MWC21 Barcelona – Successful launch and surprising number of attendees during the pandemic

7 Jul 2021

MWC21 Barcelona has was among the first major industry events to be held in person since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the risk of the event being postponed or even cancelled several times, it successfully launched on the 28th of June and ended on the 1st of July. The event is considered by both organisers and attendees to be successful with many confirming their revisitation for the next edition. This includes many notable companies and keynote speakers.
The event has held at the Fira Gran Via, one of Barcelona’s leading event locations among stringent Covid-19 prevention measures. This included regular testing for the virus, social distancing, and regular wearing of masks. Additionally, attendees could visit the Congress via the organiser’s online platform. Both exhibitors and visitors were informed in advance about the safety measures via the event’s official website. Additionally, there were volunteers at the Congress ready to scan ID badges and notify attendees to follow the guidelines.
The event was attended by a record number of attendees given the pandemic situation. This includes around 120 000 people online and 20 000 in person. Around 165 countries were represented in total. This included countries such as Turkey, Colombia, and Spain. More than half of the total number of attending were directors with 1500 of them being C-Suite executives. More than a thousand companies provided support and backed the event during its run. Among the exhibiting and visiting companies were representatives of Amazon, Orange, Lenovo, IBM, GSMA and others.
MWC21 took place over the course of 4 days with the theme of the event being Connected Impact. This included topics related to subjects such as AI, Connectivity, Connected Industry and Future Society. Many keynote speakers provided valuable insight and showcased the latest trends. Such include Elon Musk, chief engineer of SpaceX and Danielle Royston, CEO of TelcoDR. Visitors could attend both virtually and physically a diverse range of seminars and conferences including discussions on topics such as “The role of AI in building public trust”. Additionally, there many interesting exhibitions showcasing technology such as new forms of AR (Added Reality) equipment, 3D imaging and others.
There was a notable change regarding the usual order of the event. For instance, there were more start-up companies which received notice particularly during the 4YFN part of the Congress. This is considered by many attendees and companies to be a positive change as it allows more innovations and changes to be seen by visitors.
Following the success of the 2021 edition of the MWC, the industry association has confirmed the 2022 edition of the event. Many of the attendees and key partners who visited or exhibited at the latest edition have confirmed their 2022 participation. This includes Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Nokia, ZTE, Samsung and others. The next edition of the event is to be held in person in Barcelona between February 28th and March 3rd, 2022.