The 2020 Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona was one of the first tech casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the February date canceled after much debate. The next event was scheduled for March of 2021, but that event has now been postponed, too. Instead, GSMA (the industry association behind MWC), has announced that the next conference will be held from June 28th to July 1st, 2021.
[ANNOUNCEMENT]— GSMA (@GSMA) September 23, 2020
#GSMA today announced a rescheduling of MWC Barcelona & MWC Shanghai 2021.
Moving the Barcelona event to 28 June – 1 July 2021 allows the GSMA to contend with external circumstances related to COVID-19.
Read the latest details - https://t.co/b9lG6sn67g #MWC21 pic.twitter.com/MHGzjTghFH
The group said it made the decision to ensure that the event would be safe despite COVID-19. As the pandemic has worn on, the March date started to seem much too ambitious and many doubted that it would come off.
GSMA is promising a “unique, unmissable experience” that will be supplemented by “virtual elements to complement the overwhelming demand to convene physically.” The group said that it worked with the city of Barcelona to gain full approval of the date, and said that it will revert to a “full annual cycle” of MWC events between Shanghai, Barcelona and LA.
It’s not yet clear, however, which exhibitors will attend in June. Many, including Sony, LG, Amazon, Intel, Facebook and Nokia had dropped out from MWC 2020 before it was even officially canceled. Whether they’ll return next year likely depends on how the pandemic goes over the next six months or so.