The world’s top cell phone trade fair will attract 55.000 people to Barcelona

The Mobile World Congress will be held in the Catalan capital for the seventh time. It will take place between 14th and 17th of February and will bring have an economic impact of 200 million euros on the city. Visitors are predicted to occupy 30,000 hotel rooms, 25% higher than last year. However, Barcelona could lose the Mobile World Congress’ organisation contract as the current one ends and other cities put forward their candidature.

CNA / Alex Recolons / Jordi Pueyo

January 13, 2011 01:27 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The most important trade fair on cell phones is held each year in Barcelona. It is called Mobile World Congress and this year will be organised between the 14th and 17th of February. Barcelona has already organised the previous 6 editions of the fair and is still contracted to host this and next year’s events as per terms of the current agreement. However, the possibility of renewal is not yet certain and is being discussed over the next few weeks. Barcelona and 5 other cities have put forward their candidature. The final decision will be taken in 2 weeks. Organising the most important congress globally on cell phone technology and devices is a great opportunity. The Mobile World Congress is expected to bring 200 million euros to the city including having 30,000 hotel beds occupied. According to the conference board director, John Hoffman, this year’s trade fair has avoided the economic crisis and will attain record figures regarding participants and the exhibition area.

The Mobile World Congress is aiming to have 55,000 participants, 30 % of whom are top executives of the 1,300 companies attending. 67 of these companies are Spanish, of which 18 are Catalan. Visitors will be coming from 200 different countries. The number of visitors will exceed the previous years, with 49,000 people attending. Institutional delegations are also increasing from 87 last year to 110 at this year’s edition. For the first time, Google will participate in the conference. The multinational company does not normally attend these kind of events.

However, the future of the congress being hosted in Barcelona is not clear. The 2012 event will be the last one under the current contract and, now, the organisers have to decide which city will be hosting the fair in 2013 and beyond. Although Barcelona is in a good position to be awarded the contract again,  well to be awarded again, Amsterdam, Cologne, Milan, Munich and Paris have also put forward their candidature. John Hoffman did not want to unveil the winner, but said that the citizens of the Catalan city “can feel proud” of Barcelona’s candidature. The decision will be finalised and made public in 2 weeks. If the Catalan capital finally wins, Barcelona will remain the world capital of cell phone technology. From 2013, the conference will be called Mobile World Capital and will be organising several events alongside the main conference throughout the year.