The list of canceled events due to the coronavirus pandemic seems to, but one of the first major events to be canceled was MWC, the annual Barcelona mobile show that was due to take place one month ago.
A big concern for many exhibitors set to attend the show was the money they would lose as a result of its cancelation. 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 is set to be returned by the original method of payment.
Exhibitors spending big money (above £5,000, $5,933) 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, amounting 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% percent 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.”