50,000 Attendees Expected At MWC 2021; COVID-19 Restrictions In Place

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As some of you may recall, MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2020 got completely canceled because of COVID-19. Well, MWC 2021 will take place this year, but not this month, but in the summer, and COVID-19 restrictions will be in place.

Just to be clear, we’re talking about MWC 2021 in Barcelona, not the one in Shanghai. There are two, so it’s important to differentiate between them. MWC 2021 in Shanghai will actually take place next week, but that’s a completely different story.

MWC 2021 in Barcelona is usually the largest tradeshow of its kind every year. This year, it will take place in June/July. The thing is, a lot less attendees will be present, and COVID-19 restrictions will be in place.


Attendees will need to present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of attendance. Testing will be available at the venue, by the way. On top of that, the GSMA will be implementing a “touchless environment”, which will allow registrations without contact.

Mobile World Live is expected to host 50,000 people at MWC 2021, with COVID-19 restrictions in place

MWC is usually visited by over 100,000 attendees every year, but that won’t be the case this year. John Hoffman, GSMA Limited’s CEO, says that this year, that will be limited to 50,000 people in Barcelona.

Now, regarding MWC in Shanghai that will take place next year, well, things are a bit different. Extensive testing and vaccinations managed to bring the country to normal, well, mostly.


MWC 2021 in Shanghai will also have considerably lower attendance

Hoffman says that China has become a “bubble” that’s protected from outbreaks due to restrictions in place. MWC Shanghai will welcome 20,000 attendees this year, at least it expects that to be the case.

That will also be considerably less than usual. Around 60,000 people attend MWC Shanghai usually, which was the case back in 2019, when the last tradeshow of that kind was hosted. MWC 2020 in Shanghai was also cancelled due to COVID-19.

Travel restrictions are still in place in a lot of regions, though things may change by the time MWC 2021 in Barcelona comes around. We’re still months away from it.