Behind the scenes at Mobile World Congress 2014 (pictures)

Hola from Espana! The movers and shakers of the mobile industry have gathered in Barcelona's Fira Europa, a cavernous convention center filled with the latest gadgets. Here's a day-in-the-life visual tour of what it's like to be here covering the event we call "The Show."

Sarah Tew
Richard Trenholm
1 of 36 Sarah Tew / CNET


This is the view that greets you as you head into Mobile World Congress 2014 -- or as visitors come to know it, "The Show." At The Show, the coolest phones, tablets, wearable technology, and other mobile gadgets bat their eyelashes at the movers and shakers of the technology world.
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The Show

There's a sense of palpable anticipation in the air as you approach The Show. Can you feel it? Can you taste it? Come with us to see what it's like.
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Entering MWC

Have those ID badges ready, because there's no getting your hands on the coolest cutting-edge phones and tablets without them.
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Behind the scenes

Follow me, intrepid reader. Oh, the things I can show you.
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NFC stands

Finally, a use for NFC (Near Field Communication): Visitors to the show can find their way round with NFC stands dotted around the floor.
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Mobile melting pot

Look at all those flags! It's a mobile melting pot, with manufacturers, carriers, journalists, and more from all over the world gathering in one cavernous, oppressively air-conditioned conference center.
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Move to the right, please

So it turns out that in these parts nobody knows you're supposed to stand on the right of an escalator so people can walk on the left. You knew that, right?
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Escalator etiquette

See? Look at this guy. He's doing it totally wrong. On the left, dude!
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Charge up

As well as NFC guide points, the floor is dotted with handy charging points.
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In the trenches

Down in the trenches at the Spanish pavilion, where local companies ply their wares.
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Moving fast

Look at that maverick spirit with his pink bag. Not for him the treadmill of the moving walkway. He's moving so fast conventional cameras catch only a smear of pink and a lingering desire to be more like that guy.
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Spot the deliberate mistake on the Samsung stand. Or should I say, "Amsung stand."
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CNET's stand at MWC

Oh hey -- it's the CNET stand! Even the world's biggest, and dare we say it, best, technology Web site needs somewhere to rest its weary bones, chat to passers-by, and shoot informative and entertaining videos. Here we see CNET video producer extraordinaire Marc Ganley doing what he does best.
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Eight halls of mobile

MWC sprawls across eight halls packed with exhibitors from throughout the world's mobile technology industry.
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The MWC press room

Come with us now as we enter the rarefied atmosphere of the press room, home of the lesser-spotted technology journalist in its natural habitat.
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Journalists at work

Quiet now -- the technology journalist is easily spooked.
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Churning out MWC news

The heart of darkness: the world's press corps write up the latest news from MWC, fueled by a heady cocktail of adrenaline, terrible coffee, and the occasional cheeky cerveza.
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Glass Networking Garden

After a few days at the show, you start to forget the outside world exists. The only reminder is the occasional glimpse of open-air networking oportunities.
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Scanning QR codes

You can find your way around with the help of these giant touch screens or an app, which you grab on your phone by scanning QR codes. Modern technology, eh?
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'IT Crowd' lookalike

Working on an information desk, it's Moss from "The IT Crowd's" Spanish cousin, Moth.
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Mobile everywhere

The mobile phone industry, ladies and gentlemen.
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HTC's stand

It's not just about phones: Eagle-eyed footie fan Nick Hide grabbed this snap on the HTC stand of the European Champions' League trophy.
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The 'bigloo'

A big igloo. A bigloo, if you will.
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All in blue

Now that's convergence! The folks from Firefox in matching shoes.
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Entrenched in The Show

Sometimes it seems like the outside world is a distant memory. All we know is The Show. Look at the guy on the left -- he doesn't even remember a time before The Show.
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Surrounded by The Show

The Show is all. We are all Show now.
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The app ghetto

Hall 8.1 is the home of the apps -- or, as I call it, the app ghetto. Keep your belongings close if you venture in.
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Era of smart

"Compete in an era of smart." That is not English, IBM. Come on.
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Immune to the outside world

"Where am I going?" ponders this stripey-jumpered denizen of The Show. "I think I had a family before The Show...but I can't remember their faces!"
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MWC interview

CNET's Aloysius Low asks the hard questions.
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The inside scoop

CNET's Vanessa Hand Orellana, Jessica Dolcourt, and Lynn La get the scoop.
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On camera

Video producer Marc Ganley films CNET's Luke Westaway doing what he does best: bringing you the coolest new kit. Well, second best -- the thing he does best is charm the ladies.
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The dancing 'droid

A wild Android appears! Video producer Sarah Harbin spotted the dancing 'droid.
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Journalists from around the globe

Our coverage of MWC is brought to you by a crack squad of technology fiends assembled from across the globe, including the United States, Great Britain, Singapore, and Australia. Here, the UK's Jason Jenkins and the US team's Jessica Dolcourt finally settle that whole revolutionary war business once and for all.
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Feeling the MWC spirit

Video producer Marc Ganley gets in the spirit of things.
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The UK team

Andy Hoyle, Rich Trenholm, and Luke Westaway from the UK team record the CNET UK Podcast live (sort of) from the CNET stand. See you next year!

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