This year’s edition of CES was an all-digital event. The annual pilgrimage by tech enthusiasts to Las Vegas, Nevada didn’t happen as folks had to follow the multiple-day event from their homes, as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. You would think the GSMA will go the same route for this year’s edition of MWC Barcelona but that will not be the case.
MWC Barcelona is scheduled for June this year (no longer the first quarter of the year) and the organizers are preparing for an in-person event rather than an all-digital one. To manage the event and minimize the risk of attendees getting sick, the organizers are cutting back on the number of attendees from 100,000 to 50,000. Those who attend will also be required to have taken a COVID-19 test 72 hours before their arrival.
Other measures include requiring attendees to wear masks; social distancing via control of crowd density, stand capacity, and traffic flow; touchless registration and information points; and regular disinfection of stands, product samples, and audio-visual equipment. There is a special pageevent that you should check out if you plan to attend.
Prior to the adjustment of the date, MWC Barcelona is usually held between late February and early March. Last year, the event had to be canceled after several manufacturers withdrew due to the pandemic. It remains to be seen if manufacturers will be willing to take the risk this year even with the strict measures the organizers plan to put in place.
MWC Barcelona 2021 is scheduled to begin on June 28 and run till July 1. While it is still months away, MWC Shanghai will kick off next week, beginning on February 23 and running till February 25. This too will be an in-person event.
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