How can structures improve the profitability of a trade show?

Mobile World Congress 2019

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What does the biggest technological event in the world do when it runs out of space? Despite the vast facilities of the Fira de Barcelona, Mobile World Congress (MWC) continues to see success year on year so required further expansion of space. The organisers sat down with Losberger De Boer with a challenge: expand the capacity inside and outside the venue whilst maintaining the high-quality standards of the congress. Losberger De Boer designed fully integrated spaces with acoustic insulation and air conditioning systems that meet their needs.


Expansion of space within an existing pavilion

For the seventh year in a row, Losberger De Boer optimised the space of the Mobile World Congress in Hall 4 of Fira de Barcelona. How? This year they have continued to improve what was implemented in the previous edition. It sought to generate a higher return from the space through the Emperor mezzanine, create exhibition areas and premium meeting rooms in Hall 4 (the main source of revenue for the congress) while locating the auditorium spaces on the second floor. The temporary room solution offered an additional 3,600 m² of space in Hall 4 for a variety of purposes, without blocking the necessary escape routes and at the same time created the best possible acoustic conditions.


An additional 10,000m2 to increase the efficiency and profitability of the space

A congress center, seven different Delta and Anova auditoriums (with a total capacity of 5000 people), cinema seats with integrated USB ports, a 2100m2 double-floor restaurant, offices, networking areas for 1500 attendees, bars, rest areas and VIP bathrooms are just some of the space solutions of this turnkey project. Additional elements also included creative and technical design, acoustic and thermal insulation systems, interior and floor covering, decoration, signage, designer furniture, stairs and lift with access for people with reduced mobility. Losberger De Boer maintained a close collaboration with GSMA and Fira de Barcelona so that the result met the high demands of quality and safety that this event requires.


Expansion of space outside: Access Structure and South Village

One of the most important requests of the client was the management of the entry and exit of the attendees, which had to be done with a high level of security. For the creation of this space the Panorama, an oval structure with the aesthetics of the Fira building, was used as an access and accreditation area that helped to reduce the entry time and stopped visitors waiting on the pavement and effecting traffic outside. The target of a peak influx of 10,000 per hour was achieved without queues. This outer area also functioned as a perimeter of additional security to protect the congress, a measure that is commonly used worldwide since the attacks in London and Barcelona.

An important element for the space was the correct air conditioning and how to keep a warm space cool where 8 doors were constantly open. A system was installed on the floor and was distributed and reused by pushing the hot air through destratification installed in the ceiling.

 

As all the venue pavilions were full and exhibiting companies required more space, the South Village area was built outside. This was a new project with personalised hospitality spaces that included acoustically insulated meeting rooms and possibilities for future growth. The hospitality structure Chalet Vista, designed by Losberger De Boer, are built with horizontal glass panels on the front and insulated wall panels on the sides while the terraces and the outdoor furniture is made of teak and the panels of high-end PVC. Some are completely insulated acoustically, and others are more standard according to the customer’s requests.

 

The objective was for the outside area to be a public space which the attendees could enjoy and for this an entertainment area with a stage and a beer garden was set up, to give attendees a moment to relax outside the venue.


A logistical challenge

It was a major project which required five weeks of setup and two weeks of dismantle. Logistics was complex as the team were working with structures stored across the world and the inbound and outbound stream of materials by train, truck or maritime transport needed to be closely coordinated.

More than 100 team members were involved and work to assemble the structures and interiors was supervised by the international Losberger De Boer staff. Designers, engineers and crews from different parts of the world aided the production of the event under the strictest health and safety coordination.