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IDG Raises Stakes In MACWORLD Wars, Says It May Bar Apple From San Francisco Show

IDG Raises Stakes In MACWORLD Wars, Says It May Bar Apple From San Francisco Show

by , 9:00 AM EDT, October 21st, 2002

If you have been following the developments in MACWORLD's move back to Boston, you probably know that Apple has said it would not attend the 2004 show in its new home, and may pull out of the 2003 show in New York. This weekend, IDG World Expos, the manager and organizer of both the East Coast and San Francisco shows, as well as Tokyo and Paris, raised the stakes considerably by publicly threatening to ban Apple from the San Francisco event in retaliation. The Boston Globe reported that Charlie Greco, CEO of IDG World Expos, has responded to Apple's public tit with his own public tat. From the report:

Still, Greco, chief executive of the trade-show producer IDG World Expo, said he could still change the company's mind, even if it means a little arm-twisting.

"We still have a few arrows in our quiver," he said. And the sharpest may be a possible threat: If Apple won't participate in the Boston MACWORLD show, maybe Greco won't let the company display its wares at MACWORLD in Tokyo or Paris, or at the San Francisco show in Apple's backyard. "You know how badly they want to do San Francisco," he said. "We don't have to let them. We might not let you cherry-pick which MACWORLD events you do ... that's currently under discussion here."

It's a threat with teeth. Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote speeches at the MACWORLD shows are among the most widely publicized media events in the computer industry. Because Jobs often uses the speeches to introduce major Apple products, they are covered by leading newspapers, TV networks, and news magazines, giving Apple a publicity bonanza. Barring Jobs from the MACWORLD stage would force Apple to develop a new high-profile venue.

The article goes on with comments from people in the industry, including some who say that the issue involves a dislike at Apple of IDG World Expos CEO Charlie Greco. There is more information in Hiawatha Bray's full article at the Boston Globe.

The Mac Observer Spin:

This is simply stunning. Apple kicks this little fracas off with a very unprofessional public statement that it won't attend the new venue in Boston, and IDG responds with an even more unprofessional "Well, we'll just keep our marbles all to ourselves, then. So there." It's like a much hyped lunchtime duel...in junior high school.

There's little doubt that we haven't heard the last on this, but we hope that all parties concerned can kiss and make up, at least publicly. We would like to see Apple at the East Coast show, no matter what town it is in, and we would also like to see the company attend the show in its own back yard. If, by some strange extra dose of testosterone, both parties stick to their public statements issued so far, it will hurt the show, IDG World Expos, Apple, the Mac platform, and Mac users too. As a very good Joy of Tech cartoon on the issue pointed out, the only winner will be some folks living and working in Redmond.

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