IDG Mulls Macworld Boston Pullout

  |  August 13, 2003   |  Comments

IDG will tell Boston in early fall if it'll host CreativePro (formerly Macworld) in 2004. Meanwhile, it drops some exhibitor fees at all shows to boost business.

Boston will know by early fall if it will host CreativePro (formerly know as Macworld) in 2004.

"We are evaluating event location, format and potential content to ensure we match qualified delegates with the leadership brands that make up an exhibitor base," a spokeswoman for event organizer IDG World Expo said.

Such careful language, combined with other developments in recent months, worries civic and business leaders who are counting on the millions of dollars the show generates.

IDG World Expo's study is the latest setback in what has been a confusing and contentious process. It started bad.

In October, just as Mayor Tom Menino and IDG World Expo CEO Charlie Greco were holding a press conference heralding the return of Macworld after several years in New York, Apple dropped a public relations bomb.

The computer company's CEO, Steve Jobs, said he disagreed with the decision and vowed to boycott the Boston show. IDG World Expo said it would proceed with or without Apple. A staring contest ensued. The companies were civil in negotiations for an Apple presence in San Francisco, but were unable, or unwilling, to compromise on Boston.

Then in February, Greco left IDG World Expo (the events arm of the Framingham, Mass., publishing giant) for a job with IT counsultant Gartner Group. His successor, David Korse, ordered the study, and is said to be leaning toward one Macworld show a year in San Francisco.

The IDG World Expo spokeswoman would not address the possiblity of scratching the CreativePro show on the East Coast.

"Our decision will be made on the basis of what is best for our customers," she said.

In another change from new management, IDG World Expo rescinded its year-old policy of collecting fees from exhibitor appointed contractors at its events.

The fees were charged show exhibitors who did not use IDG World Expo's hand-picked construction and event-related management services, Nth Degree. The "exhibitor appointed contractor," or EAC fees, ranged from $200 to $2,000, depending on the size of the exhibit, a spokeswoman said.

The new policy will be in effect for all IDG World Expo events beginning with Portable Power Conference & Expo next month in San Francisco.

"The company has been gathering feedback from customers and other industry observers . . .We have concluded that it's in the best interest of our customers to eliminate all EAC fees. By doing so, we'll help ease the cost burden of participating in our events."

The IT trade show industry has been hard hit by the high-tech drop-off over the past two years, with some show organizers seeing attendance and exhibitors decline. For example, Key 3 Media, which runs Comdex, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year and is reorganizing with help from an investment from Thomas Weisel Capital Partners.

Editor's note: Jupitermedia, the parent of this Web site, also competes in the IT trade show business.

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