This year Spain was to host the 33rd largest exhibition of the mobile industry in the world – Mobile World Congress. More than one hundred thousand professionals have confirmed their participation. But 2020 was an exception.
MWC was planned in Barcelona from February 24 to 27, but on February 12, news appeared on the event’s website: GSMA trade association (organizers) canceled the exhibition due to the fact that most of the largest companies refused to participate.
An official GSMA appeal says that anxiety caused by an outbreak of a fatal disease, travel problems and other circumstances “makes the event impossible. ” At the same time, the organization announced that they would continue to work on MWC Barcelona 2021 and subsequent exhibitions.
But what about those who have already bought tickets and paid for participation in this conference?
This year, the Ukrainian startup team nect WORLD Inc. were supposed to go to MWC for the first time.
For us, this conference was ideal in all respects. Creating a 5G device, there are not many places in the world where you can introduce it to specialists from this industry.
Such conferences are needed in order to meet personally with those investors, journalists and potential partners with whom it is very difficult to cross in real life.
We have planned some important meetings that will have to be moved online. This option is possible, but it reduces the effectiveness of communication.
Participation in MWC for startups costs a little more than € 2500. This amount includes a stand, participation in project pitching and access to additional measures, which are allowed only with conference tickets. To this cost are added the prices of tickets, accommodation and merchandise.
For large companies, losses can even amount to tens of millions of euros. They bring up to hundreds of their employees, hire the same for the smooth operation of their area at the exhibition. Only the construction of the largest stands can easily cost from a million euros.
Now only one question is important: Is the reason for the cancellation of the conference a force majeure?
The next steps for all Ukrainian and world companies that were supposed to participate this year will depend on this. All reservations will have to be rescheduled for next year, money will be returned, or, in the worst case, this situation will be defined as force majeure and the money will not be returned at all.
Tip: always keep yourself a reserve of nerves and finances for such events.