Our company QArea took decision to visit 3GSM Congress 2006 after we got invitation kindly sent by Wireless World Forum to all its Premium Members.
First of all I would like to thank all the administrative staff of the Forum and their representatives who I met in Barcelona for this fantastic opportunity to see so many potential business partners and interesting people at the same place, where everyone was always welcome and didn't have any chance to starve or die from thirst. I'm also very grateful for the occasion to visit The Ritz, legendary hotel, which was dream-place-to-visit for me, where we spent great time at W2Forum party.
Here are all my memories of 3GSM and 'wireless people' out of their business.
The 1st Day. How the stand of Wireless World Forum turned out to be better than Hotel Arts Barcelona
The first day started for us (I mean Max Garkavtsev and me) amazingly! We had the very first appointment with William Barhydt at the beautiful Hotel Arts Barcelona overlooking Port Olimpic.
Near the entrance to the cafe where they serve breakfast we had to explain to a hostess that we came to this wonderful place to meet a wonderful person. Being afraid that I forgot how this wonderful person looks, I had a round around the cafe asking 'appropriate' men if they were Williams. Some told they were, but in so uncertain manner that I didn't believe them at all. I was right to do so! William just preferred w2forum stand. I guess he completely forgot about the hotel when he was offered fresh croissants and juice at the stand. Actually in 5* hotel they offered us the same for breakfast but wireless world forum stand had great price advantage: snack for free!
At the next meeting with Hannes Van Rensburg we discovered that Ukraine's mobile market has much in common with South Afric's. Just like in South Africa we have millions of mobile users but not many people having bank accounts. Hannes thinks that mobile banking is a great issue to offer in such countries.
Indeed, I think that our banks need to promote their services this way. According to Ukraine å-Development Association, the Ukrainian Internet banking market started to develop in 2000 and today only about 20-25 out of more than 180 Ukrainian banks provide remote electronic services and mobile banking is provided only by 6 of them. To compare: on the average 60% of the banks in Europe provide Internet banking services, while in Switzerland and Finland their number reached 90%. Electronic transactions are used in large cities because of the influence of communications development. For example more than 50% of the banks provide such services in Kyiv, but in the regions - only few. As for the USA, today every large bank provides electronic payment services there.
However the main difference I see between our countries is the weather. Today, at the end of March my city is covered with snow!
The next distinguished meeting on Monday was with Walter Deffor. Walter is a very interesting person and we dealt with him before we met him for the first time in Barcelona, but quite special about him is that he studied in Kharkiv National Polytechnic University in the middle of 80's, where did studied Max and most of QArea programmers. Walter says that was wonderful time for him in our city. That was amusing to hear him saying many special Russian words used only by our students!
Walter was very tactful and didn't say anything about our weather. Or maybe forgot about it when being in sunny Barcelona?
Later on Walter introduced us to the author of the best business book I've read recently. Mike Southon wrote 'The Beermat Entrepreneur' together with his partner Chris West. I had never been that excited when reading non-fiction books before I read this one, which was brought by Max from London, where he visited presentation of 'The Beermat Entrepreneur' this autumn.
Then we met Mark Forster and Tobias Asch from Swiss company with the most beautiful name I heard in wireless industry. OnEmotion. I'm absolutely sure that everything done with only one motion and on emotion leads to significant success, especially in mobile world. Here they are.
The last meeting we had on Monday was with Managing Director of German mobile solution provider Whatever Mobile, Michael Luetzenkirchen. Michael brought Max and me to Jamba party that evening where we had lots of fun.
However, I think everyone who visited those parties felt the pain to pay for this pleasure, waking up early in the morning on each next day of 3GSM.
The 2nd Day
The second day of 3GSM Congress was full of meetings. I was happy to meet in reality such members of Wireless World Forum as Andrew Scott, Ulf Morys, Markus Luebbe, Olivier Hetru, Pieter de Villiers and Patrick Lawson.
It turned out that Markus Luebbe had an experience of promoting Mrs.Britney Spears in the past. I suppose Markus was quite successful, regarding achievements of Spears. As far as my vocal abilities are not worse than Britney's, I asked Markus if he could promote me in the field of pop music. Markus answered that he wouldn't like singing 'Oops, I did it again' himself after I am promoted.
In the evening we went to the legendary Ritz hotel, where there were two parties at the same time.
The first one, the gathering of Mobilists, was organized by Rudy de Waele and Gotomobile. Rudy made a good advertising before the party, I must say. You can judge yourself, although some people insist that there are no women in mobile industry... just look here! It seems that Rudy managed to bring almost all of us to the Ritz on the St. Valentine's Day...
And what's about the second party? That one was organized by Wireless World Forum! That was a pleasure to see so many members of the forum in such a marvelous place as the Ritz. The small talk was on the decent level, personally I had one with wireless world forum CEO Graham Brown.
The 3rd day of 3GSM
We didn't have any special appointment with Basil Simonenko (or CP BAZzZMAN, whose brand name I type exactly as he does for the case he is case sensitive ), but I recognized him out of many people at once, as it's difficult to forget his picture on the forum site. Another not-to-forget thing is Basil's name, because there is nothing that sounds more Ukrainian than Simonenko. Unfortunately having Ukrainian roots Basil has never been to Ukraine. Better late than never, though!
After talking to CP BAZzZMAN, I believe that there is no need to hire any extra people to Funkybuzz. Being company CEO and its creative producer, Basil does perfect PR and sales job, giving pleasure to himself and to people he is talking to. Personally I'm a fan of Funkybazz productions after I saw and heard them in Barcelona.
The 4th Day
On the last day of 3GSM I met many, many people but it was a little bit sad - everyone was rushing with special feeling 'say-Good-bye-to-sunny-Barcelona.'
However, we had several particular meetings.
For instance, I was a little bit nervous before the meeting with Robert Chelberg. The pictures of Robert I saw were placed on the horse-riding and jumping news sites. There he was sitting on noble horses, resembled an honourable knight and listed among the champions.
So before the meeting I could imagine Robert looking probably like this knight created by our designers for one of the games.
Indeed, Robert has achieved excellent results at horse-jumping championships and with my love to riding, I was happy to meet him. Although when we met for lunch, Robert was wearing quite civil suit and came on foot. He told that horses were left at home...
Also on the last day I was lucky to see Jan Rezab. Lucky, because he is the youngest & the fastest Chief Executive Officer I ever met. He was awarded as Young Entrepreneur 2005 in Czech Republic. Jan told that he managed to handle about 80 or 90 meetings during 4 days. I believe that for this speed Jan deserves another prize!
With Charles Pearce and Chris Tierney we met twice that day. That was amazing as in the evening Charles invited us to the Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona, a very artistic place, and it seems he knows everything about rock! Charles wants our next appointment to be announced, we have it on the 17th of June. The occasion is very special: Charles' birthday. Don't forget to send him congratulations!