Mobile World Congress to stay in Barcelona until 2024

Mobile World Congress (MWC) will continue to be held in the city of Barcelona until 2024 as per the terms of a new agreement.

The Catalan capital has hosted the industry megaevent since 2006, moving to the current Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue in 2013. The previous agreement was reached in 2011 and was set to run until 2023.

The GSMA said the one year extension had been reached after the two parties had worked through the implications of the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the coronavirus outbreak. The GSMA eventually pulled the plug after several major exhibitors withdrew, stating it was “impossible” to stage the show.

GSMA Barcelona 2024
The organisation had initially said there would be no refunds but has since detailed a compensation package that includes provisions for partial refunds or credit that can be used against future events. For example, those who spent in excess of £5,000 will receive half of paid fees up to £150,000 or they can receive 125 per cent credit over the next three years.

However some companies will also have paid for transport and accommodation, while resources would have been spent on creating demos and prototypes. For smaller organisations, this could have been a huge portion of marketing budget. Meanwhile, Barcelona had to forfeit a significant boost to the local economy thanks to the influx of visitors.

“In these trying times, it is ever essential to look forward to the future,” said John Hoffman, GSMA CEO. “The GSMA, the Host City Parties, and the MWC Barcelona ecosystem look forward to upcoming editions of MWC, and MWC Barcelona 2021 will be part of the economic recovery process.

“By extending through 2024, we are demonstrating our commitment to our ecosystem as well as the Host City Parties and our strong and mutually beneficial working relationship. We are pleased to report that we have had tremendous support and early commitment with many exhibitors for future editions.”