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Macworld Boston May Stay In New York In 2004 After All

Macworld Boston May Stay In New York In 2004 After All

by , 5:00 PM EDT, August 8th, 2003

Macworld Boston may still be something more like Macworld New York after all. If you remember, it was announced last fall that IDG World Expos was moving the East Coast Macworld show back to Boston in 2004, whence it was born. According to the announced deal, Macworld NY 2003 would be the last show in New York City, and the 2004 show would move to Boston's brand new, state-of-the-art convention center. In fact, Macworld Boston was to be a flagship trade show for the new facilities, which cost some US$800 million to build.

At that point, along came Apple to bust Boston's party balloon. Apple announced that it did not support the move back to Boston, that it wouldn't attend, and in fact, that it was reconsidering even attending the 2003 New York show we just had. IDG responded with a corporate "Oh yeah?" and threatened to bar Apple from last January's San Francisco show. In the meanwhile, Charlie Greco, then CEO of IDG World Expos, and the moving force behind moving the show back to Boston, left IDG World Expos. Obviously, Apple and IDG worked out most of their differences and Apple attended San Francisco, as well as a downsized and refocused Macworld CreativePro show in New York this summer.

The Boston Herald is reporting in an article we noted from our friends at MacCentral that the move back to Boston may not happen after all. According to the Boston Herald, the new CEO of IDG World Expos says the deal was never final, and that his company is concerned about attendance at a Boston location. From the article:

But backing out now would be dishonest, griped Charlie Greco, the former Macworld chief who negotiated the Boston deal.

"There have been many months of negotiations, discussions, development of relationships . . . to come in now at this late date (and back out) on an agreement we had signed would be truly dishonest and unprofessional," [Former IDG World Expos Charilie] Greco told the Herald yesterday.

[...]

Greco, his predecessor at IDG, signed an agreement with city and tourism board officials spelling out everything from hall rental terms to room rates, Korse acknowledged. But Korse called the agreement a "term sheet" and not a final contract.

Korse's view of Macworld's lack of commitments to Boston clash with the continued trumpeting of the show's return by state convention officials. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority recently released a list of 33 events it has been calling "definites," including Macworld.

"I would say calling anything a definite who hasn't signed a contract is being a little presumptive," Korse said.

There's more information in the full article at the Boston Herald's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

We heard rumblings to this effect when were in New York for Macworld CreativePro last month. Then again, we hear lots of things when we are at a Macworld, and many of them turn out not to be true. In this case, however, we think that Macworld is very likely to return to New York in 2004. Apple just wasn't interested in returning to Boston, and though IDG World Expos owns Macworld (not Apple), what's a Macworld without Apple?

In the meanwhile, we get a kick out of the comments from Mr. Greco we quoted above, though we don't blame him for making them. He had a lot riding on the move back to Boston, and we suspect this situation may be making him tense.

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