Earlier this year, Mobile World Congress was one of the first major technology events to be severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, eventually resulting in the event's cancellation. As we head into the new year, things aren't looking much better, as CES 2021 has moved to a fully virtual event, and now, the next edition of MWC has been delayed.
Typically taking place in late February or early March in Barcelona, the massive mobile technology event is now set to take place from June 28 through July 1, 2021, the GSMA announced today. The organization behind the event says the delay will allow it to deal with the circumstances related to the pandemic. Additionally, the GSMA says there will be virtual elements to complement the in-person event to help alleviate the need to be present physically, but details weren't provided.
John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA, commented on the announcement saying:
“We have been overwhelmed by the support of all our partners and clients who remain dedicated to ensuring MWC21 Barcelona is a success. MWC is more than just an event. It’s an experience that brings the whole industry together and provides a platform to unlock the power of connectivity so that people, industry and society thrive.”
While the Barcelona event is often the one that attracts the most attention, MWC consists of three events throughout the year, with Shanghai and Los Angeles also having their own editions. The Shanghai event is switching positions with the Barcelona edition for 2021, taking place from February 23 though 25, instead of the usual summer timeframe. MWC Los Angeles 2021 will move ahead as planned, meaning it should take place closer to the end of the year.
With this, the organization plans to return to its full annual cycle of events, after canceling all three editions for 2020. Of course, the circumstances of the pandemic are still evolving, and plans could always change again.