MWC Barcelona 2024: indirectly have relevance to the connected packaging industry

Exceeds Pre-event Expectations to Generate €461mn for Barcelona’s Economy.


In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and connectivity, the World Mobile Congress (WMC) in Barcelona stands out as the world's largest and most influential event. The recently concluded MWC Barcelona 2023 not only showcased groundbreaking developments in mobile technology but also left a lasting impact on the city and its economy. 

Economic Impact and Job Creation:

According to an economic impact report released by the GSMA, MWC Barcelona 2023 contributed a staggering €461 million to the Barcelona economy. This figure marks a return to pre-2019 levels, highlighting the event's consistent economic significance. Notably, the event exceeded pre-event estimates for part-time jobs, creating more than 9,100 positions across the city.

The event's economic contribution is a testament to its role as a global connectivity hub, with MWC Barcelona estimated to have generated a total of €5.8 billion in economic impact since 2006. These numbers underscore the event's sustained ability to create economic opportunities and stability for Barcelona and its citizens.

Key Statistics of MWC Barcelona 2023:

€461 million of economic impact generated – surpassing an initial estimate of €350 million.

Over 9,100 part-time jobs created, reflecting a 1,700 increase compared to the previous year.

More than 88,500 attendees from 202 countries and territories.

A substantial presence of over 2,400 exhibitors, sponsors, and partners.

64,000 attendees from outside of Barcelona, accompanied by over 36,000 visitors.

MWC Barcelona's contribution to the Barcelona economy now totals €5.8 billion since 2006.

Connections to the Connected Packaging Industry:

While the primary focus of the World Mobile Congress is on mobile technology, the event indirectly intersects with industries like connected packaging. The proliferation of IoT technologies, which are integral to connected packaging, finds resonance in discussions at the WMC. Advancements showcased at the WMC can potentially enhance the capabilities of connected packaging solutions, creating more seamless interactions between consumers and smart packaging.

Moreover, the emphasis on mobile-driven experiences at the WMC aligns with the interactive nature of connected packaging. Mobile apps designed for scanning QR codes or NFC tags on packaging provide consumers with detailed product information and immersive content, enhancing the overall consumer experience.

Connecting the physical and digital worlds

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Looking Ahead:

The success of MWC Barcelona 2023, as highlighted by GSMA Ltd's CEO, John Hoffman, reinforces the commitment to continue staging the flagship event in Barcelona until 2030. Barcelona's Mayor, Jaume Collboni, expressed gratitude for the results, emphasizing the shared success between the city and MWC.

As industries evolve and technology continues to advance, the connections between global events like MWC and niche sectors such as connected packaging are poised to deepen. It's essential to stay updated on the latest trends, collaborations, and advancements, as these intersections hold the key to shaping the future of connectivity and innovation.


About GSMA

The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today’s biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world’s largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events.

For anyone immersed in the realm of smart packaging, the recent presentation by members of the NFC Forum’s Retail & Payment Special Interest Group (SIG) at the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association’s (AIPIA) Virtual Congress on September 10 was a must-see. This dynamic session, ranked #3 out of over 40 sessions, captivated audiences with its rich content. We are delighted to revisit the insights shared by the panelists and extend the knowledge beyond AIPIA's virtual walls.

NFC Technology:

A Global Powerhouse NFC (Near Field Communication) technology has emerged as a powerhouse, reaching over 20% of the global population. Its widespread adoption is a testament to its versatility and utility. One of the driving forces behind this surge in popularity is its pivotal role in the realm of smart packaging. Brands worldwide are leveraging NFC technology to transform traditional packaging into interactive, intelligent interfaces.

Exploring Smart Packaging Applications
In this exclusive session, members of the NFC Forum delve into the multifaceted applications of NFC in smart packaging. From sharing real-world examples to unraveling the intricacies of retail and customer journeys, the panelists provide a comprehensive overview of how NFC technology is reshaping the packaging landscape.

Challenges and Opportunities:
As with any transformative technology, organizations encounter challenges in integrating NFC into their packaging strategies. The session illuminates these challenges, offering valuable insights into overcoming obstacles and optimizing the implementation of NFC technology. Attendees gain a nuanced understanding of the steps brands need to take to seamlessly embed NFC tags, ensuring a smooth transition into the era of smart packaging.

Looking Ahead: The Future of NFC in Smart Packaging
The presentation not only explores the current state of NFC in smart packaging but also provides a forward-looking perspective. Attendees will gain a glimpse into the trajectory of NFC technology and its role in shaping the future of smart packaging. As the industry evolves, the session equips participants with the knowledge to stay ahead of the curve and harness the full potential of NFC technology.

Key Takeaways for Attendees:

The NFC Forum Story: Uncover the narrative behind the NFC Forum, understanding its role in driving innovation and adoption of NFC technology.

NFC Applications in Smart Packaging: Explore real-world examples of how NFC is revolutionizing smart packaging, enhancing user experiences and brand interactions.

Retail and Customer Journey: Gain insights into the impact of NFC on the retail and customer journey, from the moment of purchase to post-sale engagement.

Embedding NFC Tags: Understand the intricacies of embedding NFC tags in packaging and discover the essential steps brands should take for successful implementation.


As the world of smart packaging continues to evolve, this session serves as a beacon, guiding industry professionals through the present landscape and towards a future where NFC technology plays a central role in transforming packaging into an intelligent, interactive medium.

David Matamala -
Global Editor
Worldwide Packaging Day