MWC 2017 breaks attendance records

James Pearce
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More than 108,000 people attended this year's Mobile World Congress, up 7% on 2016's event

More than 108,000 visitors attended this year’s Mobile World Congress, smashing the previous record of 101,000, according to the GSMA.

The annual mobile showcase, held in Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via, saw a 7% increase in visitor numbers, with people from 208 countries and territories attending this year.

Over 2,300 companies exhibited at MWC, which ran from 27 February until 2 March this year. The GSMA held 11 keynote sessions over the four-day programme, with topics such as 5G, the Internet of Things, fintech and virtualisation all prevalent.

“Mobile World Congress enjoyed another record-breaking year in 2017, underlining its position as the world’s premier mobile ecosystem event,” said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd. 

“The theme for this year’s show was Mobile: The Next Element, reflecting the elemental role of mobile in the lives of billions of people around the world. We once again saw a world-class speaker line-up and the unveiling of a range of major new initiatives and cutting-edge product launches, which will define the direction of the mobile ecosystem over the coming years.”

However, the number of female attendees was still relatively small, making up just a 23% share of the attendance, despite the fact that numerous “Women in Tech” sessions took place. Female attendance did see significant growth, though, up 14% on 2016’s conference.