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Articles: Oh No! Apple’s Pulling Out of MacWorld!!!

Apple just announced that the 2009 MacWorld is going to be its last MacWorld Expo. As a long-time veteran of this event (as well as many other trade shows), I figured I’d weigh in before I even read all the sky-is-falling articles that are sure to abound at the news of this “dramatic” news.

First of all, what needs to be understood is that trade shows, like the Yellow Pages, are slowly becoming anachronisms. Newspapers are only now beginning to realize that they, too, may one day become irrelevant. We all laugh knowingly at historical references to people who scoffed at the idea of the automobile replacing the horse, or talking pictures replacing silent movies, but the reality is that many of us are doing the same thing today with stuff we’ve had around since we were born, so it’s hard to imagine life without them. But it happens all the time.

The internet and email are replacing information sources that we used to take for granted. The public, and industries, are often slow to understand when those changes are occurring. For example, ask yourself how many times you’ve actually opened a Yellow Pages this last year. And then compare that number to ten years ago. Now, those companies are still printing as many as they ever have and delivering them to everyone they can… so they can still ask for the same revenue from advertisers by citing the same circulation. It will take years before most companies wake up to the fact that the vast majority of Yellow Pages are immediately recycled or otherwise used for plant stands.

Trade shows are cut from the same cloth. Before the internet, industries needed to gather together so resellers and users could see the latest offerings and compare them to competitors. Nowadays, all you have to do is search the web, and you’ll get virtually the same information without lifting one butt cheek off your seat.

Add to that the understanding that Apple has used MacWorld year in and year out for new product “surprise” announcements. The problem with that is twofold: First, one can hardly spring a surprise on anyone if everyone knows when it’s going to be. Half of the element of surprise is already gone. Second, it forces product development to cater to a timeline that has nothing to do with the product development. If a new exciting product was available in October—what to do? Wait until January? Or what if it wasn’t going to be available until March? Announce it and have everyone wait? (Which has happened and is somewhat annoying.)

On top of that, don’t you really think that if Apple wants to make news, they can do it all on their own nowadays? This is simply one of the additional advantages of their high-profile status, and they’re making absolutely the correct decision.

So just throw those trade show brochures, yellow pages, TV antennae and newspapers on top of that pile of horse buggies, milk wagons and silent films, and you’ll have a pile ‘o anachronisms worth reminiscing about in just a few years…

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