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MWC 2021: the GSMA mulls re-introducing live attendance; MWC Shanghai to debut with a limited live audience

MWC might make it back to Barca this year. (Source: GSMA)
MWC might make it back to Barca this year. (Source: GSMA)
The GSMA has announced that it is currently considering running its flagship conference live and in Barcelona once again, albeit with up to 50,000 in-person attendees. Meanwhile, its Chinese counterpart, MWC Shanghai, is slated to begin on February 23, 2021 with 20,000 such attendees and in accordance with anti-Covid-19 health checks. Its success may determine whether MWC 2021 will return to something like "normality" this year.
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The GSMA's CEO, John Hoffman, has stated that the premier Mobile World Congress (MWC) event might return as an in-person event to Barcelona, Spain for the first time since 2019. However, it will also have a limited capacity in terms of actual live attendees, so as to avoid the risk of anything like another Covid-19 outbreak.

Therefore, Hoffman (speaking to the Mobile World Live blog) has noted that the Association is currently looking at registering only 40,000 to 50,000 real-world visitors, whereas MWC 2019 attracted approximately 110,000 such attendees.

Meanwhile, MWC Shanghai has been scheduled for February 23-26, 2021 in the city's New International Expo Centre. It will have 20,000 in-person visitors (as opposed to about 60,000 the last time this show was able to go ahead).

These attendees will need to comply with anti-epidemic measures such as attaining a green status in the Shanghai Health Code and Itinerary Code Apps and presenting negative Covid-19 test results in order to gain access to the event, as well as with anti-infection measure such as masking up while in the venue.

Nevertheless, it remains that MWC Shanghai will still manage to be among the first of the major tech events of 2021 to have actual physical human audiences. It is slated to feature keynote speakers from companies such as Nokia, Huawei and ZTE, while its success or failure might inform the GSMA's final decision to make MWC Barcelona 2021 live again.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 3992 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > MWC 2021: the GSMA mulls re-introducing live attendance; MWC Shanghai to debut with a limited live audience
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-02-19 (Update: 2021-02-19)