After scuttling one massive international trade show this past year, the GSMA is sticking with plans for an in-person Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this June – just with out a few marquee names. A small number of companies, including Oracle, smartphone maker Sony, and networking firms Ericsson and Nokia, have all confirmed they shall not be attending the show in the flesh.
This isn’t the 1st time the GSMA has placed on an in-person event through the pandemic – it held a Mobile World Congress in Shanghai in late February, with a spate of virtual addresses and panels supplementing the on-the-ground experience. In accordance with a statement provided to Bloomberg , around 17,000 people attended the Shanghai event no positive COVID diagnoses have already been reported up to now, though it’s worth noting that lots of of the attendees didn’t need to travel internationally to wait.
help mitigate risk
To, the show organizer is planning for a similar online element of accommodate remote attendees come early july, and plans to host a significantly smaller amount of people on-site in Barcelona: think 50,000, from the a lot more than 100 down, 000 who attend typically.
Compounding the down sides of running an in-person trade show will be the strict travel restrictions still in place all over the world. The web site for the united states Embassy in Spain and Andorra tells would-be attendees that entry in to the country isn’t allowed unless they meet “very specific requirements or have previously obtained special permission from the federal government of Spain.” And at time of publication, residents of the united kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa are barred from entering Spain until March 30th. That ban have been extended, and could well be extended – at that time again, Spanish officials expressed concern over more virulent COVID strains getting a foothold in the national country. (Taking into consideration the possibility that MWC is actually a superspreader event, Engadget shall not be attending the show.)
Regardless of the GSMA’s insistence a safe, in-person show can be done, some companies which have historically used Mobile World Congress as a launchpad for services have spent the final year determining how exactly to go it alone. Samsung, for example, staged multiple virtual launch events because of its high-profile smartphones in 2020 and plans to host another in a few days. Huawei ferried reporters to a warehouse in London in luxury cars, where they tested the then-new Mate 40 Pro without leaving their vehicles ever. Element in a bevy of announcements from MWC mainstays like ZTE and Oppo at the sooner Shanghai event, and we’re left with one big question: even though Mobile World Congress isn’t ultimately canceled this season, maybe there is any major announcements to check forward to even?