21 April 2020
Mobile World Congress (MWC) has offered to reimburse anyone who paid to attend the cancelled conference, in a move that could “lay down the gauntlet” for other events cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Organiser GSMA — the trade body for the mobile industry – scrapped the telecom event in February following a string of high- profile withdrawals, saying health concerns made it “impossible” for the event to go ahead. The Barcelona showcase was one of the first major events to be called off as a result of the pandemic. However, GSMA said it will refund the full price of the ticket, which costs €799 for a basic exhibition pass.
Clients that spent larger sums of money on the conference can claim a refund, or have been offered credits as an incentive to attend future events. Under GSMA’s financial package, companies that spent up to €5,600 on MWC 2020 can claim either a full refund or credit worth 125% of what they paid. This would be applied as a discount on the cost of attending MWC over the next three years. Clients with spend over €5,600 are entitled to the same credits, or can claim 50% of this year’s fees as a re- fund, up to a maximum of €168,000. Companies that withdrew before the conference was officially cancelled – including BT, Vodafone, Amazon and Facebook – are entitled to the credits but not the refunds. “The GSMA values the loyalty and support of our members and partners in the mobile ecosystem worldwide,” said chief executive John Hoffman. GSMA said it already has formal support for MWC 2021 from O2 owner Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange.