Mobile World Congress kicks off: what to expect from the Barcelona fair

Mobile World Congress kicks off: what to expect from the Barcelona fair

Mobile World Congress kicks off

After a year of absence, the Catalan appointment returns: this year fewer smartphones and more wearable devices

(Photo: Mwc) The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is back after having skipped the last edition due to Covid -19 and does so with a summer edition to be held from June 28th to July 1st. The Mwc 2021 will therefore be of a mixed type with the events streamed on the web, but it will also be open to the public, let's make a summary. The Mwc 2020 was among the first major events to raise the white flag. That of 2021 will be far from the firework of novelty experienced in previous years, even more so considering that all the big brands have long been paying less attention to big collective shows, focusing mainly on presentations in their own right.

In a period of the year halfway between the presentations that have already taken place between the end of winter / early spring and the autumn leading up to Christmas, the protagonists of the Mobile World Congress 2021 will not be smartphones. There shouldn't be many models made official, a new Sony Compact is being aimed, together with an Ultra version of Sony Xperia 1 III, a top-of-the-range Nokia should also be unveiled, while Huawei should focus on the HarmonyOs platform that has now become the main focus . Intel will instead focus on artificial intelligence and 5G, while Tcl on a new model of smartglass

The real stars of the fair will be wearable gadgets. The most anticipated event will be at 7.15 pm on June 28 with the Samsung Galaxy Mwc Virtual Event which should finally show the fruit of the agreement between the Koreans and Google who have merged the two operating systems WearOs and Tizen to focus on the Tizen platform. Let's expect a high-end Samsung smartwatch, which will compete directly with the Apple Watch.

(Photo: Samsung) The next day (5:30 pm on June 29) will be the moment of the most awaited guest or Elon Musk of Tesla, SpaceX, but above all of Starlink, the network for the diffusion of the Internet from satellite with a streaming interview. Other big names include Qualcomm's Cristiano Amon on 11:45 am on June 28, Accenture's Julie Sweet and also Zte's Xu Ziyang both at June 28 at 5:00 pm.

The countdown to a # smarter future starts now!

Stay tuned 👀 #LenovoMWC # MWC21

- Lenovo (@Lenovo) June 22, 2021

One of the most massive presentations should be that of Lenovo which has published the teaser video on Twitter (see above) which shows news in the computer field with the ThinkPad and Yoga ranges and a hint of what appear to be smart speakers.

You just have to wait until next Monday, June 28 for all the official news.

Smartphone - 11 Mar

Mobile World Congress, the first defections arrive

Mobile World Congress 2021 has been postponed to June

Honor presented the new smartphones, laptops, headsets and smartwatches


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From Trade Shows To Ball Games, Mass Events Kick Off Again

The singer and entrepreneur Usher. In June 2021, Usher spoke to a meeting planners at MPI in Las ... [+] Vegas about how planners can work with speakers and entertainers to use technology to create better experiences for both in-person and virtual attendees. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Mass events are starting to happen all over the U.S. this summer. After 15 months of COVID-19, are you ready to go? Or will you “attend” digitally?

Lingering COVID-19 concerns is keeping business travel down, according to Adobe Analytics. The report says just 11% of workers plan on traveling for business in the next six months, while 29% of those surveyed still don’t feel safe traveling.

But others are sick of Zoom or watching from the couch. Instead, they long to see colleagues, sports, and entertainments events and even tradeshows ‘in the flesh.’ The COVID-19  7-day average positive test average is now just 1.8% across the U.S., while 54% of Americans (175 million) have had at least one vaccine dose.

Business and leisure mass events, from full-capacity ball games and concerts, conferences and trade shows, are returning. The first major Las Vegas tradeshow since the pandemic, construction-oriented World of Concrete, kicked off in early June with an expected attendance of 60,000.

In mid-June, Las Vegas hosted the Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress, the first large-scale event held at the new Caesars Forum. Rob Carey, a senior editor for MeetingsNet, which reports on the meeting, convention, and trade-show planning industry, covered the show  and even kicked a 32-yard field goal during hospitality day at Allegiant Stadium. “Only at a trade show,” he said.

Meetings journalist Rob Carey, wearing tradeshow badge and formal shoes, kicks 32-yard field goal at ... [+] Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV, as part of MPI trade show, June 2021.

Rob Carey

The MPI show, hosting 1,229 meeting planners and suppliers, was particularly welcome in Las Vegas, where conventions bring millions of delegates and billions of dollars. But in 2020, convention attendance was down 74% due to COVID-19.

Addressing lingering travel difficulties, the 2021 MPI show was a ‘hybrid’ that also drew 568 digital attendees. Still, business travelers are returning to the sky and to the Strip, says Carey. “The air-travel experience was still fully masked, but once I got out of the cab at my hotel on the Vegas Strip, it was like COVID never happened.”

Masking was optional for vaccinated attendees and mandatory for the unvaccinated, though Carey says no proof of vaccination was required. Security staff at Caesars Forum conducted temperature checks at the entrance each morning.

“At the convention, seating arrangements for educational sessions and meals were socially distanced, and there were signs throughout to remind people to keep distancing in mind,” notes Carey. “But few people were masked and there were lots of face-to-face conversations, handshakes, and hugs.”

People walk through a new addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center during the World of Concrete ... [+] convention Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)


I had a similar experience last week at an NBA playoff game. The 2020 NBA playoffs took place in a “bubble” empty of fans to protect against COVID-19. But on Friday, June 18, I attended a historic NBA playoff game in downtown Los Angeles.

There were two reasons the game was historic. First, the Los Angeles Clippers shed a 51-year legacy of losing and defeated the Utah Jazz, moving on to the Western Conference finals for the first time. The game was also the first full capacity house  at one of the country’s premier entertainment venues, the 19,000 seat Staples Center, since the beginning of the pandemic.

If you are attending your first mass event since the pandemic began, you’ll find lots of changes. California “re-opened” on June 15, meaning no more physical distancing, no capacity limits, and relaxed mask guidance, but venues have different rules to follow. “STAPLES Center SAFE” required attendees to either “be fully vaccinated” (two weeks or more since one’s final dose) or obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to attending. We brought our vaccination cards but were not asked to provide them. At the gate we entered, it did not look like anyone else was asked to prove their status.

Similarly, guests were “required to wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times, unless actively eating or drinking.” Again, we wore masks, but most people took them off at their seats. For the germophobic, there were touchless hand sanitizer stations, faucets, paper towel dispensers, and soap dispensers throughout the venue.

Ordering food and beverages was ‘contactless’ using QR codes at the concession stand. Tickets were all “mobile;” you showed the bar code on your mobile device. And no cash was accepted; “STAPLES Center is a fully cash-free venue that only accepts debit and credit cards.” But for those without “an accepted cashless method of payment,” there were free “Cash to Card' conversion kiosks.

A worker stands next to a welcome sign outside Staples Center before an NBA basketball game between ... [+] the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Lakers began allowing fans to attend games, in limited numbers, effective with Thursday's game. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)


Despite such reassuring changes, not everyone is ready to attend mass events. When I unexpectedly had some extra tickets, several people told me they would “never” attend a packed ball game. I did sell my tickets, but there were a number of empty seats for what was arguably the most important game in Clippers history.

Similarly, Carey reported the pandemic has taken its toll among planners who would have potentially attended the MPI show. MPI’s membership was down 35% versus the previous year.

Still, fans and delegates are voting with their feet, putting fannies into seats. Performer and entrepreneur Usher spoke to the meeting planners at MPI about how planners can work with professional speakers and entertainers to use technology to create better experiences for both in-person and virtual attendees. According to MeetingNet’s Carey, Usher said that the pandemic pushed him “to focus on being present in the moment and putting out positive energy to others because it will come back to you. Don’t dwell on the past; it does not have to define you. Be present and be patient.”

Sports and music fans are starting to attend mass events. Will businesspeople start attending conventions and tradeshows as well?

“I’m fully vaccinated, and I think that most travelers now assume that enough people are vaccinated, making the chances of getting COVID very small,” says Carey. “And because being in person with industry colleagues is a far richer experience than attending an event online, I think the meeting and convention industry will start seeing strong attendance within the next couple months.”

Tourists wait in line to take photographs with the 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign in Las ... [+] Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Saturday, May 1, 2020. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious-disease official in the U.S., has said that vaccinating 70% to 85% of the U.S. population would enable a return to normalcy. Photographer: Roger Kisby/Bloomberg

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