Conferences are back? Spain's phone fest hopes so

Big business conferences have been on hold for a year.

But now one of the biggest is set to test whether people are ready to meet in person again.

Barcelona's Mobile World Congress is set to go ahead in June, after being cancelled last year.

It's the mobile phone trade's biggest event, and normally attracts about 100,000 attendees.

John Hoffman is CEO of industry body and event organizer GSMA:

"We're recognising that we're a trailblazer once again, we're setting the agenda around the world, we'll be the largest face-to-face event taking place in more than a year."

The event will be closely watched as a test case.

Organizers think they can get up to half the usual number of visitors.

They also hope to attract many more viewers to online forums.

Around 70% of 600 speakers will be physically present.

A health and safety plan, featuring rapid testing and contact tracing, has been approved by Spanish authorities.

And attendees will be permitted to come even from countries still otherwise subject to travel restrictions.

A lot is riding on the event's success.

The GSMA had to lay off 40% of its staff after last year's event was cancelled.

Such events also bring in millions for hotels, bars, restaurants and venues.

They also play a vital role in industry networking and deal making.

But it remains a big gamble.

Major firms including Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung have said they won't attend MWC person.

Organizers will hope that many others just can't wait to meet up.