The world’s biggest phone show, MWC in Barcelona, just notified that world that it will not happen this year. GSMA CEO John Hoffman said that “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event“.
The show has seen a few big companies canceling participation over the last month, starting with LG and ZTE. Then the flood gates opened with Ericsson, Nvidia, Intel, Vivo, Sony, Amazon, NTT Docomo, Cisco, Nokia, BT, and HMD. If the show was to be held, it would have been empty halls.
While this show does not relate to photography, NAB released a statement that it is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation:
“The National Association of Broadcasters is closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, with an eye toward its potential impact on attendance and exhibitors at the 2020 NAB Show, April 18-22, in Las Vegas.
As of this writing, no exhibitors have pulled out due to the virus; however, NAB is currently reaching out to companies from China to assess their status” – Ann Marie Cummings, senior vice president of Communications for the broadcaster trade association.
There could be many reasons why a tech-oriented tradeshow would see cancellations from exhibiting companies, Starting with stock for sale issues, through new products not arriving from China and even actual booth elements being delays.
To top that, flight schedule is being disrupted as regular flights to and from China are significantly reduced. Lastly, more people are less inclined to fly, which would impact both show attendance and participating parties from overseas.
There are two other big regional photo/video related tradeshow before NAB: The photography show in the UK mid-March, and CP+ in Japan Feb 27th. We will monitor both for impact due to coronavirus concerns.