Macworld Conference & Expo was once one of those events that I most looked forward to every year. In its hay-day, it was the largest expo in the city of Boston, often occupying 3 different buildings simultaneously. Fast forward to circa 1999. Apple's market share dropped from around 20% to below 5%; they had lost a foothold in big business and are now a niche player in the creative markets and home computing and a few other niches. MacWorld Boston moved to NYC, the Media and Advertising capitol, in order to re-invigorate excitement for the Mac platform. It worked for a couple of years, but after 9/11, and because of the competitive market and economy, the show continued to decline.
As I understand the rumors, after the 2003 show IDG, the company that produces the Expo, got an offer from Boston that was too good to pass up to move the show back to that city. They signed up to be the first Exposition in the spankin' new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Apple got pissed off because they wished to keep the show in NYC. IDG was committed to Boston and refused to change plans. Sooooo.... Apple pulled out of MacWorld Expo, and furthermore stated that they would no longer participate in a MacWorld on the East Coast, though they would continue to have the San Francisco Exposition.
What kind of Expo was MacWorld Boston without Apple Computer???. It was rather small and pathetic in this big new Expo center. There were only a couple of big players (e.g. Quark, Xerox). But it was actually pretty fun. The big cool new applications being shown were mostly Music. A niche that suits my tastes just fine. iPods and accessories were everywhere. Berkley College of Music put on some great presentations on how to set up a music studio, Logic Audio digital sound editing apps were amazing, and Guitar Rigg is an incredible program to add special EFX to your guitar. There were other innovative new applications and hardware being shown. Telephony, animation, 3D modeling and Graphics... Remember when MacWorld was almost entirely Printing and Graphics?
After all is said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last MacWorld Expo to be held on the east coast. Too bad. It will be the end of an era.
But don't worry about Apple Computer. they just released their Quarterly results, and its all good. $61 million in profits, 30% increase in revenues, and the stock price at its highest point in many years. Some great new products will be announced later this year including a new line of G5 iMacs. iPod sales increased 163% and the iTunes Music store has sold over 100 million songs and made a profit. Best of all, Apple still leads the industry in innovation and has the coolest and best computer hardware and OS that money can buy. Apple iRocks!