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MWC claims 60,000 visitors as dates shift
17 February 2011
The GSM Association shifts dates for 2012 MWC in Barcelona as visitor numbers hit a record 60,000
Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress is moving two weeks later in 2012 to the
end of February as organisers report that more than 60,000
people turned up to the Barcelona event this week.
The GSM Association will have recorded two years of rising
numbers at the Barcelona venue after the slump, caused by the
recession, in 2009. During the event the organisers were
hinting that the numbers would exceed 55,000, but now they are
claiming to have doen 10% better than that, and way ahead of
the number for 2010.
But the GSMA is moving away from years of tradition —
dating back to when MWC’s predecessor, 3GSM, was
in Cannes — by moving the event away from the middle
In 2012 the event will open on Monday February 27 and close on
Thursday March 1 — two weeks later than the usual
For many years — though not in 2011 — the
event clashed with Chinese new year, and the official view is
that the GSMA has finally responded to years of complaints from
Chinese delegates and exhibitors that the exhibition and
conference interferes with major family celebrations.
In 2011, oddly, MWC did not clash with the new year celebration
— which took place a week early, determined by the
date of the new moon. But the event will have disrupted
preparations and the GSMA is now listening to the Chinese
exhibitors and conference participants.
However, a move by two weeks to the end of February means that
there is no risk of clashes in future.
Next year’s event may be the last to take place in
Barcelona, which is competing with Paris, Milan and Munich for
the title of Mobile World City. The GSMA is offering a
five-year contract for the event from 2013 onwards along with a
plan to locate a mobile centre of excellence that will operate
year-long. The GSMA will announce its choice in June 2011.