Saturday I attended what's left of Macworld Expo, now known as “Macworld/iWorld” in San Francisco’s Moscone West.
Founded in 1985, the Macworld Expo once helped justify the construction of the Moscone convention center complex. At one point it required more than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space in Moscone (South) and Moscone North. (Earlier in the week, the Photonics West optical trade show filled both halls).
This year, despite the longer name the show needed less than 100,000 square feet in Moscone West.
The only one of the traditional major Macworld Expo exhibits was HP, through seniority occupying a 20x30' booth right at the show entrance. In a new take on the traditional “booth bimbo,” HP hired two of the “Gold Rush” squad (aka 49ers cheerleaders).
My favorite hardware item was microcone, a (pricey)
The main trend was that the new name reflected the longstanding shift away from Mac to cases, headphones etc. for iPods and iPhones. I lost track of the number of booths selling cases and headphones, including major audio companies like Polk (with athletes jumping on their trampoline) and Sennheiser (showing their $200+ headphones).
iRig plugged into an iPhone or iPad. However, iPod speakers were much less common than in 2008.
There were a few things that I would have bought for my iPhone or iPad — if I owned an iPhone or iPad. Tops were the keyboards, which included the RightShift and ZaggFolio for the iPad and the Slide to Type 2.0 for the iPhone.
But in the end, we left with two free cases from the moshi drawing and a pair of $10 earphones that claim to be waterproof. In the end, we split our $30 direct cost equally between the earphones, our two Groupon tickets and the offstreet parking.
It was a nice chance to show my daughter an example of that vanishing 20th century phenomenon, the trade show. I can’t imagine going to a smaller show in the future, but perhaps we can find another more vibrant example of the genre to visit before the phenomenon dies off permanently.
Update 2:00 p.m.: Correct error on Microcone pointed out by sharp-eyed reader. Serves me right for not putting on my glasses when in the booth.