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Macworld 2009 sign-ups open, push some out of keynote room

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
IDG on Thursday opened up registration for those hoping to attend 2009's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, but made it clear that all but its most privileged attendees won't witness Apple's keynote speech first-hand.

The publisher's packages list now says that all Conference passes, save for the Platinum Pass, now automatically relegate viewers of Apple's opening presentation to an overflow theater in Moscone West rather than let them into the main hall on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The change largely puts a halt to the long queues that in recent years have formed outside the Moscone Center for a significant number of attendees. Under the current plan, only the Platinum visitors as well as the press corps will now have a shot at seeing the keynote in its actual presentation hall; the non-media guests' access is still "subject to availability" and may likewise place some of these attendees into overflow rooms.

IDG has not yet explained the move as of press time.

Regardless of how intent visitors may be to see the keynote for themselves, the packages are otherwise familiar to long-time veterans of the San Francisco show. A Platinum Pass at $1,695 grants both access to the opening presentation as well as to a limited number of Power Tools, Market Symposium, Users, and MacIT specialty tracks; it also opens the door to feature presentations and the Macworld Blast party.

More inexpensive Conference packages grant access to individual conference tracks as well as feature presentations; Expo Only and Expo Plus passes at $25 and $100 each take the conferences away for those who just want access to the usual hall and feature presentations.

All the current prices are for early registration, which ends on December 1st. Macworld Expo starts with conferences from January 5th and the expo proper on the 6th.
post #2 of 30
So there is no unprecedented significance in this blurb?

Did this just preclude the possibility of an October event?
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Regardless of how intent visitors may be to see the keynote for themselves, the packages are otherwise familiar to long-time veterans of the San Francisco show. A Platinum Pass at $1,695 grants both access to the opening presentation as well as to a limited number of Power Tools, Market Symposium, Users, and MacIT specialty tracks; it also opens the door to feature presentations and the Macworld Blast party.

More inexpensive Conference packages grant access to individual conference tracks as well as feature presentations; Expo Only and Expo Plus passes at $25 and $100 each take the conferences away for those who just want access to the usual hall and feature presentations.

Does anyone know people that took anything like the platinum package in previous years? Was it worth it?
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Does anyone know people that took anything like the platinum package in previous years? Was it worth it?

Or if the Platimun Package includes the Champagne room, or any Private Fantasy Dances?
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

Did this just preclude the possibility of an October event?

How? I don't think so. I think I remember a time when Apple had three consecutive press events one month apart.

MacWorld is a third party trade show that Apple does not operate. Apple does get a lot of leeway there though, being a platform to introduce new products. Nothing about it makes Apple go, they go because it suits them. There used to be an East Coast MacWorld event, but it shriveled and died shortly after Apple quit showing up, .

The show does not prevent Apple from doing other events either.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

...There used to be an East Coast MacWorld event, but it shriveled and died shortly after Apple quit showing up.

Yeah I remember that, and the event organizer got so mad he wanted to sue Apple for his loss.
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post #7 of 30
IDG is gouging and it is ridiculous. I don't really want to repeat everything here but I cannot believe there isn't more of an outrage over this - maybe most people haven't noticed.

Here is the complaint I posted to IDG

http://macworldexpo.ning.com/forum/t...61Comment24210

I also wrote to Apple. No there is NO chance for us lowlies to see the KeyNote live DESPITE the fact, there was always that chance in the past, and that the room is twice as large as needed for just the special people.

This looks really bad on Apple, for even though it isn't their event, they give their imprimatur of approval on it.

I am seriously considering not even going. I feel screwed over, and IDG's responses so far that I have heard have sucked.
post #8 of 30
Why don't they just put the keynote in a bigger venue, and sell separate tickets for it?
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

Why don't they just put the keynote in a bigger venue, and sell separate tickets for it?

The Keynote presentation by Apple is just the start of a week long event. They already use the largest Moscone has to offer.
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post #10 of 30
IDG may end up losing more revenue than they think.

In past years many of us paid $200 or more for the conference seminars which included the keynote. Most of the seminars were usually of little value so we were essentially willing to pay a high price to see the keynote live.

This year the best deal is to pay $25 for the exhibits only pass. All the keynote announcements will be on display on the exhibit floor anyway and you can watch Steve's keynote after the show when you get home. You can even sleep in the first day, arrive when the exhibits open at 11 AM and miss nothing of importance.

IDG is shooting themselves in the foot. Instead of making $200 from a lot of Mac users they will now make $175 LESS. What a strange way to do business.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
I also wrote to Apple. No there is NO chance for us lowlies to see the KeyNote live DESPITE the fact, there was always that chance in the past, and that the room is twice as large as needed for just the special people.

This looks really bad on Apple, for even though it isn't their event, they give their imprimatur of approval on it.

Yea, I was hoping when I go to the US in the future I will finally be able to see the Keynote live!, now guess I will only be able to watch it from the stream
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post #12 of 30
IDG is playing the "safe" card by going right after the Platinum packages as its sales targets. It is probably worried about the economy as trade shows get shafted quite hard by the economy during downturns. However, looks like IDG has shafted good loyal Mac fans at the same time.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The Keynote presentation by Apple is just the start of a week long event. They already use the largest Moscone has to offer.

MacWorld needs a bigger convention hall. I'm thinking Candlestick Park
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post #14 of 30
See the thing is (the numbers are given in that link I gave) that it has been confirmed that the main hall holds more than 6,000 people. Between Plat, VIP, and press, less than half of that will be used. Yes this is IDG's doing, but it is going to be perceived as Apple's.

I would encourage you guys to write to IDG,

http://www.macworldexpo.com/SitePage...7-77525bdcca0a

It seems like Paul Kent would be the guy to email.
post #15 of 30
Here is the email that I sent to Paul. Copy as much of it as you want, or simply copy it all, and add your agreement:

Dear Paul:

I am writing to express my concern about IDG's sudden and unexplainable change in policy that only Platinum Pass holders, press (which is limited), and VIPs can see the KeyNote live. Everyone else MUST go to an overflow room. This is ridiculous and is causing many first-timers, such as myself, to consider canceling their plans. I am coming from quite a distance with my husband and have already expended 4K for those plans. In the past, if you got in line early enough, even us "lowlies" had at least a CHANCE of getting in the main hall with the knowledge that we MIGHT have to go to overflow. Now we are told (and people have confirmed this with IDG) that there is no chance at all for anyone else to get in. From what I understand the answer was given, then "let them buy $1800 tickets." This is akin to "let them eat cake," the community feels, quite frankly, screwed and that IDG is engaging in price-gouging. Basically you are asking me to spend between 8K and 10K to go to this event - more than 10 percent of my household income. Is this what it has come down to? It has been confirmed that the main hall holds over 6,000 people, and the elites account for less than half of that. Why the change? The community, from whom IDG is making the money, owes an explanation. I aske for one in the forums yesterday with no response, though it has only been one day, so obviously that is not enough time to reasonably expect a response. If IDG thinks they are going to sell more Plat Passes this way, they are sorely mistaken. Even if they sell a few more, everyone else who would have bought the $200 pass will now simply buy the $25 one, or not go at all, which is something I have to consider even though everything is already painstakingly planned and very eagerly awaited. My disappointment cannot be expressed deeply enough.

From my understandings of discussions that have already taken place with IDG representatives, it appears that IDG is simply ignorant of the Mac community, as odd as that might sound. Being in an overflow room and seeing it real-time is NOT the same as having a chance to be there. IDG apparently has no idea of the devotion of Apple fans to at least have one chance to get to see Steve work his magic live IN PERSON and take pictures for their various blogs. Even though IDG doesn't consider blogs as press (unfortunately anachronistic IMHO), a lot of these blogs are part of the livelihood of the owners, but don't generate enough to warrant a $1,800.00 fee. I say this because again, the answers given so far have been ignorant and cold to the community.

I would really like to discuss this with you. I am a writer at several Apple oriented blogs and am starting a podcast. I am also the owner of a forum that gets millions of hits a month that has a vocal Mac base. I really think this whole thing is going to be a public relations nightmare for IDG, and unfortunately, for Apple as well since most people mistakenly think that this is run by Apple. I have also written Apple just so that you know (as I am cc'ing them on this email - though I doubt Steve gets these emails, later today I am going to forward them all to the public relations department). I will write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper since the businesses in the area that count on revenue from this event might suffer if less people come or the people who do come are pissed off. This year Apple has made some slip-ups, and this is just going to make them look greedy - and IDG will be directly responsible for that. I don't know what kind of agreement you guys have with Apple, but my understanding is that they attend at their pleasure, and can pull out at any time (obviously not after they have committed for this year - but who's to say about next year) just as they did with the East Coast Conference. After all, they have the WWDC.

I may be wrong, but I think there is going to be a tremendous backlash in blogs and podcasts and in MUGs (Mac User Groups) over this. Those who are in the elite clique will likely not say a word, but obviously they are few, and the first-timer unwashed masses feel screwed over. I am hoping that those who have been before and had the opportunity will stand behind those of us who haven't.

Write me if you wish to discuss either by email or telephone.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

MacWorld needs a bigger convention hall. I'm thinking Candlestick Park

Right- Steve's keynote with giant Nanos substituting for Greek columns as backdrop.
post #17 of 30
OK, I just went to register and I was thinking, after getting sent to overflow last year, of upgrading to platinum to make sure I could attend. I couldn't believe it. They've essentially cancelled the keynote. unbelievable. I also emailed IDG. Here's a few email addresses you may want to copy:

charlotte_mccormack@idg.com
grouphousing@vagent.com
macworldexpo09@rcsreg.com
paul_kent@idg.com
nina_carrara@idg.com
kathy_moran@idg.com
richard_kazarian@idg.com
Annie_McKnight@idg.com
ron_moreau@idg.com
Ellen_Boland@idg.com
michelle_mohr@idg.com
charlotte_mccormack@idg.com
suzanne_levecque@idg.com
linsy_reese@idg.com
Tara_Wislocki@idg.com
esther_demming@idg.com
bryan_rusciano@idg.com
jennifer_lemay@idg.com
andrew_alpert@idg.com

I am sort of in shock. Removing keynote access is the last thing I thought I ever would have seen coming. Makes no sense. It is the one critical thing to attend at macworld in my opinion.. and now .. Macworld is a trade show. Yay. I agree Apple should fire IDG and put it on themselves. Call it Apple Expo SF - whatever. If you can't see Steve speak, why would I travel from Indiana every year and spend SF prices... The keynote is the spark that sets off the convention. Crazy to remove it. Crazy! I say F' IDG and don't eat anything at Moscone center - that is probably their revenue too. Just get an expo pass if you can... smallest possible package... Make them feel it. Piss me off.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzle View Post

I am writing to express my concern about IDG's sudden and unexplainable change in policy that only Platinum Pass holders, press (which is limited), and VIPs can see the KeyNote live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsender View Post

The keynote is the spark that sets off the convention. Crazy to remove it.

I'm surprised that you are surprised and find that it's 'unexplainable.' It's supply and demand. They only so have so many seats so those paying for the premium packages are getting guaranteed access.

I have no idea how many of those packages were sold last year but it's possible that there will be no overflow if they sell out all the seat to platinum members.
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post #19 of 30
Just got this email from Paul Kent!

-------------------

Hi Jim -

Thank you for your email. The keynote policy on our website yesterday was
an error. Our policy is the same as in previous years. We have corrected
the registration pages accordingly.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Regards,

Paul Kent
GM, Macworld Conference & Expo

------------------

YAY US!

hehe. OK, they have just changed the wording to:

Keynote: Seating based on availability

I am guessing that the policy is the same - all you guys are going to overflow... but you can wait in line all night dreaming of how you might make it in. I think I may like the honest approach better. You're going to overflow...

They need a bigger venue. That's all. Perhaps we've outgrown Moscone.

J
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsender View Post

JThey need a bigger venue. That's all. Perhaps we've outgrown Moscone.

Any ideas? It can't just be a stadium or music hall. It has to be convention center unless you want separate the the convention from the keynote.
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post #21 of 30
I don't know all the options in SF. I'm sure IDG has a vested interest in keeping it there... I have no problem with having the keynote at a separate facility that could accommodate everyone. People are willing to stand in line for hours in the drizzle, I am guessing a train or bus ride to another venue where you KNEW you would be able to see Steve (with simultaneous multiple mega video screens) and be with everyone else... it would be a no brainer. Steve, on the other hand, may not want a bigger venue - to control the light and intimacy of the presentation.. I could see that being an issue. But I'd definitely like to hear some discussion about it. Any body from SF have an idea?

J
post #22 of 30
This just in from Paul Kent at IDG regarding the idea of having the keynote at a larger venue:

I wrote:

------------

You simply need a bigger keynote venue. Have you investigated other
options?

------------


He replied:

-------------

Unfortunately, that's just not an actionable idea. Macworld Conference &
Expo takes place at the Moscone Center, and our keynote venue is the
largest, most appropriate venue for the Macworld keynote.

-------------

Hm. "our keynote venue" is probably the most important bit of info in there. I'm sure this is straight from their talking points memo...


21) Customer concern regarding keynote access or size of venue:

Response: Look in eyes, wave hand & say "These are not the venues you are looking for"
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsender View Post

I have no problem with having the keynote at a separate facility that could accommodate everyone.

Maybe they do. If the benefit doesn't out weighs their costs then it makes no sense. The Moscone is already the largest venue in SF. How many seats are available for the keynote? The largest concert halls in SF only hold 3k. You'd have to go to Mountain View to find one that holds 6k.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscone_Center
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post #24 of 30
C'mon, they are Apple! How about build his own facility in Cupertino and have the convention on the Apple Campus? How many Apple geeks would wet themselves to walk around there?

J
post #25 of 30
I spoke personally with Paul Kent and he told me things would be like last year. If you get in line early enough you do have a chance to get into the main expo room - his precise words that it would be just like previous years, nothing has changed.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm surprised that you are surprised and find that it's 'unexplainable.' It's supply and demand. They only so have so many seats so those paying for the premium packages are getting guaranteed access.

I have no idea how many of those packages were sold last year but it's possible that there will be no overflow if they sell out all the seat to platinum members.

It was unexplainable because the research was done first if you had read the link I provided. The main hall hold 6,000 people. Last year there were 800 Plat press holder, then counting in press and VIPs, that accounted for half of the space. Do the math, it was unexplainable. Now it is explained, IDG made an error.
post #27 of 30
Oh and my post made it clear I wasn't griping about guaranteed access, obviously that goes to Plat Pass people but for a CHANCE at getting in.
post #28 of 30
Ok, it's never to early to guessing what Apple will, might, hopefully announce, come out with, up-date

- Monitors
- Desktop units
- iTV
- Tablet
-
-
-
-
-
-
post #29 of 30
keynote = elitist fun
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by emulator View Post

keynote = elitist fun

Maybe being in the presence of The Steve is worthwhile to the big spenders. The video feed is free and accessible to anyone with a computer and a high speed internet connection.
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