Mobile World Congress

The coronavirus claimed Mobile World Congress (MWC) — the world’s biggest mobile phone trade event — as a victim. (We have cancelled all of our events in Barcelona as well.)

I have spoken with several infectious disease specialists in the past few days to try to understand what is going on. One of the best articles I’ve read about modeling the epidemic is in Scientific American; the video embedded in the article is particularly informative.

With MWC cancelled, what are the chances that SXSW (March 13-22, 2020), Cannes Lions (June 22-26, 2020), IBC (September 11-15, 2020), or even CES (January 6-9, 2021) will take place as planned?

Some medical professionals say the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will be contained in a few months, and while cautionary measures are suggested right now, big shows outside of China that are a few months off should be OK. Other medical professionals I spoke with told me this is going to spread worldwide in relatively short order. Said differently: no one knows what’s going to happen, or how it’s going to happen.

Which has me wondering… What should we do to help our community stay connected? Would you be willing to join a tech-focused, monitored, social network with subject matter restricted to tech, culture, and innovation? If so, we’re going to build one immediately, but it’s up to you.


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit


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