The curtain has closed on Macworld 2011. This was my first Expo, and Macworld (the website/magazine) was kind enough to bring me out to help cover the event.
I already wrote up the lessons learned at my first Expo, and am still mentally processing from a whirlwind three days of Apple-related goodness.
Dan Moren made an astute observation during the Wrap Up event today, pointing out that there are no other trade shows or conferences like this one. Even with Apple no longer participating at Macworld, the event still attracts hundreds of companies, big and small, all linked solely by selling products somehow tied to the Apple ecosystem. That iPad and iPhone accessory and app makers are welcomed to participate—and do so in droves—is somewhat remarkable. The only thing that links the products on display at Macworld is that they connect to Apple products.
There's no Microsoft Expo and no Dell Expo that mirrors what goes on here.
CES features booths from every major electronics company—save Apple, of course. And regular consumers aren't allowed into CES at all, as Jon Seff pointed out on Macworld.com today.
I certainly had fun at my first Expo, though I had no shortage of writing work to do for Macworld.com while I was here.
I hope that the iMacworld app only, you know, improves over time. It could benefit from a complete makeover, and better views to show everything happening each day. I found it tough to know about all the presentations happening at a given time, and was surprised about that.
The Wi-Fi on the second floor was excellent, and appreciated. I understand the challenges with first floor Wi-Fi that would be available to all Expo-goers, but a man can dream.
AT&T's ability to provide a strong 3G signal throughout the conference impressed me.
For a three day event to offer identical lunch options three days in a row seems a little sketchy.
Finally, and I don't have a perfect solution yet—though I bet it involves the redone iMacworld app of my dreams—Macworld needs to make it easier to find booths. Booths that get lumped into pavilions (the Indie Mac Developers, the Mobile App Devs) are impossible to navigate during peak times, with throngs of Expo-goers clogging every pathway. Trying to circle around a small table with three separate vendors as you try to find the one you're after, when the table itself is crowded with people, is decidedly unpleasant.
So in sum: A great first Expo (which should still be called Expo, because just calling it Macworld is weird), with room for easily-attainable improvement.