The Stress of Moving

Posted: September 20th, 2010 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Moving home is consistently rated amongst the most stressful things in life (up there with divorce and bereavement). It’s no wonder really. Aside from all of the logistics involved, there are many emotional attachments associated with the old home—the happy memories, the neighbours, the favourite shops and restaurants… it’s so hard leaving all of those things behind.

In recent weeks, both the GSMA and TM Forum have announced plans to move their flagship events—Mobile World Congress (MWC) and Management World (still known in most circles as TMW), respectively. Admittedly, the GSMA have not actually announced they are moving, but for the 2013 event and onwards, they are considering six alternative cities, including Barcelona, the present home of the MWC. At least their customers (operators, press, exhibitors and sponsors) are given a chance to express their preferences rather than waiting to be presented with a fait-accompli.

As a prospective delegate and exhibitor, one can’t help feeling a little unsettled about the prospect of moving. One needs to get used to new exhibition layouts (where are the best spots?), new hotels (will we find a nice, affordable place?), new restaurants and bars (for those all important, post-event meetings) and even a new climate (TMW’s new home, Dublin, is not Nice, as Ray Le Maistre of Light Reading pointed out)… There is also the uncertainty of whether the show will attract the same level and quality of participation, and whether as a sponsor, one should invest at the same level as in past events.

That said, one has to feel some sympathy for the organizers—moving an event is not a simple decision or operation. Every year, Comptel organizes the Comptel User Group (CUG) in a different country, so we know first hand how fraught with difficulty choosing a venue can be (can delegates fly there cost effectively?, will they need visas?, will it coincide with some holiday?). And yes, we have made mistakes in the past, but as Oscar Wilde once said: ‘Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”

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