The cost of cancelling Mobile World Congress 2020


Following the cancellation of MWC 2020, many are currently wondering how much money has been lost in deciding to call it quits. It’s not just GSMA that stands to lose a whole load of money but the MWC is also a huge source of revenue for the city of Barcelona.

While the whole world mourns the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, our sadness at not seeing the next generation of smartphones isn’t comparable to the sadness GSMA is feeling at having to pay for a cancelled event the scale of MWC.

Or will GSMA be the ones paying for everything? We still don’t know whether or not the companies who pulled out will still be paying the fees participate. Showing at MWC usually sets companies back tens of millions of dollars but since the entire show has been cancelled it seems doubtful that they’d be required to pay out.

Yet how GSMA is going to pay for the event is also unknown as most of the event’s budget comes from basic admission passes which usually go for €799. Taking int account that roughly 109,000 attendees were expected, that’s a loss of roughly, at the very least, €87 091 000.  GSMA aren’t the only ones to stand losing thousands of dollars. Reporters in Barcelona have stated that the city stands to lose €492m. MWC, which is one of the biggest events for the city, usually sees accommodation services hiking up the prices to make money out of all the biggest executives. MWC also tends to create roughly 14,000 jobs in Barcelona.

It’s a big loss and not just for the smartphones industry. An event cancellation of this scale is sure to send out ripples throughout the convention. We’ll just have to wait and see how the financials of the situation pan out for all the affected parties.


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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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