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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 of February.
In 2012 the event will open on Monday February 27 and close on
Thursday March 1 - two weeks later than the usual dates.
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
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. GTB