Business & Economy

MWC 2021 expects 30,000 visitors, to recover pre-Covid attendance in 2 years

Barcelona, Jun 24 (EFE).- The Mobile World Congress 2021 will have about 30,000 guests, according to an estimation by John Hoffman, CEO and director of organizers GSM Association.

He said that the yearly event might take “a couple of years” to recover pre-pandemic levels of attendance, both in participating companies and individual congress-goers.

“We’ll have to rebuild momentum. I hope we can get close to 2019 levels,” he said in an interview with Efe.

“In 2009-10, it took us about two years to recover from the economic crisis. But we’ll see.”

This year’s edition will take place from June 28 to July 1, with over 1,000 companies displaying their products, some 700 planning to be physically present and about 300 in a virtual manner.

Some telecom industry heavyweights have announced they will not be attending the event physically, including Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, and Xiaomi.

About 25,000 people have registered to attend the congress, prompting Hoffman to estimate somewhere between 25,000 and 35,000 visitors, far from the over 100,000 guests that the international event used to host in previous editions.

“Normally we have (participants from) 196-198 countries and territories. This year we are well over a hundred,” said Hoffman, adding that the statistic could include only one person from a country but he is nonetheless “pleased” with international participation.

He said the MWC will have a Covid-19 testing programme for all visitors to ensure a safe environment.

Hoffman advocated continuing to celebrate the congress in Europe, as a neutral territory between technological powerhouses China and the United States. EFE

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