The Mobile World Congress is planning an event with tens of thousands of international visitors to congregate for its flagship event in Barcelona in June, more than a year after it was canceled due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GSMA trade body said everyone present will have to show a negative Covid-19 result to access the Fira Gran Via venue and repeat the test every 72 hours. Rapid testing centers will be made available on site and organizers are considering using hotels for more.
“We believe that we can have around 45,000 to 50,000 attendees, as of today,” Stephanie Lynch-Habib, the GSMA’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview on Monday, adding that visitor interest is expected to be strong…
MWC Barcelona, which in 2019 attracted 109,000 attendees from 198 countries, was one of the first major European conference casualties when it was axed in February last year.
The GSMA’s confidence isn’t unique, either: Web Summit, typically even larger than MWC Barcelona, is on track to take place in November with more than 70,000 people descending on Lisbon, a spokeswoman for that show told Bloomberg on Monday.
Visitors to MWC Barcelona will have to download a new mobile app that acts as both a digital badge for entry as well as a contact-tracing beacon, it said… That data will be available to health authorities “if needed to mitigate potential further exposure,” she said. “That’s something that all attendees will have to agree to before entering.”
MacDailyNews Take: Congrats, Barcelona!