Why Bother? Open Letter to MyMac.com Readers
MWSF ’03

Macworld Conference/Expo has different meaning for each participant. Hardcore gamers, OS geeks and administrators, digital artists, and serious students of Macintosh all have subject-specific ways to immerse themselves for hours or days. Steve spotters can obtain seats within camera-tossing distance of The Big Guy doing his keynote address. Bargain hunters and shopaholics will exceed their credit card limits with purchases and pre-orders. Media representatives absorb as much as we can, with eyes on the clock so we don’t miss the next PR meeting, non-disclosure agreement, meal, or cookie break. Every body wants something for close to nothing. For life-long loyalists, “too much is never enough” where new product announcements are concerned.

Tens of thousands of people worldwide devote many millions of dollars and hours to make every Macworld experience such a big, well-coordinated splash. Would all these resources be more effective if focused via targeted marketing and special deals, now that Internet access is so pervasive and Apple retail stores are numerous? Customer is king/queen, branding is boss, innovation is our inspiration, and promotion is pervasive. How important is it to kick the tires and press the flesh?

Enough clich├ęs, Nemo. Get to the point:

Remove Olympus, Hewlett-Packard, Nikon, Adobe, Canon, and a few other major companies from the showroom, and presto! no North Hall is necessary at Moscone Center. Before long, notwithstanding Apple mega booth, the expo at the Expo is a high-energy mid-sized event. Could be worse, right?

Enter the Five P’s:

PRESENTATIONS by experts range from good to superb. Moderate priced open-session Conference general admission provides abundant choice among four days of topics and gurus. Premium priced seminars delve deeper into several specific subjects. Hands on mini-courses by Adobe, Corel, and others help users learn more, and try before they buy. Tuesday morning’s Steve Jobs Keynote address is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience The Great One in person.

PRODUCTS are everything and everywhere in the Expo halls. Meet a CEO or developer, ask techniquestions, and hold desired items in your trembling hands for hours. Four days is barely sufficient for total product exploration and investigation.

PROMOTIONS are abundant, with special pricing at nearly every booth (except Apple’s). Seasoned veterans compile extensive shopping lists for months in advance, anxiously waiting the moment when they can purchase stuff at Expo prices. Hey! Let’s buy loads more, because we’re saving so much on each transaction.

PROFUSION is overwhelming, stimulating, exhausting, and invigorating. Where to go next? North Hall, South Hall, or educational sessions? Which lecture to attend? Will the recording of one presentation be better to buy than another? For media representatives the dilemma is compounded. We can go anywhere, but when are we able to file our reports and upload our photos, especially if using one of the few available computers?

PEOPLE make it all worthwhile. The technology community includes a full spectrum of personalities and relationships. Most of us chose to be here, and usually make the most of opportunities and access to information, tools, or techniques. Repeat visits to Macworld events give us confidence and inspiration for months or years into the future.

Sure, but can’t all this be accomplished online: via email, websites, downloads, and streaming media? Or in a nearby Apple store, for most of the USA’s urban population?

You tell me. I’ll compile your heartfelt responses and publish them soon here in MyMac.com.

Also: how could our MWSF coverage be improved? All suggestions are welcome.

David Weeks and I, plus publisher Tim Robertson, Webmaster Adam Karneboge, publicity director Dawn Schultz, and our entire MyMac.com team thank you heartily for your ongoing support.


John Nemerovski

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