The Mobile World Congress (MWC) plans to bring together some 80,000 people in its edition this year, which will be held between February 27 and March 2. The objective is to generate an economic impact of more than 350 million euros in Barcelona and its area of influence, figures considerably higher than last year but still far from those before the coronavirus pandemic.
At the press conference to present the event, which was collected by Efe, the general director of the GSMA, the employers’ association that organizes the fair, Mats Granryd, its delegate advisor, John Hoffman, and the head of marketing for this employers’ association of the mobile industry, Lara Dewar, have also explained this Thursday that they expect more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and the signing of some 7,400 temporary contracts on the occasion of the congress.
Last year’s event, the first held in terms of relative normality after the outbreak of Covid-19, brought together more than 60,000 congressmen and ended with an impact of 240 million euros. Thus, the organizers forecast figures higher than those of 2022, but still far from those of 2019, before the pandemic, when attendees were 109,000 and the economic impact of 473 million.
Partial recovery of the Chinese congressman
Fewer Chinese congressmen are expected than there were before the pandemic due to a series of factors, such as the fact that mobility with that country has not yet been normalized, the difficulties with Covid-19 that they will experience there due to the change in their policy and the controls that are carried out in Europe on citizens of this nationality for this reason.
Hoffman has said that there will be “a lot of people” from that country, more than you would expect, although he has admitted that “not as much as before the pandemic.” No additional health controls will be implemented at this year’s MWC, including for Chinese congressmen. Another sign of the recovery of the Chinese congressman is that Huawei will be the largest exhibitor at the fair, increasing the surface area of its stand by 50%.
Less and less mobile mobile
Over the years, mobile technology, the origin of the congress, has given prominence to an industry related to it but much broader: from everything related to transportation, through electronic commerce or the metaverse. The stands that can be visited will be related to 5G and 6G technology, virtual reality, new finance technology (‘fintech’) or industry 4.0.
In the 2023 edition, as Dewar has revealed, more than half of the congressmen will be from this type of industry “adjacent” to that of mobile telephony. This will be noted in the list of exhibiting companies: Huawei, Ericsson, Samsung or Nokia will be accompanied by Airbus, Accenture, Microsoft or JP Morgan.
Among the main speakers announced this Thursday are the president and CEO of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete; the CEO of Orange, Christel Heydemann; or the CEO of Maersk, Vincent Clerc.
The 4YFN congress of emerging companies will be located in pavilion 8 -which before the pandemic used to be located in the Fira venue in Montjuïc-, with more than 700 signatures. There will also be a space called Journey to the Future, in which the Hyperloop capsule devised by Tesla and SpaceX will be exhibited, as well as a new space created in collaboration with Fútbol Club Barcelona that will be dedicated to the sports industry.