MWC will only cancel 2022 edition if requested to do so by authorities
GSMA CEO, John Hoffman, reiterates that the congress will be held in person at the end of February
BarcelonaEight weeks from now, the doors of the Fira de Barcelona exhibition centre will reopen to once again host the Mobile World Congress (MWC). The telecommunications sector congress has scheduled its 2022 edition for the end of February, while contagions from the sixth wave of the pandemic continue to accumulate. Nevertheless, John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, which organises the event, confirmed in a letter on Monday that it would go ahead in its in-person version and that he expects more than 1,500 exhibitors during the four-day show. "Many things have changed in the past two years, but our determination to bring the industry back together is indestructible," said the executive.
The GSMA admits that they would only consider a change in the organisation of the MWC if the Spanish authorities decide to do so. Despite the shock of the Omicron variant, Hoffman remarked that we will live with the effects of covid-19 "for years to come" and therefore "leadership has to inspire innovation and encourage investment that advances industry, society and the economy, while maintaining safety for all".
Doubts and concerns
As ARA explained a few weeks ago, the current uncertainty caused a slowdown in the pace of registrations for both MWC and ISE, a film and TV trade show to be held in Barcelona in early February. The 2021 edition of MWC had 20,000 in-person attendees, a fifth of the numbres visiting before the pandemic. The industry body also claimed that nearly 100,000 people logged on to the online conference program, but the goal of holding an edition last year, albeit a minimal one, was to save the GSMA from going under.
Nevertheless, Hoffman stressed that the Catalan capital "is really the home of the congress" and that "its gravitational pull is very strong." "MWC will always be available online, but I hope to see you all in Barcelona," said the GSMA CEO. He recalled that this year's event will feature a new area called Industry City to explain the benefits of connectivity for the manufacturing sector.