More big names downsizing, pulling out of Macworld Expo

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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Creative Labs has withdrawn while iPod accessory maker Marware has also scaled down, AppleInsider has also discovered through its access to old floor plans (PDF) of the South Hall from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 "weÂ?re reallocating show floor funds to hold private product meetings."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,273member
    [CENTER]Recession[/CENTER]





    Need I say more?
  • Reply 3 of 43
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    [CENTER]Recession[/CENTER]





    Need I say more?



    No, but I will:





    [CENTER]Opportunity[/CENTER]
  • Reply 5 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    akacakac Posts: 511member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 43
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    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.



    Thank you,

    P
  • Reply 12 of 43
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    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.



    CarolinaLiberty.com

    Aim at the roots.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    recession is a nice buzzword everyone uses these days; I'd say it's clearly a message to apple.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    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!!!
  • Reply 16 of 43
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,531member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    nceencee Posts: 836member
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 43
    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).
  • Reply 20 of 43
    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.
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