Despite a list of detailed health and damage control measures taken by the GSM Association (GSMA) which included; doubling on-site medical staff, implementing temperature screening and requiring attendees to self-certify that they have not been in contact with anyone affected with the Coronavirus, the show eventually could still not go on.
They event went as far as to propose a no-handshake policy!
It indeed proved to be an impossible task as continued string of withdrawals from major companies including Amazon, LG, Sony, Nokia, Ericsson, HMD, Vivo, and many more, due to fears around the novel coronavirus outbreak, MWC was canceled for the first time in the event’s three-decade history.
The Mobile World Congress which covers an exhibition insurance coverage includes loss of costs and expenses due to cancellation “beyond the control of the company or the organizer” of up to £10,000 (US$12,953). It doesn’t seem that exhibitors who dropped out were initially able to claim any compensation, though this may have changed as a result of the event cancellation.
Also worth taking note that the exhibit booths will probably have been paid for already. What will happen to events where exhibitor/sponsor contracts aren’t yet signed? Or attendee tickets aren’t purchased?
The body behind the event, GSMA, was truly a victim of circumstances, as will be the city of Barcelona. A commercial loss which definitly means missing out on an influx of 100K+ business visitors filling hotels, taxis, restaurants, bars…
Most tech folks are in no way surprised GSMA had to make the decision though a little tad disappointing with almost every continent recording a positive case of the novel coronavirus – the latest being Egypt in Africa.
Lessons for future events organizers?
|Xiaomi has already launched the Mi Note 10 but cannot ship out any Global version units yet from China due to novel Coronavirus fears.|
With several other related events in sports, trade shows and confereneces already affected by the ravaging virus coupled with no immediate cure at hand, it is best to say that event organizers will have to find a way to get their 2020 planned events go on without rising the health of its attendees.
Maybe Live Streaming Offerings the future, Anyone?
With the #coronavirus having a massive impact on the meetings industry your live streaming offering should be a priority if your event happens within the next 4 months.
— Julius Solaris (@tojulius) February 11, 2020
What happens with all the smartphone and tech launch events? We were expecting new Sony, Moto, TCL and Huawei/Honor smartphones, including new flagships.
Samsung already released the successor to their Galaxy S10 lineup – the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra before the Mobile World Congress 2020 which means we’ll likely see a range of launches over the next month and it’ll be interesting to track coverage given everyone won’t already be there by default.