Apple Computer Inc. and IDG World Expo Wednesday announced that the July installment of Macworld Expo will go on—under a different name and without Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Renamed "Create," the show will run in its original slot: July 14-18 at New Yorks Javits Center. According to the companies, the change reflects a focus on creative professionals, including filmmakers, directors, graphic designers, broadcast journalists, publishers, musicians, music executives and producers.
IDG World Expo confirmed earlier reports from Think Secret and other Mac Web sites that Jobs will cede his traditional keynote spot.
Apple and IDG said that changes to the New York show would not affect the annual Macworld Expo/San Francisco, which is held in January. IDG World Expo Japan in December cancelled Macworld Expo/Tokyo for 2003, citing lack of support by key exhibitors, apparently including Apple.
Rob Scheschareg, vice president of sales, marketing and product development for Framingham, Mass.-based IDG World Expo, told eWEEK the company wouldnt find another keynote speaker to replace Jobs. "Theres certainly a connotation that comes with keynotes," he said, and focusing on seminars and other events is "more closely aligned with the goals of the show."
Scheschareg said that Key3Media Events Inc.s recent decision to cancel its publishing-focused Seybold Seminars event in New York leaves IDG a new opening. "Macworld Expo has historically been all things to all people. Now, the content will be much richer." However, he said that the change of focus wont leave consumers out in the cold. "Consumers also use the Macintosh for video, photography and music," he said.
The alteration to the New York show comes in the wake of a well-publicized conflict between Apple and IDG over the latters announcement that starting in July 2004, it will relocate the show to its Boston birthplace. It also follows Apples announcement last week that it was rescheduling WWDC from May to June. WWDC is now slated to run June 23 to 27 in San Francisco instead of in its traditional home in San Jose, Calif. Apple said it needed the extra five weeks to prepare a preview release of its next major Mac OS X upgrade, dubbed "Panther."
Although Apples profile will recede, Scheschareg insisted Create "will still remain true to the Mac platform—it will remain predominantly Mac-centric." He declined to speculate about whether the Create branding would continue with a summer 2004 show in Boston. "Were focused on New York right now," he said. "Well see how this goes in New York."
Apples changes to its show schedule have had a ripple effect among traditional Mac gatherings. Tuesday night, the organizers of MacHack (a venerable gathering of Mac developers) said that they would convene their 18th annual gathering even though it falls a mere two days after WWDC ends.
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