After canceling the 2020 event over the coronavirus pandemic, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021 will take place in-person to welcome approximately 50,000 international visitors in Barcelona, Spain from June 28 - July 1.
Organized by GSMA, the entire breadth of the connectivity sector will gather physically at MWC Barcelona. In line with this, the biggest event on the telecoms industry circuit will feature a "check in to get in" concept where those only with a negative COVID-19 test can be eligible to enter.
MWC will be setting up testing centers within the venue as well for top-up tests. Alongside its health and safety plan, the organizers are working with the local government for providing distancing and sanitation measures on-site.
“We’ve worked with partners, health authorities, and medical professionals to create a plan that builds confidence in our return to in-person events,” said John Hoffman GSMA CEO. “The GSMA has safely and successfully organized premier mobile events for many years. Since 2006, we have worked closely with the Host City Parties and Fira Barcelona to keep everyone safe and secure at MWC events.”
Up until today, MWC Barcelona stands as the world’s most influential exhibition for the connectivity industry. In fact, in 2019, up to 2,400 exhibitors, 8,000 CEOs, and 59% of the industries’ most important decision-makers gathered here. For the 2021 lineup, among its keynote speakers are Pekka Lundmark, President & CEO at Nokia; Cristiano Amon, President & CEO-Elect of Qualcomm Incorporated; and Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO Verizon Communications.
Hoffman added that COVID-19 is their biggest challenge to date. “But our experience gives us a rock-solid foundation from which we have built our plan. This foundation means MWC21 Barcelona can go ahead safely, in person, with a digital online component for those unable to attend.” The event this year will be fully hybrid to accommodate both virtual and physically-present participants.
The MWC21 Barcelona follows a successful smaller event in Shanghai held last February 2021. Roughly 17,000 people reportedly attended the MWC Shanghai event. Most importantly, there were then no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among any of the attendees.