Yesterday I attended the Macworld Town Hall meeting – and I didn’t come away from it with a good impression about the future of Macworld. The entire gathering was filled with backhanded comments and down right jabs at Apple for the move they’ve made – with enough “patting on the back” by IDG to make one sick.
The people in the room seemed to mostly be Macworld fanboys – even over being Apple fanboys. It was hard to describe. I eventually had to call it a day, and get out of there, because I wasn’t taking anything positive away from it.
I went into the Town Hall meeting hoping to come out with a positive impression of just what Macworld is going to be next year. Right now, that impression is in no-way positive.
I spoke with many vendors at the show, and I got the impression from many of them that there were still unsure as to if they were going to participate in the 2010 event. Today, IDG has announced that you can attend the Macworld 2010 Expo for FREE if you want, by registering right here.
I’m not sure what they hope to accomplish by giving away their “Expo Only” pass in 2010. It’s a bad move, that I think is going to ultimately hurt the Macworld Expo brand even further.
Here’s why –
1) They have just officially devalued Macworld. By making the $25 “Expo Only” ticket now free – it could be perceived by some that the Expo itself isn’t worth paying for without Apple’s attendance.
2) I understand the idea here – let’s get a ton of people registered so we can tout those numbers to vendors. The problem with that logic – is that it’s completely absurd. Having 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000 people register for a free ticket means NOTHING. That is in no way an indication of who is going to show up for the show – and most vendors are going to look at it that way.
IDG went out of their way to tell us at the Town Hall meeting yesterday that they were better than Apple Stores, they were better than Apple at teaching us how to use the tools that Apple has built, and that Macworld had been around “When their was a Steve Jobs at Apple, and when there wasn’t a Steve Jobs at Apple”.
They almost seemed to want to separate the Mac community from the company itself. It’s kind of like when a couple gets divorced and parents start making a case to the kids about which one is better.
The difference here is that Apple is no longer a “cult following” and Apple’s not going to make a case to us kids about why we should continue to love them…we can either take it or leave it.
IDG, on the other hand, is begging and pleading with us to spend time with them – and they’re willing to give us free passes, and all kinds of promises about how they’re better if we’ll do it.
It was an odd thing to watch, and if you were at the Town Hall meeting yesterday, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.