GSMA, the parent company responsible for the MWC show, canceled the event. Due to the threat of coronavirus and big companies like Samsung backing off in the event, MWC 2020 got canceled. The event was scheduled to take place from February 24th to 27th.
“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.” – GSMA CEO John Hoffman.
GSMA forced to cancel the event after coronavirus threat
Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the smartphone industry’s biggest trade show. Previously in 2019, about 110,000 people attended the event. The event had a tremendous economic impact, plus creating more part-time job opportunities. The GSMA is the governing trade body representing over 1,200 companies, and MWC brings an opportunity to gather thousands of brands, partnerships, deals, and product launches.
GSMA tried inviting companies to the MWC event with an assurance of sanitary station on the show floor, emergency health services, etc. Due to growing concern over the safety and environment of Barcelona and the host country Spain, GSMA canceled the event.
The cancellation of the show cost both to the organizers and consumers alike
Due to the cancellation of the show, worldwide damages rippled the consumer and the concerned industries. The companies couldn’t launch their upcoming products, and this year many 5G devices could make their way in the market. 5G technology and devices were the talks in 2019, and 2020 looked like 5G’s best year to enter the market. Qualcomm, AT&T, Verizon, Huawei, etc. looked sought to industrialize 5G to the world finally.
Small companies like Nokia, Erickson could have introduced their products, increasing interest between consumers and hence expanding the company’s growth. MWC event was a place for the advertisement of several companies. Companies have to consider investing in advertising, spending more than what the event would actually cost them.
Moreover, coronavirus has affected almost 45 thousand people, with over 1000 reported deaths. MWC is a platform for companies like Vivo, Oppo, etc. to show off their product in the market. As big companies scaled down their involvement in the show, many other companies followed the same, while some even retracted their participation. Since big companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, Qualcomm, Facebook, Nvidia, etc. canceled their appearance in the show, MWC looked unappealing.
GSMA now looks to plan for MWC 2021 and other events. The fear of the virus is still looming around other events like E3 etc. The threat of the widespread of the virus can lead many event organizers to cancel their shows.