Quark Returns To Expo For Boston & San Fran Shows

Desktop publishing company Quark, Inc. will be an exhibitor at this Julyis Macworld Conference & Expo in Boston, Mass. and at next Januaryis Expo in San Francisco, Calif., The Mac Observer has learned. Quark has been absent as a Mac Expo exhibitor for the last five years.

"Weire excited to have such an important Macintosh developer at our next two shows," Warwick Davies, IDG World Expo group vice president, said in confirming Quarkis attendance to The Mac Observer. "The Boston show is going to be a success and having Quark exhibit will just add to that success."

Quark has not exhibited at Expo since the 1999 east coast show in New York City. Graphic and desktop publishing designers have been critical of both Quark and the Expo show for not having such a major developer in attendance as an exhibitor. For many years, Quark publicly said it would not exhibit at Expo until it came out with a new upgrade of its DTP product, or came out with a version for Mac OS X.

The announcement of Quarkis attendance at the Boston show is somewhat of a boost for IDG World Expo after the decision in 2002 by Apple Computer to not exhibit in Boston. In October of 2002, IDG World Expo decided to move the show back to its original location from the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Apple balked at the move and further decided not to exhibit at the summer Expo last July in New York. Apple gave no specific reasons for its decision not to exhibit, and has held firm in its resolve not to attend.

Undeterred by Appleis move, IDG World Expo went ahead with the New York show in July 2003, re-naming it Macworld CreativePro Conference & Expo. Quark exhibited at the re-vamped show, but the number of exhibitors and attendees was dramatically down from previous shows.

Boston show list coming together

Despite Appleis absence as an exhibitor in Boston this July, IDG World Expo is slowly building a list of companies who have committed to attending. According to Mr. Davies, about 30 companies have committed to exhibiting, among them Alias, Belkin, Harman Multimedia, Iogear, Nexstar, Linotype, OiReilly & Associates, Peachpit Press, Prosoft Engineering, Inc, Quark, Sonnet Technologies, Unitek and Xerox Corp.

Although the total number of exhibitors for the Boston Expo will come no where near that of the 275 at last Januaryis San Francisco Expo, Mr. Davies is hoping and working on signing up more exhibitors between now and July. "Weire working very hard to close deals with a number of other major sponsors," he said. "We hope to have additional news on those sponsors very soon."

Mr. Davies would not discuss who the potential exhibitors were, or even confirm certain company names when asked. In January, Mr. Davies told The Mac Observer that the exhibitor count then stood at around 20.

Boston feature presentation preview

IDG World Expo will begin a marketing blitz this week to whet the appetites of potential attendees for the Boston show with further details on exhibitors, presentations and conferences.

Mr. Davies gave The Mac Observer an exclusive sneak-peek of just a few of the unannounced feature presentations, including a panel presentation hosted by David Pogue that will feature the original members of the Macintosh design team, "The MacBrainiac Challenge" trivia contest featuring two teams of Mac industry luminaries, and a presentation by photojournalist Rick Smolan, who was one of the original creators of the best selling photo book series, iDay in the Life.i

With or without Apple - the show will go on

While Apple is holding firm in its decision not to exhibit at Boston, IDG World Expo is also standing steadfast that the show will go on, contrary to rumors that the company was on the verge of canceling the Boston Expo.

"The show has always been about the Mac community," Mr. Davies said. "Apple is an important stakeholder in the community, but if certain stake holders donit want to get involved, weire still going to have the show for the community, and we expect to be successful. Clearly we would like to have them on board. They have said what theyive said. Our relationship is pretty good (with Apple) and Iim happy with it in general. They have to do whatis right for them, and weire doing what is prudent for us."

Mr. Davies also said that the show will be successful financially, but would not give details. It is known that IDG World Expo has paired down the amount of physical show floor space it will need at the Boston Convention Center for the July Expo numerous times over the past few months in an effort to make the show a break even enterprise, if not a profitable one.

While it appears the Boston Expo show will be much smaller in scope and size, Mr. Davies feels success isnit all about numbers.

"My definition of success is meeting the expectations of folks like those at the Boston Macintosh User Group (BMac), whom we recently met with. Theyire elated that the show is in Boston. They want to do everything they can to make this show successful. My goal is to put together a conference program that doesnit need an Expo to be great - not to say that it wonit be - but so that each of the elements will be successful on its own."

Our goal is to have a show where people come away learning something they didnit know before that was worth there time coming to," Mr. Davies said. "The show floor will be a place where people will want to spend a lot of time. Iim confident of that. And the conferences will be just as informative and useful as they ever have been. I think this show will have something for everyone and will be worth people attending. Weire doing everything we can to ensure that."