Sign Up: Free Daily Tech E-letter
Apple Stews Over Beantown Expo
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 13, 2004; 9:25 AM
Warwick Davies, IDG's group vice president who oversees Macworld, told the Chronicle that Boston proved a cheaper and easier place for exhibitors and organizers to stage the show. "The IDG executive said he expects about 10,000 attendees, much smaller than the nearly 15,000 people who attended last year's event in New York. He said he expects the number of exhibitors to shrink from more than 130 last year to fewer than 80 this year. Apple's absence 'hurts the image of that show,' said Jason Snell, editor in chief of Macworld magazine, a monthly that's published by IDG. Snell noted that historically, the East Coast trade show had always played second fiddle to San Francisco's Macworld." Apple says it will attend IDG's Macworld in San Francisco in January, the paper reported.
MacNewsWorld reported that Apple is not the only company missing. Also gone are Adobe, Epson and Palm. Mega-players Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are still participating, however. The absence of Apple and others "has impacted projected attendance and profit for the local Boston community, according to press reports. Past events have seen as many as 50,000 attendees, while only 10,000 are expected this week, potentially injecting nearly US$9 million into the local economy, in contrast to original estimates of more than $40 million," the article said. The publication and the Chronicle quoted a canned statement from Apple which said it stands by its position and said "we were very clear that we didn't think it was a good move" from New York to Boston.
The Boston Herald reported that while past East Coast Macworld shows have produced major announcements from Apple, "This year, some say Macworld will be lucky to elicit a yawn." More from the article: "Many of the computer world's largest players are also skipping the event. IDG's list of fewer than 80 exhibitors is not exactly filled with household names. ... Before Apple bailed, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau predicted that Macworld's return to Boston would draw 40,000 attendees and pump $42 million into the region's economy. Instead, IDG expects 10,000 attendees, and the visitors bureau has scaled back its economic impact estimate to just $8.3 million. By contrast, the 1997 event generated an estimated $65 million in visitor spending. 'There's probably not going to be any big announcements, because the heavyweights are staying away,' said Frank Gillett, principal analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge."
Some Mac fans say they are unfazed by Apple's absence. "Because, for many, it matters not that the biggest vendors in the Apple universe are missing from this week's Macworld the first in Beantown for six years. The event is about the community, anyway," Wired News Reported. "'I don't care about the number of vendors,' said Ilene Hoffman, keeper of the Macworld list of parties, who's been attending since the second show. 'The smaller the better it means I get more individual attention and have more time to talk to other attendees.' ... Like Hoffman, a lot of Macworld veterans the ones who've been going since the show's inception in the summer of 1985 are anticipating Macworld's return to its traditional venue. Beantown was the home of Macworld for its first 13 years. 'I'm looking forward to this show being like the old days,' said Raines Cohen, co-founder of the Berkeley Macintosh User Group and another Boston veteran. "There'll be time to go around and have conversations and not be overwhelmed." Cohen said Apple's absence from the show won't be especially remarkable for Boston anyway. In the 1990s, Apple and other big vendors moved to a separate hall across town when the show grew too large to fit in one hall. Many visitors never bothered to make the trek, Cohen said."
More support for the Beantown move. "Honestly, it's sort of insulting that Apple isn't at least giving a speech or making an effort to show support to their East Coast users," Mark Charbonneau, a Portland, Maine computer programmer, told CNET's News.com. "It's very nice to have the show back in Boston though. New York was too expensive." IDG of course is putting a positive spin on the show. "People care about this show, and we know a lot of them still plan to be here," Warwick Davies told CNET. "Macworld is a brand with two stops, San Francisco and Boston, and we have a great amount of respect for the companies that took the risk and spent the money to be here."
Happy Apple Tune
About TechNews.com | Advertising | Contact TechNews.com | Privacy
My Profile | Rights & Permissions | Subscribe to print edition | Syndication