious treat if you can bag some free time during your business trip to Barcelona. Our favorite way to kill some hours is always the walking tour. Guides offer tours of the city based on a variety of themes and there’s one to suit all tastes.

Don't feel the need to stick to the center! Barcelona is a huge city, so you can branch off from the main streets such as the tourist jammed La Rambla and wind your way deeper into Barcelona's soul in areas such as Passeig de Gracia. While still a hot spot for out-of-towners, the side streets of this major city passageway are a treasure trove of small cafes and shops that entice the senses of locals. Do not be surprised if few shop and café owners speak English.

You can also enjoy the tour of the Gothic Quarter, which takes a few hours and visits all the major highlights in the city: La Rambla, Passeig de Gràcia, Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Montjuïc and the seafront

Off the clock

Hop a train for the 90-minute trip north to Figueres, the hometown of artist Salvador Dali. The train deposits you within walking distance of the zany Dali Theatre-Museum that showcases the unique interpretations of this hometown hero.

One can easily spend an entire day here pondering what was going through Dali's head as he crafted thought-provoking pieces in the Mae West room or the antique "Rainy Taxi" Cadillac that spurts water when a coin is inserted. Barcelona is certainly artist central, but there is nothing more unusual in the region than this museum.

Want to go to the beach? Avoid Barceloneta, as it gets very busy in the summer, and the locals favors quieter out-of-city beaches, such as Sitges. Beautiful Sitges is easy to get to, being just 35 minutes away by train from either Barcelona Sants or Passeig de Gràcia.

Experience Barcelona's night-life! Barcelona has the greatest number of clubs and bars per capita than any other city in the entire world, and so you are never stuck for choice!

Pack accordingly

Barcelona is a Mediterranean city, so the temperatures can be (very) warm with somewhat low humidity. During winter, the wind can be chilly due to the wind blowing from Pyrenees. With that said, be sure you pack accordingly.

Diverse, colorful, convenient Barcelona is one of those cities that always makes business travelers smile when they learn they have an assignment there. We wish you good luck with closing your deals and safe travel! And don’t forget to look for the BitterStrawberry team for more tips&tricks about affiliate world or to make the most of your visit in Barcelona!

In less than a month, this massive exhibition with cutting-edge technology begins and we’re proud to announce we have 10 free invitations to offer. To make sure you can visit us at the World Mobile Congress, we organized a challenge among all of BitterStrawberry’s friends for you to win your ticket to the conference. Check out the terms and conditions of the contest and enter the game!