Mobile World Congress was one of the first mass events to be canceled this year, in a move that turned out to be the precursor to a series of cancellations across industries and countries.
The event still stands for next year, but GSMA, the MWC’s host body, does not foresee it to be an event like before.
In a conversation with TechRadar about his plans for next year, a GSMA spokesperson has said:
We are working to ensure that MWC 2021 is an event you don’t want to miss. We are constantly monitoring the situation, as we did with MWC 2020. This includes seeking expert advice on health and safety.
The situation is complex and new. We are learning all the time and working with Fira and our partners to take all measures that ensure a safe environment and an inspiring experience.
The next MWC 2021 is scheduled to start on March 1, 2021, so it will happen a few months after CES, which will be a virtual event next year. If the pandemic continues, it can cause the conference to be forced to switch to a virtual format similar to CES.
MWC 20 taught us to be flexible and to pivot quickly based on emerging information. In addition to the physical changes, we are developing a communications plan to ensure that all stakeholders have the latest GSMA information on a regular basis.
It is important now, more than ever, for the GSMA to convene the industry as we work together to address the global financial recovery. In-person events are key to this recovery and we know the value of people being together.
Even if it is a face-to-face event, the company is already planning to hold some elements of congress virtually, especially for those who cannot travel to Barcelona.
With travel restrictions in place in most countries of the world, they may continue until 2021 and restrict those who can attend next year’s congress. Attendees come to Barcelona, Spain, from around the world for MWC.
“At MWC, there were 2 million meetings, millions of deals made, and valuable social interaction that unites our industry. For those who cannot travel at that time, we are working on making some items available virtually, “ the spokesperson explained.