This year's edition of Mobile World Congress was one of the first tech events to get cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic that started to become more widespread at the start of the year. The GSMA, the organization behind the event, has been working on next year's edition of the event, which is currently scheduled for March 1 through 4, but there may be some changes.
Speaking to TechRadar, the organization said that it's monitoring the situation regarding the pandemic and listening to health experts, though, for now, MWC 2021 is still set to be a physical event. The GSMA said in a statement that it's ready to make changes to its structure if needed, but that it recognizes the importance of physical events:
"MWC 20 taught us to remain flexible and to pivot quickly to emergent information. In addition to physical changes, we are developing a communications plan to ensure all stakeholder groups have the latest information from the GSMA with regularity. It is important now, more than ever, for the GSMA to convene the industry as we work together to address global financial recovery. In person-events are key to this recovery and we know the value of people being together."
The organization added that even if the physical event does go ahead, it will work to make things easier for those that may be unable to attend due to travel restrictions. Talk about the importance of social interaction and meetings, it said that some elements of the event will be virtual.
Earlier this week, CES 2021, another large tech event that takes place in the United States, was revealed to be turning virtual, as concerns regarding COVID-19 haven't wound down significantly yet. Meanwhile, the GSMA announced yesterday that it will co-locate its 4YFN event with MWC 2021, a curious move considering it will probably bring even more people to the same place.