Attendance, Exhibitors Up for Macworld San Francisco 2005

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IDG World Expos announced Wednesday that attendance at this Januaryis Macworld San Francisco 2005 was up 11% over Macworld San Francisco 2004. Total attendance for this yearis show -- including exhibitor staff, press, and attendees -- was 35,989, as compared to 32,409 for the 2004 show. In addition, there was also an increase in the number of exhibiting companies at this years show, with 275, as compared to the 255 in 2004.

These numbers reflect Appleis emergence as the leader of the digital music market, but perhaps even more telling is the number of press that registered to cover the event. 1,150 members of the press registered for the 2005 show, a whopping 51% more than the 763 reporters that registered for the 2004 event.

While Apple has always garnered more press than its competitors, the fact that there was one member of the press for every 30 attendees and exhibitors is indicative of just how serious people are taking the company today.

Attendance 2005 2004
Conference Attendance 3,358 2,918
Exhibit Only Attendees 28,864 26,071
Total Conference & Exhibit Attendance 32,222 28,989
Speakers 132 149
Press Registered 1,150 763
Exhibitors 2,485 2,508
Grand Total of Attendees 35,989 32,409
Exhibiting Companies 275 255

On the surface, these numbers reflect a major downturn in attendance to the San Francisco Macworld show from earlier years, but such comparisons are of an apples-to-oranges nature. Beginning in 2004, IDG World Expos moved to an audited measure of attendees based on actual badge-holders picked up on-site. In prior years, attendance was measured in terms of a body count of people walking through the doors, a method rife with potential for error.

A better comparison to earlier Macworld events would be the number of exhibitors, where Macworld used to regularly have 350 or more booths. This yearis count was lower, at 275, but the increase over 2004is numbers reflects Appleis growing popularity in both the Mac and iPod platforms.

For more coverage from Macworld San Francisco 2005, see all of our full coverage from the show floor.

[Editoris Note: Please note that the number of exhibitors as attendees, which includes staff employed at the booths, was down, but that the number of exhibiting companies, was higher. The table above has been appended to include the number of exhibiting companies.]

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