Following the cancellation earlier this year of the 2020 Mobile World Congress trade show, GSMA, the organizer behind the even, has finally disclosed details regarding the compensation packages that it will provide to attendees and exhibitors who had already paid to attend the show.  The organization will refund price of tickets to individual visitors, while exhibitors will have two options, depending on how much they've spent.

For visitors/attendees, things are relatively simple: all purchased tickets will be refunded via their original method of payment.

Meanwhile, exhibitors will be separated in two camps. Companies who spent up to £5,000 have two options: to get a full refund, or get a credit worth 125% of their 2020 show fees, spread out over the next three years. As for customers who spent over £5,000, they have two options: they can get the same 125%, 3 year credit against their 2020 outlay, or they can claim a cash refund of 50% of their 2020 spending, with a maximum cap of £150,000.

GSMA MWC2020 Refund Policy
  Option One Option Two
Attendee Tickets 100% refund -
Exhibitors with up to £5,000 100% refund A cumulative credit of 125% of 2020 fees, paid out over three years as follows:
MWC2021: 65%
MWC2022: 35%
MWC2023: 25%
Exhibitors with over £5,000 50% refund
capped at £150,000

Overall, the GSMA’s terms for large companies that spend huge amounts of money are not as good as those for other categories. The GSMA would have already spent a significant amount of money on the show before it was canceled (especially so close to the actual show dates); and while it's not something the group would ever directly state, it's likely that they don't have the means to offer a full refund to the show's large exhibitors. The upside, at least? The group has stated that exhibitors who pulled out of the before the official cancellation will still be eligible to the credit deal.

Otherwise, as things stand, the GSMA is confident that MWC21 will take place from March 1 to March 4, 2021. The organizer does not plan to increase costs to booking rates. Meanwhile, the company understands that the global pandemic will have a serious impact on upcoming events in particular and industry in general.

Here is what John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, told Mobile World Live:

“The convening ecosystem, the events business, is no doubt changed by Covid-19. We don’t know yet exactly what that means, but we do know that people will still want to come together and network and discuss and debate the future. So, while we haven’t figured out exactly what the market is going to decide, we do believe there is going to be an opportunity for us to adjust our business model, to adjust the way we do business and frankly to adjust the way the world will come together.”

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Source: Mobile World Live

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  • senttoschool - Thursday, March 26, 2020 - link

    Not to sound negative but why is this Anandtech newsworthy?
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 26, 2020 - link

    because people who write for Anandtech were going to attend; and how to process trade show cancellations is a significant niche case issue with the current crisis.
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  • Letto - Sunday, May 9, 2021 - link

    i hope all will be back to normal soon
    the visitor of my blog decrease a lot too because of this pandemic
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