One of the largest trade shows on the planet won’t take place this year because of outbreak worries.
The annual Mobile World Congress trade show is cancelled. The event typically takes place in Barcelona, Spain and provides much anticipated insight into upcoming smartphone and mobile technology.
The reason for the cancellation has to do with growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Organizers announced that the Mobile World Congress is cancelled as a result of rising worries in the business world regarding the coronavirus outbreak. They explained that several of the event’s big-name participants had withdrawn. It is unclear as to whether additional brands and speakers had the intention to pull out of the conference as well.
This year’s conference had been slated to begin on February 24. The event has become a centerpiece for both the city of Barcelona and the mobile phone industry as a whole. Attendance is usually over 100,000 people. They arrive each year with the goal of discovering the latest advances and upcoming strategies in smartphone technology.
Enough large companies had withdrawn that the Mobile World Congress had to be cancelled.
Over the last week, several substantial brands, including Facebook, Amazon, Intel and Sony, all stated that they would not be attending the conference. They cited safety concerns for the employees who would have been representing them. The growing number of international cases of the new coronavirus were determined to be too high of a risk for participants.
At first, G.S.M.A., the event’s organizer, resisted calls for cancellation. It stated that it would establish health precautions to keep participants safe. These would have included body temperature scanning and advice to participants to avoid certain behaviors such as handshakes. That said, the companies scheduled to take part in the conference continued to withdraw until G.S.M.A. had to change directions.
“The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the G.S.M.A. to hold the event,” said C.E.O. John Hoffman at G.S.M.A. in a statement.
The Mobile World Congress being cancelled is not a unique incident. Other business events and trade shows have also announced intentions for delays, rescheduling or cancellations as a result of coronavirus concerns. Over two dozen industry events in Asia have announced postponements.