From those of us hitting the floor of this yearis Macworld Expo, attendance on the first day of the show was off. Thatis not based on official numbers or comments from IDG World Expos, the Macworld Expo organizers, but rather our own observations, and comments from vendors.
What makes this interesting is that attendance appeared to get steadily better throughout the four day Expo. The show began on Tuesday morning, and runs through 4:00 PM, PST. As the event progressed, it was obvious that attendance was being driven by the many announcements from Apple and other Mac companies.
On Day four, the last day of the show, and typically the slowest day of a trade show, the booths were busier than any other day. Often times, vendors will back up their booths early on the last day, partially due to decreased foot traffic, but we did not see evidence of that this year. This is significant, because it shows that the draw of Macworld is solid, especially when Apple can back it up with exciting new products. In the ongoing battle between IDG World Expos and Apple over the East Coast show, it remains to be seen how this will effect ongoing negotiations on Appleis participation in that show.
Appleis booth was packed, and many other vendors told TMO that this show was far more successful than Macworld New York 2002. Other World Computingis head honcho, Larry OiConnor, told us that sales at the OWC booth were twice what his company saw at the New York show. Other vendors repeated the same mantra: the SF 2003 show has been a huge success from the standpoint of the vendors.
Considering the fact that overall display space remained steady, though the total number of vendors remained steady from last yearis SF show, thatis a surprising outcome. The effect of the economy on the Mac market had largely been expected to depress attendance for this show. Apparently, no one bothered to tell that to Mac users.