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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.

MWCBarcelona21_DiscoverMWC.jpg

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.

Article Link: MWC Barcelona Conference Planning for 50,000 In-Person Attendees in June
 
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GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
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Terminus
If this were done in the US (with only US residents attending) that's right on the cusp of when everyone attending could be vaccinated by, in which case go for it. The vaccine rollout in Europe is much slower and there's no way the majority of attendees would be vaccinated by then. Seems not worth it.
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
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I think this is premature given that attendees will be coming from countries all over the world with different circulating variants and vaccination rates. Even with careful attention to masking and distancing, it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, to limit transmission. The conference in Shanghai might have been successful, but I wonder how much was done to follow up to determine that the people who attended didn't infect others back home if they were sick or asymptomatic.
 

hobspain

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2010
121
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If this were done in the US (with only US residents attending) that's right on the cusp of when everyone attending could be vaccinated by, in which case go for it. The vaccine rollout in Europe is much slower and there's no way the majority of attendees would be vaccinated by then. Seems not worth it.
Clearly you’ve never been to MWC. This is a global event with about every telco and telecom company that is relevant attending as well as third party providers and customers from all around the world.
 

apparatchik

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2008
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Its crazy that some countries (Israel) and US States are rushing to open with complete disregard on mutations and new variants, as well as the fact that being vaccinated does not prevent spreading the virus or falling sick, you just don't develop the latest ill stages of the disease, i.e.: you might not require hospitalization.

All the common sense restrictions such as restricted or partial attendance, safe distancing, compulsory mask wearing, massive testing, constant sanitization, etc. should be kept for the foreseeable future. i.e. well into 2022.

Politics and commercial greed will land us back into square one.
 

NogbadTheBad

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2009
196
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United Kingdom
I nearly fell off my seat when I read "NO drinking alcohol allowed ! (for obvious reasons related to the spread of Covid)".

I helped with the IT support for the company I used to work for in the early 2000's, MWC was one big booze fest.
 
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ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
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Its crazy that some countries (Israel) and US States are rushing to open with complete disregard on mutations and new variants, as well as the fact that being vaccinated does not prevent spreading the virus or falling sick, you just don't develop the latest ill stages of the disease, i.e.: you might not require hospitalization.

While not eliminating completely it does limit the spread and not needing to go to the hospital (or worse) is exactly what we are wanting with the vaccines. If the US hits the goal of 300m people being vaccinated by the end of May (and the developed world assumedly is also vaccinating at a high clip) then stuff like this becomes a lot less risky.
 

fenderbass146

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
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Northwest Indiana
I can't speak to Europe, but in the US I'd fine with this. Pretty much at this point if you are above 60 or at risk you can get the vaccine and if your not in those categories who gives a crap because this statistically isn't dangerous for you. Life should be getting back to normal soon...but it won't because people are stupid and overreact. You are probably more likely to die in a car accident on the way to getting a vaccine than from COVID if you are a healthy person under
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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I wonder how many conferences will fold in the near future. Even Pre-Covid, Apple has not had a presence at many of the industry conferences for years, as have other large tech companies. This has not hurt these company's sales, and in fact, may be beneficial. The company does not have to try to stand out in a crowded field of similar products. And can get the message to consumers directly via channels like YouTube and social media.

Given this and the associated costs and more people working virtually, I can see major companies scaling way back or killing participation in industry conventions. You have to wonder what this will do to places like Las Vegas, Singapore, and other large convention destinations.
 
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jerryk

Contributor
Nov 3, 2011
7,040
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SF Bay Area
I can't speak to Europe, but in the US I'd fine with this. Pretty much at this point if you are above 60 or at risk you can get the vaccine and if your not in those categories who gives a crap because this statistically isn't dangerous for you. Life should be getting back to normal soon...but it won't because people are stupid and overreact. You are probably more likely to die in a car accident on the way to getting a vaccine than from COVID if you are a healthy person under
65 and older in the US. Anyone younger gets thrown to the back of the vaccination bus after obese teenagers and Millenials.

And a lot of people under 65 have died. About 15 percent (78,000+) of the 525,000 Americans that have died are this age. The disease has in 1 year killed more Americans than all previous wars combined.
 
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