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More big names downsizing, pulling out of Macworld Expo

post #1 of 44
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A faltering global economy is expected to take its toll on trade shows next year and January's Macworld will be no exception, with more big names planning to downsize their presence or pulling out altogether, AppleInsider has learned.

Those familiar with show organizer IDG's troubles note that the Adobe pullout has now been accompanied by Belkin and Seagate -- a fact quickly verified by a casual inspection of the Macworld Expo exhibitor list, which shows neither of the hardware makers.

The move is deemed especially surprising for Belkin, which has not only been one of Macworld Expo's largest exhibitors in the past but is believed to have already paid for its booth space this year, people aware of the situation say.

Additionally, Google is known to be scaling back the size of its booth and will be joined by two companies -- both of whose names are closely guarded -- that will either follow in Google's footsteps or else withdraw their booths altogether. IDG is said by sources to be frantically negotiating to keep these exhibitors on the show floor.

Creative Labs has withdrawn while iPod accessory maker Marware has also scaled down, AppleInsider has also discovered through its access to old floor plans (PDF) of the South Hall from September in contrast to the November maps that notably show multiple blank spaces.

All the same, the reshuffling is having a positive side-effect for smaller firms: some exhibitors relegated to the less-trafficked areas in previous years like Elgato are now moving closer to the central Apple booths. Others like FastMac are also reportedly using the opportunity to upgrade the size of their presence.

And while these by themselves aren't necessarily dangerous to the show's health, people familiar with situation also claim that attendee registration is down by 20 percent versus the same period last year, providing the main reason for IDG's last-minute extension of the Early Bird discount for registration until December 8th.

While a struggling US economy is the likely reasoning behind the sudden caution from the exhibitors, insiders say the sudden rash of cancellations isn't entirely explainable as a cost-cutting measure.

Belkin's large booth at Macworld Expo 2008.

Google's footprint at Macworld Expo 2008.

With the 2009 event just one month away, Adobe and other firms will likely have already paid for much of their originally intended presentation -- leaving them little reason to withdraw so late. Moreover, rough estimates put the typical cost of renting even a large space like those for Adobe or Belkin is said to be less than $100,000, or a relatively trivial price for multinational firms exhibiting at an important event. Many of these companies, including Adobe, are also located in the Bay Area and so have little in terms of travel expenses.

Whatever the motivations behind the exits, their combined effect will ultimately produce a smaller show than Macworld 2008, which was regarded as one of IDG's best Apple-related shows to date.

Update 2: The folks at VTC just dropped us a line to say they're now under contract to take over the space that was vacated by Belkin (booth number 1926).

"We were previously booked in to a different booth, but saw the opening of 1926 as a great opportunity to work within a larger space at the show," the company said. "VTC has been exhibiting at MacWorld San FranciscoÂ*for more than a decade."

Update 2: The Wall Street Journal's D | All Things Digital blog further confirms Belkin's pull-out, saying the accessory maker will instead hold private meetings with its partners.

Insisting the move was strategic and not financially-driven, a spokesperson for Belkin said "weÂre reallocating show floor funds to hold private product meetings."
post #2 of 44
MacWorlds have sucked anyway ever since they left NYC. Who wants to go to SF with all their bag people anyway? Beautiful geographically- but really.
post #3 of 44
[CENTER]Recession[/CENTER]


Need I say more?
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post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

[CENTER]Recession[/CENTER]


Need I say more?

Strange that they already paid for the space and are withdrawing. Maybe the others are mistaken taking Adobe's lead and pulling back.

It would be sweet if the reason Adobe is pulling its presence at MacWorld is because Apple will announce that they are purchasing them.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

[CENTER]Recession[/CENTER]


Need I say more?

No, but I will:


[CENTER]Opportunity[/CENTER]
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post #6 of 44
1. $100,000 shouldn't be trivial to ANY company.
2. It costs thousands for each person a company sends to this.
3. Why bother going if no one is going to be there?
4. Company employees are of better use at home instead of hanging around at MacWorld doing nothing.
5. These companies likely had to cut back their budgets during the last 2 quarters and have nothing to show.
post #7 of 44
This is the first year in my recollection that IDG hasn't offered free floor passes.

Might have something to do with it.

I always took the offer, and never could get out of there spending less than a couple hundred, plus setting up a few sales-type contacts for the company I work at.

Too bad... I'm also a total swag whore.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wygit View Post

This is the first year in my recollection that IDG hasn't offered free floor passes.

Might have something to do with it.

I always took the offer, and never could get out of there spending less than a couple hundred, plus setting up a few sales-type contacts for the company I work at.

Too bad... I'm also a total swag whore.

Each company that exhibits gets 100 free tickets to give out. I'd be happy to provide a few free ones if you're an iPhone owner
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

1. $100,000 shouldn't be trivial to ANY company.
2. It costs thousands for each person a company sends to this.

It's a matter of scale. For large companies, that figure could smaller than their daily coffee budget. Or the cost of a year's salary and benefits for one marketing person, maybe two people if you cheap out and really squeeze it.

I don't go to many trade shows, though maybe MWSF will be defunct by the time I ever get a chance to go to one.

One thing I didn't like about trade shows is not the show itself but the media coverage. In general, a given media outlet might cover 6 companies, 5 of them being covered by every other media outlet too, it's nearly incestuous that way, and there are maybe a hundred other companies there with a few interesting products each that just doesn't get covered.

The additional cost to go to a trade show isn't that bad if you just want to go to the expo, well short of a thousand if you are careful and plan ahead, though salary doesn't figure into that.
post #10 of 44
I wish they'd all bail out well in advance. I travel up with the wife every year from Los Angeles and with all these good vendors gone it's looking less and less like an interesting event. Problem is, we've already got non-refundable flights and booked the expensive hotel and for what now, I ask myself. I'm a little disappointed but hoping Microsoft will not bail, at least I win something there every year.
post #11 of 44
yeah - $100 grand is nothing for something like this.

I talked to someone this last weekend who does a lot of business with Costco. They paid nearly $200,000 just to have their logo put in the latest Costco cook book. Their logo is about an inch square and they picked the recipe and pictures that were published in the book.

this is an SOP.

$100 grand is nothing.

oh - and I guess I should have mentioned that for the $200 grand, they get a few free cookbooks and tens of millions of dollars worth of business every year.
post #12 of 44
oh - and I would like to mention that this post is my 40th post. I'm pretty happy about that because I could never have imagined when I began this journey that I would have more than 10 things to say.

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post #13 of 44
In an economy like this the last thing you want to do is cut your advertising budget. Unfortunately this is usually the first thing they do and they pay dearly for it.

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post #14 of 44
100,000 dollars of what? Our very ignorance of the true meaning of the word dollar is an unfortunate indication of just why our economy is failing in the first place. It's sad to see it affect something as near and dear to me as Macworld. I can only hope that these circumstances bring about a desire to inform ourselves about what is really going on.

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post #15 of 44
recession is a nice buzzword everyone uses these days; I'd say it's clearly a message to apple.
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

MacWorlds have sucked anyway ever since they left NYC. Who wants to go to SF with all their bag people anyway? Beautiful geographically- but really.

are you saying NYC has no homeless and lined with well rich and the streets are garbage free? friggin mo-ron!!!
post #17 of 44
It does look like businesses are cutting expenses everywhere. We had been nervously waiting for this to happen. It seems like the end of September is when stuff hit the fan. I was just visiting a major company two days ago. They have cancelled all travel, all company dinners, lunches, even donuts and coffee at the morning meetings. They can't buy a ball point pen with company money. The hope is to prevent or minimize layoffs. This is as of a few weeks ago.

I heard that the MRS show in Boston this week was very slow. I'm expecting attendance at Pittcon in March will be way down.

This is not just happening at MWSF. Everyone is battening down the hatches getting ready for a storm. The problem is, the more everyone retrenches the less business there is to keep everyone going. It is like a spasm that just has to work itself out. 2009 will be a very tough year. Probably 2010 as well though maybe not as bad. Just a guess.

Specific to MWSF, I'd like to see them work out some sort of a virtual conference. For example, everyone could have an "on-line booth". You'd visit a special website and there you'd drop in on a streaming presentation, listen in on a video iChat between customers and developers, download PDF brochures. The value would be that for several days the vendors would make available engineers and designers. This would lock it down temporally. The value for everyone is that we wouldn't have to travel and burn fossil fuels.
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post #18 of 44
Quote:
recession is a nice buzzword everyone uses these days; I'd say it's clearly a message to apple.

Get a life. Firewire is dead.
post #19 of 44
With all of the Apple stores in NY, (and on the East Coast) it sure seems like to would be a no brainer to have a show back in NY.

Hell, make is smaller, but bring it back!
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrino23 View Post

Specific to MWSF, I'd like to see them work out some sort of a virtual conference. For example, everyone could have an "on-line booth". You'd visit a special website and there you'd drop in on a streaming presentation, listen in on a video iChat between customers and developers, download PDF brochures. The value would be that for several days the vendors would make available engineers and designers. This would lock it down temporally. The value for everyone is that we wouldn't have to travel and burn fossil fuels.

I've been to a few expo like conferences and I totaly agree a virtual conference makes more sense. With all of the technology we have available to us these days, you can do so much more via an online meeting room and have many more people involved then you could with a physical conference.

Even hands-on demos can be accomplished by having people download a time-limited demo and they could use a second computer or display to run the online meeting while they work in the software.

The most valuable swags I've ever got were free software, and that can be downloaded from a special conference website (which in fact is what Microsoft does today).
post #21 of 44
These places just charge too much for venders. The reason Macworld pulled out of NYC was because the javits center was charging a fortune. They charge the venders and the people coming to the shows.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by emulator View Post

recession is a nice buzzword everyone uses these days; I'd say it's clearly a message to apple.

Get a life. Firewire is dead.

Uh, firewire?
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuncyWeb View Post

I can only hope that these circumstances bring about a desire to inform ourselves about what is really going on.

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You and your Cracker buddies down in Carolina have all the answers!

post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A faltering global economy is expected to take its toll on trade shows next year and January's Macworld will be no exception, with more big names planning to downsize their presence or pulling out altogether, AppleInsider has learned.[/url][/c]

MacWorld Expo and trade shows in general were relevant BEFORE the internet, company web sites and downloadable spec sheets, etc. Aside from a few computer magazines, it was the best way to discover new products and tools. Even magazines publish months old "news".

If you keep up with news related to any industry, there really isn't much new stuff to see. Yes, demos are nice, as is face time with company reps.

The last MacWorld Expo I went to was a big disappointment. Why? Because I already knew about most of the "new" items being displayed. Sure, there were a few things I'd never seen before, but it felt like a real waste of time for me. Luckily it was only a short subway ride for me.
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post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

MacWorlds have sucked anyway ever since they left NYC. Who wants to go to SF with all their bag people anyway? Beautiful geographically- but really.

Personally, I miss the Boston MacWorld. Those were always my favorite in the late 80's. I was sad when they moved it to NYC.
post #26 of 44
It's interesting to note that a company like Adobe that has charged a horrendous price for software (CS etc) that I agree isn't bad - but is now quick to turn away from the customer that made it what it is...

Perhaps Apple will have some new cheaper art tool soon that is easier for the masses and doesn't cost about 2 grand!

Sincerely.
post #27 of 44
Hey, as long as Apple doesn't pull out then the show may be worth it.

I actually don't mind a few of the bigger names pulling out. We are all familiar with their products and know how to find them. I'd much rather that noise be removed so the smaller vendors can be found. Each year that I go, I find a new small company that can really help my company and I'm glad to make that connection.
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post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It would be sweet if the reason Adobe is pulling its presence at MacWorld is because Apple will announce that they are purchasing them.


Really sweet
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

You and your Cracker buddies down in Carolina have all the answers!


Just trying to learn a little that's all. It's one thing to hear about the laws, bailouts, etc. on the news. It's another to actually read the legislation that is being enacted in this country. Pick and make fun if you will, I've heard it before -- and so have the people who predicted all this from the beginning. I don't have all the answers, but I'm actively searching. I figure that's a fairly responsible thing to do.

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post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

MacWorld Expo and trade shows in general were relevant BEFORE the internet, company web sites and downloadable spec sheets, etc. Aside from a few computer magazines, it was the best way to discover new products and tools. Even magazines publish months old "news".

If you keep up with news related to any industry, there really isn't much new stuff to see. Yes, demos are nice, as is face time with company reps.

The last MacWorld Expo I went to was a big disappointment. Why? Because I already knew about most of the "new" items being displayed. Sure, there were a few things I'd never seen before, but it felt like a real waste of time for me. Luckily it was only a short subway ride for me.

I agree. The trade shows are pretty pointless these days, any kind of trade show. Now with the internet and streaming video, Apple could save a bundle and do the keynote on their own campus. They broadcast it over the internet and make it available for download on iTunes for anyone to watch in the comfort of their own home. Why waste money for the ticket and travel when you can get all the details over the internet, and then visit a company's website for more info? Now with Apple Stores pretty much everywhere, you can go see the product in person without having to pay for a trade show.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Personally, I miss the Boston MacWorld. Those were always my favorite in the late 80's. I was sad when they moved it to NYC.

I was too

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post #32 of 44
I live in San Francisco so I do not need to travel. That said I enjoy the show. I enjoy the presentation from SJ each year. He is a master presenter. As for Adobe? Where is flash for the iPhone? Is that a bone of contention between Apple and Adobe? Is there a political motive for this pull out? Time will tell how this all plays out. I just wonder what SJ and Apple have for that "One More Thing? LOL
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Uh, firewire?

It's called sarcasm
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

I agree. The trade shows are pretty pointless these days, any kind of trade show. Now with the internet and streaming video, Apple could save a bundle and do the keynote on their own campus. They broadcast it over the internet and make it available for download on iTunes for anyone to watch in the comfort of their own home. Why waste money for the ticket and travel when you can get all the details over the internet, and then visit a company's website for more info? Now with Apple Stores pretty much everywhere, you can go see the product in person without having to pay for a trade show.

That works well with software and services, but how about physical products? In this case, Apple isn't the only one with physical products to show. Haven't you ever seen a product online that looked nice that turned out to be undesirable?
post #35 of 44
I notice that Belkin are still listed as an exhibitor at CES, so maybe they thought why exhibit at two shows within the space of a week. MacWorld is just Mac products whereas CES is everything. If they have a limited marketing budget it makes sense.
post #36 of 44
After the continuous record breaking attendance of these events I'm surprised that so many are pulling out. I feel that their is info that we don't yet have about the real reasoning. Is it still being held at Moscone?
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post #37 of 44
[QUOTE=robb01;1346333]I was too

I was 'three,' (to the bitter end!)
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrino23 View Post

It does look like businesses are cutting expenses everywhere. We had been nervously waiting for this to happen. It seems like the end of September is when stuff hit the fan. I was just visiting a major company two days ago. They have cancelled all travel, all company dinners, lunches, even donuts and coffee at the morning meetings. They can't buy a ball point pen with company money. The hope is to prevent or minimize layoffs. This is as of a few weeks ago.

I heard that the MRS show in Boston this week was very slow. I'm expecting attendance at Pittcon in March will be way down.

This is not just happening at MWSF. Everyone is battening down the hatches getting ready for a storm. The problem is, the more everyone retrenches the less business there is to keep everyone going. It is like a spasm that just has to work itself out. 2009 will be a very tough year. Probably 2010 as well though maybe not as bad. Just a guess.

Specific to MWSF, I'd like to see them work out some sort of a virtual conference. For example, everyone could have an "on-line booth". You'd visit a special website and there you'd drop in on a streaming presentation, listen in on a video iChat between customers and developers, download PDF brochures. The value would be that for several days the vendors would make available engineers and designers. This would lock it down temporally. The value for everyone is that we wouldn't have to travel and burn fossil fuels.

Well...you say that...
post #39 of 44
The pricing for exhibitors is just a monopoly position gone wild - over $1,000 just for an internet connection for 4 days, over $100 to hire a stool for 4 days, almost $500 for someone to come and vacuum the booth for 5 minutes each day... it all adds up to a massive bill, and then if you want any sort of publicity or to have your keywords come up in searches on their show search system, the costs are just astronomical.

Maybe this will encourage them to get real about pricing (living in hope...)
post #40 of 44
The Seagate that's trading for $4.52 and whose founder once told a startup that there'd never be a hard drive in a commodity device? That Seagate? Oh, well.
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