MWC 2021 is slated to be held in physical form, after the 2020 edition was cancelled last minute due to the increasing Covid-19 outbreak around the world. Organised by the GSMA, the Mobile World Congress is one of the biggest tech events every year, and is slated to return in physical form next month when it aims to open doors in Barcelona, on June 28. The four-day event reportedly expects anywhere between 30,000 to 40,000 attendees, the GSMA reportedly said. The volume of attendees stand at almost 70 percent lesser than what general footfall at the conference used to be, in the pre-Covid-19 era – until 2019. The GSMA is seemingly confident of seeing the event through, and has claimed to be certain of its safety and precautionary measures for hosting a physical event.
At MWC 2021, attendees will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test report once every 72 hours. They will also be constantly monitored for regular symptoms of Covid-19 in order to retain validity of their event pass. Social distancing norms and face masks will also be compulsory at the physical event, and the GSMA plans to offer better ventilation at the venue in order to make things safer, according to reports. The event is one of the biggest ticketed conferences that used to typically attract most mainstream smartphone, telecom and other technology brands, hence being a major source of revenue for the GSMA. As a result, it is understandable as to why might the body be keen on getting its flagship event back on its feet.
Reports state that telecom major Ericsson and smartphone brand Nokia have already pulled out of MWC 2021, and given that there is more than a month to go for the event, more brands may still bail on their participation. Typically held in February each year, the MWC was the first tech event to be cancelled last year due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the event was only cancelled at the very last minute after most major brands pulled out. In spite of this, the GSMA had held firm that the conference would be held, eventually having to give in after facing some criticism from all grounds. With MWC 2021, the GSMA will hope to re-establish the extravagant, in-person tech events – things that were once the norm in the old normal.
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