Impromptu Meetings Rising From the Ashes of the Canceled Mobile World Congress

A networking series will be held in Barcelona to accommodate those who expected to attend the MWC. 

Conference Event Coronavirus Cancellation

The latest report from the World Health Organization puts the number of confirmed global coronavirus cases just above 73,300. A majority of the cases (72,528) are contained to China, where the outbreak began in late December. Nevertheless, a number of events in Asia and beyond are being canceled or postponed due to the virus.

In China, the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition has been canceled until further notice. Across the Pacific Ocean, Facebook canceled its Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco. In Europe, Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry's largest event of the year, was canceled. Scheduled to take place Feb. 24-27, MWC typically draws around 100,000 attendees to Barcelona each year, but the event was called off after a handful of sponsors pulled out.

"With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled 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," read a statement on the event website. "Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world."

MWC attendees, however, do not have cancel their trip as a new event has cropped up in its place. The Silver Telegram, an L.A.-based technology PR agency, will be hosting a three-day networking series for those who had planned to attend MWC and still want to head to Spain. The Phoenix Events will take place across three co-working spaces in Barcelona on Feb. 25-27, with free registration for those who had signed up for the MWC. Each session can hold about 100 people. For a list of other tech events happening in Barcelona throughout the week, click here.

"After the announcement last week, I spoke with several attendees who were left with few alternatives and little time to change their travel plans for what is usually one of the biggest events of their year," said Ronjini Joshua, CEO and founder of the Silver Telegram, in a statement. "I saw this opportunity to create something, Barcelona's coworking community came together very quickly to offer spaces, and we are excited for everyone to see what the city has to offer."