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The Future of Macworld Expo, Exhibitors Approached by CES

Apple's announcement that they will no longer participate in future Macworld Expos has cast some doubts on the ongoing viability of the show. The Daily Geek reports that some Macworld vendors are not planing on returning in 2010, while others are taking a wait and see approach. In fact, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is taking advantage of the situation by trying to recruit Macworld exhibitors and promising that they will have a Mac area next year:

"CES told me they're having a Mac centric area next year," said David Polzine, the product manager for SmithMicro Software who was approached by a salesman at Macworld. "If it all moved to CES, that would work better for us."

While some vendors seem to welcome the shift to CES, many attendees we spoke to felt that CES would be a poor substitute to Macworld. Unlike Macworld, CES is a trade show tailored to industry employees and not accessible to the general public.

The Macworld Expo organizers are aware of these issues and held a town meeting addressing the future of the show. Ars Technica reported on the meeting and reveals that IDG is well aware of the unique community aspect of Macworld as compared to other trade shows and is trying to build on that strength.

"This is a different place" than the typical trade show, Kent explained. "We understand and embrace this community, and we want this community to have a say in the conference." IDG has set up a new site, macworldexpo.ning.com , where both attendees and visitors are encouraged to register, get to know each other, and provide feedback and new ideas for helping the show to continue and grow.

Plans for Macworld Expo 2010 are well underway and over 60 vendors are said to have committed to the show. IDG will be leverging some familiar faces in the Mac community for the next show. The NYTimes' David Pogue is slated to give "Anti-Keynote" for the event, while Daring Fireball's John Gruber will be hosting a session of noteworthy discussions in the Mac community.