MWC Barcelona Conference Planning for 50,000 In-Person Attendees in June

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences and events such as WWDC that are typically held in-person were transformed into digital-only events in 2020. Now, a year later, one of the biggest technology conferences plans to return to a sense of normalcy, hosting an in-person conference this June.

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As reported by Bloomberg, GSMA, the organizer of MWC Barcelona, says that it plans to hold the conference in-person between June 28 and July 1, with expectations of up to 50,000 attendees. In February, GSMA held a small-scale MWC in Shanghai with around 17,000 attendees and it was a success. There were no confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the event, which ignited hope that a larger-scale conference in Barcelona could be conducted safely.

There will, however, be several strict measures in place for MWC Barcelona. Attendees will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the venue and have a test repeated every 72 hours. The venue will be equipped with improved air ventilation, contact tracing, on-site medical staff, and temperature checks across the conference. All attendees will also be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing at all times.

While one of the largest technology conferences will go ahead with an in-person event, Apple is unlikely to follow suit. Apple opted for digital events for all of 2020, and WWDC 2021 expected to take place this June will likely also be fully digital. Already, many other major conferences have announced plans for digital events this year, including San Diego Comic-Con, Anime Expo, and E3.

Thanks to the online nature of WWDC 2020, Apple was able to offer online labs and sessions to anyone, anywhere around the world, for free. As for the WWDC keynote, Apple has already shown it can deliver that via a prerecorded presentation from Apple Park, and it will likely do the same for WWDC 2021 and potentially for a spring Apple event coming as soon as later this month. Last year, Apple announced details for WWDC in early May, so we could see a similar timeline this year.

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