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Despite Fewer Exhibitors, Expo Happy With San Fran Show

TMO Reports - Despite Fewer Exhibitors, Expo Happy With San Fran Show

by , 6:00 PM EST, January 8th, 2004

Despite having some 50 fewer exhibitors than last year, the parent company of Macworld Expo San Francisco is extremely happy with attendance and exhibitor participation.

"We're very happy with how well this shown has gone," Warwick Davies, Group Vice President of IDG World Expo, told The Mac Observer. "Traffic is good, the keynote was packed, attendees are packing in the conferences, and exhibitors overall seem to be very happy."

Davies said that the exhibitor count was around 320 at this same time last year and that this year's show had about 275 exhibitors, down about 50. Some of the bigger exhibitors not attending this year include 4D, Channel Storm, CompuCable, EZQuest, GCC Printers, Intuit, Microtek Lab, ProMax Systems, Smith Micro Software, Corel, Palm and Iomega.

Where that difference is apparent is in the north hall of Moscone Center, where the majority of the show floor is closed off. Over the past four years, the number of exhibitors in the north hall has continually fallen. At the same time, additional space in the south hall has been added to accommodate some exhibitors who previously had been in the north hall, but were willing to pay more money to be in the same area with Apple Computer.

Davies feels there are a number of factors that negatively affected exhibitor turnout out this year's show, primarily economic.

"A lot of companies that have previously attended are undergoing economic and financial change," said Davies. "This is not uncommon. But it constantly changes and we feel we have gotten the best exhibitors under the conditions."

Davies feels the initial interest from this year's exhibitors for attending next year's show has been positive. He said a large number of this year's exhibitors have already committed to being at Expo next year in San Francisco.

In terms of attendance at this year's show, Davies is optimistic. "It looks like it will be as even as last year," he said.

One difference from past years will be the lack of final attendance numbers within a week of the show's closing. Instead, numbers will be audited for better accuracy and released in about two months. In the past, numbers were based in a "turn style count" of how many badges were ordered. Davies said the new system actually counts people walking through the show doors. As a result, while attendance figures might be down, the new system will be more accurate.

Boston or bust

With the San Francisco Expo winding down, IDG World Expo is now focusing on its next Mac show scheduled for Boston July 12th to the 15th; but what with Apple Computer already announcing it will not be an exhibitor, IDG World Expo is holding to its guns, and is committed to having a Boston event whether Apple is there or not.

"We've made a commitment to the Mac community, and we're going to hold to that," Davies commented. "We're committed to a healthy, robust event. Will it be a challenge not having Apple there as an attendee? Absolutely, but we feel we can offer a good experience for exhibitors and attendees."

"We've had about 20 major exhibitors already commit to doing the show in Boston," he said. "We feel good about that."

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