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Former Macworld Expo Head Leaves Choice Comments On Apple

Former Macworld Expo Head Leaves Choice Comments On Apple

by , 9:00 AM EST, February 28th, 2003

As Apple and Macworld Expo organizer IDG World Expo hammer out plans for upcoming conventions, the out-going head of IDG World Expo has made some strong remarks about Steve Jobs & Company, and accused them of trying to undermine the future of the twice-yearly Macintosh event.

In the March (print) issue of Boston magazine, former IDG World Expo chief Charlie Greco is featured as a flamboyant wheeler, dealer who has been instrumental in helping Boston bring back millions in lost convention business to Beantown. One focus of the article is Greco's brash style, and consequentially, his recent clash with Apple over the decision to move the summer Macworld Expo convention back to Boston from New York City beginning in July of 2004.

In the article, Greco details the behind-the-scenes battle with Apple over the move to Boston and accuses Apple of deliberately sabotaging IDG's plans to announce the change in show location. "I talked to them the night before (the announcement on October 17), and they could have told me then (that they didn't approve of the move). They blind-sided me."

Trying to call Apple's bluff, Greco remembers telling Apple, "'We're prepared to live in a world without Apple. Are you prepared to live in a world without Macworld?"

Greco feels Apple balked at moving to Boston because Greco and IDG World Expo were becoming too powerful in their control of the Mac convention business. "(Apple) used the hoopla of our moving the show to Boston as an excuse (to back out)."

Despite no longer behind at the helm of negotiations for future shows with Apple, Greco feels Apple will attend the Boston show in 2004 "with bells on," despite Apple's continuing stance that it will not attend.

The financial stake of the show possibly not happening in Boston with Apple's attendance is huge. Greco estimated the financial stake for the city of Boston in direct and indirect spending of Macworld Expo 2004 at close to $80 million.

Of even more interest is that Greco's comments were made in an interview last December - weeks before his decision to leave IDG World Expo for his new position as head of convention organizing at Gartner.

At present, Apple and IDG World Expo are in negotiations for the future of Macworld Expo in New York City, planned for this July. Officially, Apple has not committed to attending the New York City show. All that both sides will say at this time is that discussions are on-going to work out possible arrangements. One veteran exhibitor, who asked not to be identified, has told The Mac Observer it is his understanding the makeup of the July show "could be dramatically different."

Despite an uncertain future between both companies, Greco said he felt he had made his mark on Boston and Expo. "I played on (Boston) streets with my friends growing up, and now I can come here and say, 'My God, I brought Macworld here."

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