MWC Barcelona, the world’s largest phone exhibition and annual trade show, has yet again caught by various speculations concerning its coming event of 2021.
GSMA, the organizer of Mobile World Congress — the world’s biggest phone event, aims to hold an in-person event in June, putting behind all the risks and repercussions that the event might cause in the wake of the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak.
The yearly exhibition usually happens in February or early March and has been attended by over 100,000 people worldwide. This makes it the most-watched, extremely anticipated, and highly coveted event for the entire world of technology.
While talking to Mobile World Live, the CEO of GSM Association, John Hoffman, expressed that there might be a few compromises on the number of attendees this year. The motives behind the significant reduction in the number of participants are the travel restrictions and COVID-19 SOPS. According to him, this will potentially ensure less interaction and subsequently the chances of less virus contraction.
“Barcelona will be a little bit different, it is the big stage. Covid requirements will decrease our capacity. We’re not going to have 110,000 people, with travel restrictions, testing capacity, and one-way traffic through the exhibition, there’s no way.” Hoffman told Mobile World Live.
This year, the CEO John Hoffman is hoping that around 50,000 people would participate in MWC Barcelona. They would only join the sessions, communicate with each other and locals, and then safely bid farewell.
According to the event’s safety and security page, the organizers will be “controlling crowd density” and ensuring that whether each individual is wearing a mask or not. Being realistic and pragmatic, CEO Hoffman does not expect everyone in attendance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, organizers urge every attendee to submit a negative COVID-19 test report within 72 hours of their arrival.
“Our view is it would be great if the world was vaccinated, but we can’t rely on that in 2021,” he asserted.
MWC Shanghai: what’s to be revealed?
The MWC Barcelona event generally takes place earlier in the year than its sister event held in Shanghai. However, at this time of the year, the host China is being “more open” than other countries, hence, the decision was made to swap the timing of these two events.
Since the COVID-19 has affected events worldwide, the MWC Shanghai will be one of the first major industry events with in-person sessions, making it an ice-breaking event. Besides offering insight into key industry issues, the Shanghai conference will also give a peek at what the counterpart event in Barcelona might look like in June.
“They see it as a coming out to showcase 5G in China. It’s on a scale unlike anywhere else in the world, but not a lot of people [elsewhere] recognize China has done these things,” said Hoffman.
MWC has always been a hit as it attracts more than 100,000 attendees from all over the world. GSMA had already canceled its Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 regarding Coronavirus concerns. Last year’s MWC was scheduled to be held in Spain on the 24th of February. The event was reportedly called off mainly because major tech companies decided not to join MWC 2020 due to the widespread pandemic of Coronavirus. These companies include Nokia, Ericsson, Vivo, Intel, Facebook, Amazon, and Nvidia. Thus, many product announcements from major tech companies were delayed and were later revealed in online-only keynotes.