Up to 60,000 people are expected to attend the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, organisers said Thursday, hoping it would resemble its pre-pandemic days despite the absence of several heavyweights.
“We’re expecting somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 people,” said John Hoffman, executive director of the GSMA industry association which stages the biggest annual telecoms show in the world.
The most ambitious goal is to recover 55% of pre-pandemic attendance –in 2019 it brought together 109,000 attendees– but it has given more conservative estimates of between 40,000 and 60,000 visitors. The organisers are aware that obstacles to international travel, such as quarantines in some Asian countries, will continue to limit company delegations.
However, Hoffman assured that this year’s prospects “exceed expectations” and remarked that the event will occupy seven of the Fair’s pavilions (it had used eight before the pandemic). “The whole ecosystem will meet again in Barcelona. We will have a thousand speakers and 95% will be here in person,” he said.