MWC 2020 was the first big tech event that fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it looks like things aren't going back to normal in 2021, either. The GSMA, the consortium behind the fair, has just announced that next year's MWC will take place from June 28 to July 1, 2021, instead of the planned date in early March.
The GSMA writes that it hopes that MWC21 "can go ahead safely" and that it will "also have virtual elements to complement the overwhelming demand to convene physically." The organizers say that Barcelona backs their decision and that they're in talks to make the new date work. The GSMA has yet to announce which exhibitors will join the show in June and July — this year, many companies pulled out before the official cancelation.
#GSMA today announced a rescheduling of MWC Barcelona & MWC Shanghai 2021.
Moving the Barcelona event to 28 June – 1 July 2021 allows the GSMA to contend with external circumstances related to COVID-19.
— GSMA (@GSMA) September 23, 2020
It's still widely unclear what exactly the MWC 2021 will look like, but barring any changes to the current pandemic situation, I would expect something similar to IFA 2020. The show took place on a much smaller scale with limited physical attendance, accompanied by lots of online events. The late slot might pose a problem to MWC's relevance, though: Most manufacturers avoid announcing products in the summer, so the event might end up without any headlining news.