Thursday, January 29, 2009

CES puts the screws to Macworld


Less than three weeks after the close of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, CES organizers are trying to put the smackdown on the wounded Macworld tradeshow.
The Consumer Electronics Association, producers of the annual CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, announced Thursday that a new pavilion devoted to Apple products planned for its 2010 show had sold out and was being quadrupled in size.
The CES, the world’s largest conference devoted to personal technology, and Macworld, IDG’s tradeshow dedicated to Apple products, have competed for years for media attention in January. The shows run back to back or simultaneously in the first half of the month.
But now that Apple has pulled out of future Macworld conferences, CES sees an opportunity to bury Macworld.
Apple said the Jan. 5-8 Macworld would be its last. Instead of sending charismatic Apple co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs to do the high-profile keynote this year, it sent its senior vice president of product marketing to give the speech.
CES announced last week that it would have a special exhibition area at the 2010 CES called the iLounge Pavilion. The pavilion, co-sponsored by CEA and iLounge.com, will feature companies that provide accessories, software and services for Apple’s iPod, iPhone and Macintosh computer products.
“We have received an incredible response from companies interested in exhibiting in the iLounge Pavilion at the 2010 International CES,” Karen Chupka, CEA’s senior vice president of events and conferences, said in a press release. “In fact, the original space allocated for the pavilion sold out in less than one week – a CES show record - and we’ve quadrupled the space to accommodate the overwhelming demand.”
The iLounge Pavilion, originally floored with 4,000 net square feet of exhibit space, has increased to 18,000 net square feet. The pavilion will be housed in the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall 2. Exhibiting companies include Griffin Technology, Mobis Technology, Pro Clip USA, Scosche, Incase Designs, Incipio Technologies, iSkin and GelaSkins.
The big question is whether Apple will exhibit at CES 2010 and or send an executive to give a keynote. Both have been rumored.
CES 2010 is set for Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, IDG says it’s going forward without Apple and has scheduled Macworld 2010 for Jan. 4-8 in San Francisco.
(Top photo: CES 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center by CEA. Bottom image: Screenshot of Macworld Expo Web site.)

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