As we all know, Macworld 2010 will take place for the first time in twenty-six years without the involvement of Apple - a vendor that, to say the least, has some vital connection to the event. Saturday morning the San Francisco Chronicle covered the story that, while known for months and months, is still incredibly difficult to believe.
The show, a production of IDG World Expo, has been tweaked in a number of ways to compensate for the loss of Apple, including a date change to February, registration price cuts and an emphasis on more training.
Of course, Apple already gave an answer to this question last year when the folks in Cupertino stated that Apple is doing an adequate job of reaching the masses through its online presence as well as their physical stores. In this regard, MacWorld isn't the only event losing Apple's presence. Apple has already bid farewell to Macworld New York, Macworld Boston, and the National Association of Broadcasters Show.
But will Apple's inward-looking outreach (that is, their emphasis on the web site and Apple stores to reach consumers) ultimately be prove a hindrance to "connecting" with consumers in the very personal way that only live events and major expos can?
Organizer Paul Kent, IDG World Expo's vice president and Macworld general manager agrees that Apple's departure is not a "great thing" but perhaps the show will not evolve into a "community fan fest." To survive in the future, it will almost have to.
"They did the same thing at (Macworld Boston) and it folded within two years," said Leander Kahney, author of "Cult of Mac" and "Inside Steve's Brain." "Without Apple it doesn't have the pull."
I anticipate attending Macworld 2010 and I look forward to reporting live on the "human energy" at the event - assuming there still is any.
Image via San Francisco Chronicle