John Hoffman, GSMA Limited’s CEO has suggested that this year the event should be held in person. Hoffman said “this will give people a bit of hope, says let’s move away from the effects of Covid-19 and return to something normal”.
Every year, MWC has two shows — one in Barcelona which takes place in February and another in Shanghai which takes place in summer. Last year, GSMA rescheduled the Barcelona event for June/July which eventually got cancelled.
Meanwhile, MWC Shanghai will take place next week and some extensive testing is being done in China. Hoffman added, “China has essentially made the country a “bubble” protected from Covid-19 outbreaks, with regional and national authorities both supportive of the GSMA’s decision on the event’s format.” This time MWC Shanghai is expected to welcome 20,000 attendees restricted from 60,000.
Hoffman also mentioned that this year Barcelona will also be different. “MWC Barcelona is expected to have a scaled back capacity, with Hoffman estimating between 40,000 and 50,000 attendees for its 2021 flagship event compared with around 110,000 two years ago.”
Attendees in Barcelona will require a negative Covid-19 test result (within 72 hours) and testing will be available at the venue. Hoffman also stated that the GSMA will be using technology to create a “touchless environment”, from registration through to all events within MWC.