Where Does Macworld Expo Go From Here?

By  |  Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

Macworld Expo 2009With Apple pulling out of Macworld Expo after this year, that has become the big question for IDG — the event’s sponsor. Steve Jobs’ presence at the show was what made the show a worthwhile stop on the tech trade show circuit, and without that Macworld loses a lot of its draw.

One of the first things it can do now since it is free of Apple is possibly move the show back east. Once upon a time there used to be two events: the main show in January, and then another smaller event in Boston during the summer.

In a town hall event at the close of the show, that was mentioned. What got even bigger applause was the suggestion that IDG may consider bringing the show back to New York City — the original East coast location.

IDG is calling the Apple-less Macworld 2010 the beginning of an “evolution,” which will focus on the things that make the Mac ecosystem tick rather than what Steve is announcing on stage.

This could actually benefit exhibitors. They would no longer be overshadowed by Apple, and would be able to get much more face time with the media. I don’t see how that could be a bad thing, unless the tech media decides en masse to stop going to the event.

Exhibitors and instructors seem to still be giving the show a shot: about 60 exhibitors are already signed up for the 2010 show, and almost all instructors will be returning as well.

The next several months will be critical to the survival of Macworld. If they cannot secure enough exhibitors by this summer, I can almost guarantee that Macworld 2010 will be the last.



5 Comments For This Post

  1. Vulpine Says:

    This move could actually be a benefit for me, since I can hardly afford to travel from the East Coast to San Francisco every year. I regret that I won’t get the chance to see Steve Jobs, but having an East Coast show that will be easy to attend will make up for it.

  2. Brian Says:

    Where does it go from here? Answer: It goes away.

  3. Dave Barnes Says:

    “Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

  4. James Bailey Says:

    “What got even bigger applause was the suggestion that IDG may consider bringing the show back to New York City — the original East coast location.”

    NYC was used for Macworld East for a few years (1998-2003) but it was hardly the original East coast location. Macworld Boston was held every year from 1985 through 1997. As a matter of fact, Macworld Boston was held before the first West coast version–probably because Macworld was a Boston area publication.

  5. John Says:

    Personally I hope they keep a presence in San Francisco. Proximity to Silicon Valley would seem to ensure a good number of attendees.

    My view is that MW will live or die based on the strength of the technical program. There are a number of technical conferences held each year around the country. It is always the technical program that draws the crowd, the commercial exhibits piggyback on that.

    There is a great need for continuing education and for professional development. If IDG can find a way to satisfy that need at a reasonable price they will deliver enough attendees for the vendors to justify the expense of the exhibits.

    Beyond that IDG needs to look at revamping the whole notion of MW. Physical presence is still the best way for people to meet and to learn. Perhaps they can find less expensive ways for vendors to attend. Perhaps they could have ways for people to “attend” courses via streaming video. Not as nice as being there but cheaper. This is uncharted territory.

    I’d like to see opportunities for the average user to present. Perhaps on Friday they could have a hall or two set aside for anyone to give a five or ten minute presentation about what they do. Show us your videos, your Keynotes, PDFs of your layouts, your art or just describe how you use technology at work, home or in the classroom.