Macworld Conference & Expo

Macworld Conference & Expo

Produced by Boston-based IDG World Expo, Macworld Conference & Expo is a trade show dedicated to the Apple Macintosh platform with conference tracks held annually in the United States, usually during the second week of January. "Macworld" is the most widely read Macintosh magazine in North America, and is a trademark of its publisher Mac Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group. IDG World Expo is also a subsidiary of International Data Group. At one time, the show was known simply as "Macworld Expo".

The Conference & Expo features educational conferences taught by leaders in their fields, which require large admission fees to attend, and last for a few more days than the Expo. The Expo is open for a number of days (generally three or four), and attendees can visit the exhibits set up by hardware manufacturers and software publishers that support the Macintosh platform.


The first Macworld Expo occurred in 1985 in San Francisco. The conference itself was created by Peggy Kilburn, [] who helped to grow the event in size and profitability during her tenure (1985-1999). Among the speakers recruited by Kilburn were David Pogue, Steve Case, Bob LeVitus, as well as representatives from BMUG, LaserBoard, and other major user groups.

The San Francisco event has always been held at the Moscone Center. The Expo was also held in Brooks Hall near the San Francisco Civic Center from 1985 until 1993, when the expansion of Moscone Center allowed the show to be consolidated in one location.

Until 2005, the U.S. shows were held semiannually, with a January show in San Francisco and an additional summer show held in the Eastern US. The latter event was held initially in Boston at the Bayside Expo & Executive Conference Center, later expanding with a dual presence at the Boston World Trade Center. From 1998 to 2003 it took place in New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The 2004 and 2005 summer shows, retitled "Macworld Conference & Expo" took place in Boston, although without Apple's participation. Other companies followed Apple's lead, canceling or reducing the size of their own exhibits, which resulted in reduced attendance compared to previous Macworld conferences. On 16 September 2005, IDG announced that no further summertime shows would be held in NYC or in Boston. [ [ IDG pulls plug on Macworld Boston | Tech News on ZDNet ] ]

The show has also taken place in other cities:
* A Tokyo show, produced by IDG World Expo Japan, was held at Makuhari Messe and moved to Tokyo Big Sight in 2002.
* Macworld Expo Summit, a version of the show targeted at U.S. government customers, was held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. as late as 1994.
* In 2004, Macworld UK, part of the IDG UK division of IDG, created two "Macworld Conference" events on its own: one standalone conference, and one conference adjoining the MacExpo trade show in London.

Since 1997, the show has been known for its keynote presentations (sometimes called "Stevenotes") by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.


In January, Jobs introduced the iMac and the PowerBook G3.

The New York event inaugurated a competition (produced by "Double Exposure") called the "National Macintosh Gaming Championship", which challenged attendees to play games for a number of premium prize packages. The event continued in 1999 in San Francisco, and was terminated after the New York show in 2000 to make way for the Apple Gaming Pavilion.


In New York, actor Noah Wyle made an appearance during the keynote address, posing as Jobs in a reference to his role in the TV movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley". [] Steve Jobs also introduced the iBook, QuickTime TV, and AirPort. Halo was announced by Bungie Software, although Bungie was later purchased by Microsoft and Halo became an Xbox exclusive.


The San Francisco keynote revealed Mac OS X's Aqua user interface and the New York keynote featured the introduction of the Power Mac G4 Cube.


The San Francisco keynote introduced iTunes and the PowerBook G4, Apple's first widescreen portable. The New York keynote included no major new product announcements, but did feature a technical presentation on the megahertz myth.


The January keynote introduced the iMac G4.

In October 2002, IDG World Expo announced plans to move the 2004 edition of the East Coast show to Boston. The day of that announcement, Apple declared its intent not to participate in the Boston Macworld Expo.


The January keynote introduced the Safari web browser, AirPort Extreme, 17 and 12-inch PowerBooks.

In 2003, IDG World Expo renamed the New York trade show "Macworld CreativePro Conference & Expo" in an attempt to reach the creative market in the New York area.


Along with the usual show in San Francisco and the return to Boston, a Macworld Expo was held in Paris. At the Paris Expo, Apple's VP of marketing Phil Schiller introduced the new updated iMac featuring a PowerPC G5 processor and other various updates, notably, the integration of the logic board and optical drive with the display.


The San Francisco show was held January 10-14 [ [ Macworld | Steve Jobs to keynote Macworld Expo 2005 ] ] . The keynote introduced the Mac mini.

During the show, IDG World Expos announced "Macworld On Tour", a series of small conferences in various North American cities. An initial conference, in Kissimmee, Florida, was later canceled. No future announcements for "Macworld On Tour" have been made.


In January 2006, Intel Core Duo-based iMacs were announced to be ready for purchase. The conference was held January 9-13 and the number of visitors increased 6.8% from the 2005 event, to 38,441. The number of paid conference delegates increased 20% to 4,188 and the total number of exhibiting companies increased 25% to 367 [ [ Macworld Conference & Expo 2006 San Francisco Gains 7% Attendance Increase with More than 38,000 Overall Visitors. | Business Wire (April, 2006) ] ] .


At Macworld 2007 (January 8-12), Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone mobile device, revealed the final name for the Apple TV (originally called by its code name iTV), and announced a change of name for the company from Apple Computer, Inc. to simply Apple Inc., reflecting its longtime focus on the user experience as opposed to the technology behind it.

IDG World Expo reported Macworld 2007 attendance as 45,572, a 19% increase over the previous year. [ [ Macworld | Macworld Expo attendance breaks records ] ]


At Macworld 2008 (January 14–18), Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air — touted as the world's thinnest notebook computer; the Time Capsule device for use with the Time Machine application in Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard", iPod touch updates including Mail, Stocks, Notes, Maps & Weather, iTunes Movie Rentals, the Apple TV Take 2 updates with an all new interface, the ability to download TV shows, music, podcasts and rent or download movies without the need for a PC or Mac; and finally the iPhone/iPod touch SDK launching in late February.

IDG World Expo reported that Macworld 2008 attendance increased 10% over the previous year [ Macworld Conference & Expo Celebrates 24th Successful Year] ] .


The San Francisco show is scheduled to take place January 5-9, 2009.


During the Expo's first two decades, it became legendary for the parties that coincided with it, frequently with open bars, lavish hors d'oeuvres, and requisite T-shirts and other premium favors. Apple's developer parties featured high-profile entertainers like James Brown and Smash Mouth.

Several years after the start of the Expo, "MacWEEK" had launched its weekly trade magazine and simultaneously initiated an exclusive party known as Mac the Knife, named for its anonymous columnist that wrote the back page industry gossip and rumor section; after "MacWEEK"'s demise, the party was thrown by Ilene Hoffman, until Mac Publishing, owners of the Mac the Knife trademark, forbade her from using the name. The party continued, with appearances by the Macworld All-Star Band, under a series of names that referenced the Knife.

Robert Hess of "MacWEEK" was the original keeper of the Macworld Party List, which kept track of each leisure event after the show. Prior to his death in 1996, he reportedly requested Hoffman to maintain it; the list was subsequently renamed the Robert Hess Memorial Events List. The list shrunk gradually as events became more sparse, and did not publish for the show in New York 2003, but has been published for subsequent San Francisco shows.

Rise and fall of trade shows

There was some discussion among critics about the necessity of having two Macworld events (referring to the San Francisco expo and the now-defunct New York/Boston summer expo) in the United States at a time when non-Mac focused events such as COMDEX were encountering financial trouble. Additionally, as Apple continues to expand its retail presence in the U.S. market, some have speculated that the need for an annual gathering of Mac enthusiasts has been reduced. (Apple seems to encourage this thinking by favorably comparing, on numerous occasions, the volume of visitors appearing in Apple retail stores to the number of attendees at Macworld Expo.Fact|date=January 2008) The emergence of the World Wide Web has also contributed to the decline in trade shows of relatively established markets such as the Macintosh business. Nevertheless, Macworld Expo is still one of the largest technology trade shows in the United States, as well as San Francisco's largest single trade show.


External links

* [ Macworld Conference & Expo]
* [ Robert Hess Memorial Events List]
* [ Link to QuickTime stream of "Macworld 2006"] [ 2006 Audio-Only]
* [ Link to QuickTime stream of "Macworld 2007"] [ 2007 Audio-Only]
* [ Link to QuickTime stream of "Macworld 2008"] [ 2008 Audio-Only]

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