The GSMA, led by John Hoffman, is planning the next MWC in Shanghai, the prelude to the Barcelona congress, which will take place at the end of February. And they also anticipated the plans for MWC Barcelona itself: They assure that it will be face-to-face, they bet on an estimated influx between 40,000 and 50,000 attendees, Covid tests will be required and these can be done at the congress itself.
On February 12, it was one year since the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona, a hit that ended up unleashing a wave of closures in all mass events. In mid-February 2020, what was later the pandemic was barely in sight. And now, when we are wishing for the end of all the restrictions that the coronavirus produced, MWC 2021 prepares to recover face-to-face fairs. The one in Shanghai will be the test bed.
Shanghai will anticipate what is to come in Barcelona
Traditionally, the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai was held after the Barcelona congress: at the end of June in China; at the end of February in Spain. During 2020, both congresses were canceled, postponing to 2021; although with a fundamental difference: the dates were exchanged. Thanks to the exchange, the GSMA, and all those who value attending Barcelona, They buy some time with a view to the pandemic subsiding.
The GSMA has confirmed in its Mobile World communication medium that it maintains expectations before a face-to-face mobile World Congress in Barcelona. According to statements by John Hoffman, director and CEO of GSMA, the organization is going ahead with its plans. Y will use the Shanghai event as a test of future measures to be implemented; All despite the fact that the situation in China is very different from that of Spain since the eastern country maintains Covid-19 much better controlled.
According to John Hoffman:
« Barcelona will be a little different [con respecto al MWC de Shanghai], is the big stage. Covid requirements will reduce our capacity. We are not going to have 110,000 people, with travel restrictions, testing capacity and one-way traffic through the exhibition, there is no way. »
The organization offers capacity prediction for both congresses: about 20,000 attendees in Shanghai and between 40,000 and 50,000 attendees in Barcelona.
Asked about the specific measures that the GSMA will take at the MWC in Barcelona, John Hoffman assures that They will ask for a negative test for Covid-19 with a maximum of 72 hours before attending the congress. Tests may be carried out at the congress itself, since the GSMA will have places enabled to carry out the tests. And it will not be necessary to be vaccinated to attend the fair: the organization takes into account that access to vaccines is still limited.
The GSMA will create a ‘contactless’ environment at the MWC in Barcelona: from registration to all events within the congress itself
The GSMA seeks to make the Barcelona MWC safe. And not only for the congress itself, but also for the city. Although it remains to be seen if the pandemic will have remitted for the June 28th, date the event will start (Until July 1st). The risk of causing a wave of infections in the city is too high.
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