IDG World Expo and Apple today announced a new event called Create that replaces Macworld Expo in New York from 14-Jul-03 through 18-Jul-03. Where Macworld Expo centered around the world of the Macintosh, Create will instead focus on the creative arts: design, publishing, audio, and video. Although details are still sketchy, Create appears to be a compromise between Apple and IDG World Expo in the running feud over IDG World Expo moving Macworld Expo back to Boston in 2004 (see "Apple, IDG World Expo Play Hardball over Macworld Expo" for details). As a compromise, Create makes some sense given the demise of Seybold New York and the lack of similar conferences on the East Coast. Since New York is a larger market than Boston in the creative arts, it’s possible that the deal may result in future instances of Create in New York, and Macworld Expo disappearing entirely from the East Coast. IDG World Expo has said that the focus of Macworld Expo in San Francisco next year will remain unchanged.
The switch from Macworld Expo to Create raises the question of whether or not core Macworld Expo audiences, such as network administrators, consultants, developers, and consumers, will bother attending Create when it’s nominally aimed at technology for creative professionals. No matter what, we expect that many companies offering products or services that aren’t directly related to the creative community will still exhibit, since creative professionals still need utility software, wireless networks, and peripherals like large hard disks. Also, although Apple has committed to exhibiting, the most notable no-shows at previous Macworld Expos in New York have been creative arts companies like Adobe, Macromedia, and Quark, so IDG World Expo may have a tough row to hoe in attracting them to a conference that will probably be significantly smaller than the more general Macworld Expo was.
It’s possible that the entire change of name and focus is just a way for IDG World Expo to soothe Apple’s ruffled feathers. And it’s equally possible that all that will really change is the name – everything else may turn out to be substantially similar. No matter what, we plan to attend Create… this year.