It is the latest to join a list of companies that have announced their withdrawal from the Barcelona event. Before, Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Oracle did.
The Mobile World Congress 2021 in Barcelona will be held between June 28 and July 1 with a hybrid format, but Google will not attend the technological appointment, which has confirmed that it will not have a face-to-face exhibition at the fair.
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Google has decided “not to exhibit at Mobile World Congress this year” following its current travel restrictions and protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was explained in a statement sent to The Verge, in which they ensure that they will maintain collaboration with both GSMA, the organizer of MWC, and with partners through virtual opportunities.
“We look forward to this year’s activities and seeing you in Barcelona in 2022,” said the American company.
The tech giant is the latest firm to join a list of companies that have announced their withdrawal from the Barcelona event. Before, they already did Nokia, Ericsson, Sony y Oracle.
The GSMA, the telecommunications industry association and organizer of the event, reported that all attendees must submit a negative COVID-19 test to access the Fira Gran Vía headquarters and repeat the test every 72 hours. Rapid testing centers will be available on site and organizers are considering using hotels to make more available.
Additional measures to be implemented for one of the most important business meetings in Europe include a new contact traceability mobile app, real-time occupancy monitoring, improved air conditioning in the compound and a greater number of medical personnel on site.
“We think we can have around 45,000 to 50,000 attendees today,” Stephanie Lynch-Habib, GSMA marketing director, told Bloomberg in early March.
“About 80% of our top 100 clients committed to a three-year stake when we canceled last year,” he noted at the time.
The event will be a test of whether the pandemic is controlled enough to make large face-to-face events viable and safe. The MWC Barcelona congress, which in 2019 attracted 109,000 attendees from 198 countries, was one of the first major casualties among European conferences when it was suspended in February last year.
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Lynch-Habib said 17,000 people attended the GSMA’s MWC Shanghai event in February this year and there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases at the venue. This reinforced the belief that a larger meeting for Barcelona could take place safely.