Wed, Dec 17th 2008 1:22pm
Mac fanboys cried themselves to sleep Tuesday night with the news that Steve Jobs won't be giving any more Macworld keynotes, while Apple won't even attend the event after the January installment. There's a lot of speculation that Steve Jobs' health is behind the move, as rumors about his recovery from pancreatic cancer continue to swirl. But the more likely reason is that, like many companies, Apple's getting tired of trade shows. For many companies, the expense and complexity of exhibiting at huge shows, then having to compete with hundreds or thousands of other companies for press and industry attention, are making the shows less and less compelling. Lots of companies -- including Apple -- are instead focusing on their own events for product launches. And, of course, given Apple's penchant for control, it's hardly surprising that the company would want to go down this route. But the bigger point remains: huge trade shows used to be a great idea when physical proximity was a real barrier to business and newsgathering. But communication has gotten simpler and cheaper, travel has become much more commonplace and things like blogs and social networks give people easy ways to meet other folks in their industry, making these huge gatherings more a hassle than anything else. Meanwhile, smaller, more manageable and focused events seem to be thriving, indicating that it's the large-scale format that's getting long in the tooth.
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