After a break of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mobile World Congress is back as a physical event. While there are not many major tech launches this year as most giants like Google, Facebook, Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson among others have opted for a virtual presence, the buzz is still around at the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona with physical booths of major tech brands including these.
In order to make the event as ‘safe’ as possible for visitors travelling from nearly all the continents, GSMA has included several first-of-kind processes to make the event ‘contactless’. Lanyards for access at the MWC show floor have been replaced with a compulsory MWC app that takes care of the entire registration. The app generates a QR code which needs to be scanned by the organisers for granting access to the booths and the venue.
Before arrival at MWC 2022, GSMA has made it mandatory for visitors to upload their vaccine or recovery certificates on their website during registration and only after these certificates are verified, visitors are granted access.
To gain access to the main show area, GSMA has added face recognition cameras which scans the visitor from a distance to allow access. The facial recognition entry is optional but has made entry at the event easy while eliminating long queues. Before arriving at the event, visitors had the option to enrol for the face recognition access on the website.
For partners and exhibitors, the entire badge printing process is also made contactless. With badge details already getting fetched after the visitor scans his/her QR code, the printing process is automated too. To add to that, GSMA has made it mandatory for all attendees to wear proper N95 masks at the event and there are enough people to keep a check on the same as well. The mandatory masks rule is interesting as it is not compulsory to wear masks in Barcelona and a lot of people outside the venue are usually skipping the masks altogether.
GSMA claims that there are over 1500 exhibitors at MWC 2022. “For the first time at MWC, live universal sign language interpretation (SLI) will be provided at all keynotes,” it said. A footfall of around 60,000 is expected at this year’s MWC.
(The author has travelled to Barcelona, Spain to attend Mobile World Congress on the invitation of Oppo India.)