El Mobile prepares an edition with 50,000 visitors and will ask for a negative test every 72 hours
The GSMA mobile phone industry employers’ association wanted this Monday to reaffirm its commitment that the world mobile congress will be held in Barcelona between June 28 and July 1. For this, they have designed, together with the Generalitat, a plan against the spread of covid-19, which includes the request for a negative test to each attendee every 72 hours, and the organization of spaces and temperature control points to guarantee in all time security. All in all, the organizers foresee that between 45,000 and 50,000 people will attend this edition, more than half of those attending the 2019 congress.
The Mobile World Congress is the most important business event held in Barcelona. In 2019, the last edition that could be carried out, the record of attendees was broken, with 109,000 people. The pandemic truncated plans to grow without stopping, and the 2020 edition, scheduled for February, was canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus that was beginning to reach Europe. The organization assured that the congress would be held in 2021, and later moved it in the calendar until the beginning of summer to ensure that it could be carried out.
Despite the doubts they plan about its celebration, due to the lack of interest from companies and the uncertainty about the degree of presence that the show may have, the organizers of the Mobile ensure that it will be held, although they recognize that everything is subject to the ” changing circumstances ”of the evolution of the pandemic. Between one month and six weeks before the scheduled date, the celebration or suspension of the event will be definitively confirmed, as explained this Monday in a telematic meeting with journalists Stephanie Lynch-Habib, GSMA marketing director.
From the outset, if held, the congress will have to be with fewer people, and they anticipate an attendance of between 45,000 and 50,000 people. Among the measures stipulated in the security plan are those relating to diagnostic tests. The GSMA will require travelers from certain destinations to show a negative test to travel to Catalonia if they come by plane. If they arrive by train or car, the participants will be directed to the test centers that the Mobile will have established. The negative test will be necessary to access the congress, and the test will have to be repeated every 72 hours. The Mobile prepares a mobile application (My MWC) to notify about the expiration of the tests. Through this same application you can track contacts, data that will be shared with the health authorities.
The space will have to be reorganized to guarantee security, and the plan has been based on the security and prevention protocol currently applied by Fira de Barcelona. There will be 1,300 disinfectant gel dispensers, attendees must wear an FFP2 mask and there will be temperature controls at all access points. The entrances and exits will be doubled to guarantee social distancing. There will be no physical accreditations and all interactions will be digitized. The same rules will be applied in the bars and restaurants of the Fira de Barcelona venue on the Gran Via de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, whose ventilation and people density monitoring systems have been improved. Fira’s medical facilities have also been expanded.
“We have worked with partners, health authorities and medical professionals to create a plan that builds confidence in our return to face-to-face events. Without a doubt, covid-19 is our biggest challenge to date. But our experience gives us a solid foundation from which we have built our plan. This foundation means that Mobile Barcelona can go on safely in person and with a digital component online for those who cannot attend, ”said John Hoffman, GSMA CEO, in a statement.