MWC 2020 offers refunds and discounts following cancellation due to coronavirus


MWC 2021 planning is already in the works after this year’s canceled show.

Matthias Oesterle/Corbis via Getty Images

The list of events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic seems to get longer by the day. But one of the first major events to be canceled was MWC, the annual Barcelona mobile show that was due to take place a month ago.

A big concern for many exhibitors set to attend the show was the money they’d lose as a result of its cancellation. On Wednesday, the GSMA, which runs MWC, substantially relieved this burden by announcing it would offer all attendees a 100% refund on their tickets. The money will be returned by the original method of payment.

Exhibitors spending big money (above £5,000, $5,933 or approximately AU$9,800) have a number of options for recouping their money. They can either choose to claim a 50% refund now (capped at £150,000, $178,000), or opt for credit to spend on exhibiting at future shows, which will amount to 150% of their original fee, spread over three years.

Those exhibitors who spent less than £5,000 on their exhibition slot have a choice between claiming a 100% refund immediately, or opting for the same 150% credit plan as larger exhibitors.

As a further gesture of goodwill, prices for MWC 2021 will be the same as those for MWC 2019, said the GSMA. Major exhibitors already committed to returning to the show next year include NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone.

“The GSMA values the loyalty and support our members and partners in the mobile ecosystem worldwide,” said GSMA CEO John Hoffman in a statement. “More than ever, our sincere thoughts remain with those affected around the world in these trying times.”

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