Exhibitors at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco are taking advantage of deals for next year's show, if it happens. On the show floor, some say a Apple pavilion at CES in Las Vegas might be a better option.
Some consumer market exhibitors said they might skip next year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco — if it is held in its traditional week and if it occurs at all — if an Apple-centric presence is offered at CES in Las Vegas. Some floated the idea of an Apple pavilion there, which could present iPod and iPhone developers a strong venue but also a place for vendors of Mac consumer content creation software.
And unlike the brouhaha over Apple's pullout of next year's Macworld Expo, vendors don't think that an Apple presence is necessary for a successful showing.
"It wouldn't matter if Apple is there or not, this [pavilion] would be a "hot destination at CES," said Jeff O'Shea, founder and executive vice president of marketing at IntelliTouch of San Diego.
His company showed EOS Converge, the forthcoming version of its EOS wireless speaker systems. Unlike the current EOS line, which features an integrated wireless speaker system, EOS Converge is modular and connects to a customers own speakers. There are transmitter modules to connect to a Mac or PC and another for an iPod. And then the receiver module that connects to a set of speakers and subwoofer.
The timing of Macworld Expo has always conflicted with CES. When the Expo was more about the Macintosh, this wasn't as much of a problem for exhibitors. However, as digital technologies have become meshed with consumer products, and as Apple has taken hold of several consumer product categories, the dissonance has increased.
Even if companies had the marketing budgets to have booths at both shows, it's almost impossible for small companies to be at two places simultaneously.
However, this choice may be moot: next year's Expo is up in the air.
As happens every year at the Macworld Expo (or any other show), show representatives walk the floor and sign up exhibitors for next year's show and booth placement. This year, it appears that the deals are many and unusual.
Several exhibitors, requesting anonymity, said that the show management was offering vendors a non-binding commitment for the 2010 Macworld Expo. Longtime exhibitors were being given choices for plum locations in the space that Apple once occupied.
"We're taking them up on [the non-binding agreement], who wouldn't?" one exhibitor said.
Macworld Expo management was unavailable for comment.