Trade shows are boring

Dave Winer only told you half the story when he said I said that CES was boring. It was boring. Why? Cause I read about all the cool stuff on Engadget before I saw it in person — even my cool “find” the Celestron SkyScout was covered on Engadget two weeks before CES. Tradeshows are really pretty boring for the most part. You walk up and down the aisles, occassionally seeing something interesting. You walk over, and get pitched. Then they try to give you stuff. I have a rule, that I told Patrick “I don’t take anything from anyone.” Why? Cause then you have to carry it around.

MacWorld is even more boring. Why? It’s like one big booth surrounded by lots of small ones. The Samsung booth at CES was three times the size of the biggest booth here and Samsung wasn’t the biggest booth at CES. The scale at CES is something you simply can’t explain on a blog. The scale here at MacWorld can be explained by “it all fits in the Moscone Center.”

Somethings don’t change between CES or MacWorld, though, the Microsoft booth was packed here too (although I could get in and talk with employees, which totally was different from CES). The booths here at MacWorld are a LOT smaller and a LOT less crowded than at CES. Another difference? I got a parking space right across the street. At CES I had to wait in a one-hour taxi line just to get to the show.

Another difference? We saw almost the entire show floor here in a few hours. At CES? You can’t even see 1/10 the show in the same amount of time (and I never saw the entire CES, despite walking around it for three hours).

Another difference? You had to pay to get into MacWorld. Damn. $45. CES was free (and had a LOT more to see).

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58 thoughts on “Trade shows are boring

  1. Of course, you attended Macworld on the last day of the show. Had you been there Tuesday or Wednesday, I think your impressions might have been somehwhat different.

    That having been said, of course MacWorld is smaller than CES. What did you expect?

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  2. Of course, you attended Macworld on the last day of the show. Had you been there Tuesday or Wednesday, I think your impressions might have been somehwhat different.

    That having been said, of course MacWorld is smaller than CES. What did you expect?

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  3. Mujibur: that’s possible. But it wouldn’t have made it bigger. It wouldn’t have made the diversity of interesting stuff any better. Oh, and there’s no adult show across the street. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Mujibur: that’s possible. But it wouldn’t have made it bigger. It wouldn’t have made the diversity of interesting stuff any better. Oh, and there’s no adult show across the street. πŸ˜‰

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  5. I agree with you that trade shows tend to be boring. Comparing CES and Macworld is a bit silly though.
    On both Tuesday and Wednesday, the place was packed solid.

    Now, can you get an answer as to why Microsoft would discontinue WMP on the Mac? It seems silly from Microsoft’s point of view. How do you plan to promote Windows Media versus Real and Quicktime when you don’t have a cross-platform story?

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  6. I agree with you that trade shows tend to be boring. Comparing CES and Macworld is a bit silly though.
    On both Tuesday and Wednesday, the place was packed solid.

    Now, can you get an answer as to why Microsoft would discontinue WMP on the Mac? It seems silly from Microsoft’s point of view. How do you plan to promote Windows Media versus Real and Quicktime when you don’t have a cross-platform story?

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  7. Oh, and BTW — did you hear that Google is hiring Mac programmers like mad? Should be interesting to see what they release.

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  8. Oh, and BTW — did you hear that Google is hiring Mac programmers like mad? Should be interesting to see what they release.

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  9. Mujibur: Perhaps Mac versions of their Windows apps? πŸ˜‰
    Google Earth, for example, wasn’t available for the Mac until recently. Google Talk is probably going to be the next one on the list.

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  10. Mujibur: Perhaps Mac versions of their Windows apps? πŸ˜‰
    Google Earth, for example, wasn’t available for the Mac until recently. Google Talk is probably going to be the next one on the list.

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  11. Macworld only costs $45?!? I may go next year. Heck, I paid $50 to get into that crappy DevDays thing last year and it was worthless. At least at Macworld I’d get to go to San Francisco and get some schwag!

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  12. Macworld only costs $45?!? I may go next year. Heck, I paid $50 to get into that crappy DevDays thing last year and it was worthless. At least at Macworld I’d get to go to San Francisco and get some schwag!

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  13. Techie trade shows are boring? New Apples and more Cam, HD and new tech and gadgets than can shake a stick at? And you’d rather follow it virtually on a blog?

    It’s a whole another experience, handling and getting a feel for it in person, vs. just some snarky web site copy. You say you are a geek, but I don’t believe a word of it, AAD Bloggerese that covers tech, yes, but not a geek. So stick to the shows and conferences not about the products and the speakers, rather all about the social, all your wanka-wanka pointless unconference blogger yabberings, were you just sit around the virtual blog drum circle’s toking up memes.

    As for comparing MacWorld and CES, ummm what? No point. Like saying a spoon is not like a straw. Your comparisons befuddle me 99.99998% of the time.

    If you ignored GYM, things were pretty interesting. GYM had nothing to really offer CES, even MFST’s one consumer-electronic item, the 360, can’t even be found or bought. The boring was Gates, Larry and the Yahoohooligans.

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  14. Techie trade shows are boring? New Apples and more Cam, HD and new tech and gadgets than can shake a stick at? And you’d rather follow it virtually on a blog?

    It’s a whole another experience, handling and getting a feel for it in person, vs. just some snarky web site copy. You say you are a geek, but I don’t believe a word of it, AAD Bloggerese that covers tech, yes, but not a geek. So stick to the shows and conferences not about the products and the speakers, rather all about the social, all your wanka-wanka pointless unconference blogger yabberings, were you just sit around the virtual blog drum circle’s toking up memes.

    As for comparing MacWorld and CES, ummm what? No point. Like saying a spoon is not like a straw. Your comparisons befuddle me 99.99998% of the time.

    If you ignored GYM, things were pretty interesting. GYM had nothing to really offer CES, even MFST’s one consumer-electronic item, the 360, can’t even be found or bought. The boring was Gates, Larry and the Yahoohooligans.

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  15. Why didn’t you just ask someone at the Mac BU to give you the code?

    Do you seriously mean to tell us that you failed to turn up a promo code for MWSF on google? Everyone I know who wasn’t either press or a conference attendee either got a show floor pass from an exhibitor, or found one of the dozens of free-admission codes that were posted on various mailing lists and newsgroups.

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  16. Why didn’t you just ask someone at the Mac BU to give you the code?

    Do you seriously mean to tell us that you failed to turn up a promo code for MWSF on google? Everyone I know who wasn’t either press or a conference attendee either got a show floor pass from an exhibitor, or found one of the dozens of free-admission codes that were posted on various mailing lists and newsgroups.

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  17. Nobody who’s anybody pays to get into MacWorld.

    You just need to know somebody with a booth – surely you knew somebody at the M$ booth? Heck, I’ve got an extra entry code here – I’d have emailed it to you with a little notice.

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  18. CES is hardly boring — you can typically stack up meeting after meeting after meeting with contacts / partners from around the world by flying to a single venue. Nothing boring about that in my book.

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  19. Nobody who’s anybody pays to get into MacWorld.

    You just need to know somebody with a booth – surely you knew somebody at the M$ booth? Heck, I’ve got an extra entry code here – I’d have emailed it to you with a little notice.

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  20. CES is hardly boring — you can typically stack up meeting after meeting after meeting with contacts / partners from around the world by flying to a single venue. Nothing boring about that in my book.

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  21. Charlie: only a Microsoft employee could find meetings exciting! πŸ™‚

    Just kidding. We had lots of interesting meetings too. And I did enjoy talking with the big screen experts at the various companies.

    Chris: I noticed you weren’t at either show. Why not?

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  22. Charlie: only a Microsoft employee could find meetings exciting! πŸ™‚

    Just kidding. We had lots of interesting meetings too. And I did enjoy talking with the big screen experts at the various companies.

    Chris: I noticed you weren’t at either show. Why not?

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  23. If all you did was walk the show floor, you missed 90% of the usefulness and fun of Macworld *CONFERENCE* and Expo. The conference tracks are all really good, and the MWE staff is always looking for new presenters.

    Even better, there’s a solid female presence. Not just the standbys like Dori Smith and Sandee Cohen, but IT directors, artists, editors, Microsoft Product Managers, Apple Product Managers, company executives.

    Going to Macworld and letting the show floor be your only experience is like deciding that because you saw a Ferrari, you know what it’s like to drive one.

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  24. If all you did was walk the show floor, you missed 90% of the usefulness and fun of Macworld *CONFERENCE* and Expo. The conference tracks are all really good, and the MWE staff is always looking for new presenters.

    Even better, there’s a solid female presence. Not just the standbys like Dori Smith and Sandee Cohen, but IT directors, artists, editors, Microsoft Product Managers, Apple Product Managers, company executives.

    Going to Macworld and letting the show floor be your only experience is like deciding that because you saw a Ferrari, you know what it’s like to drive one.

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  25. You know you get a lot more food for a lot cheaper at McDonald’s that you do at El Gaucho, proving that McDonald’s knows how to serve up beef.

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  26. You know you get a lot more food for a lot cheaper at McDonald’s that you do at El Gaucho, proving that McDonald’s knows how to serve up beef.

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  27. I think CES 2007 will be much better because by then we’ll see Vista, Office 12, PS3 and Nintendo Revolution released, just to name a few.

    Hey, maybe we’ll actually be able to buy an Xbox 360 by then too! πŸ˜‰

    However, the venue (Vegas baby!), side meetings and swag alone make any CES any year far from “boring” … I’m not sure what went wrong if that’s what was taken away.

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  28. I think CES 2007 will be much better because by then we’ll see Vista, Office 12, PS3 and Nintendo Revolution released, just to name a few.

    Hey, maybe we’ll actually be able to buy an Xbox 360 by then too! πŸ˜‰

    However, the venue (Vegas baby!), side meetings and swag alone make any CES any year far from “boring” … I’m not sure what went wrong if that’s what was taken away.

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  29. The key to making tradeshows interesting is the community aspect to it all. Tradeshows are interesting because of the people attending and not usually because of the “things” you go to see.

    Also, going to a tradeshow just to “check it out” will almost always be disappointing. But if you go with a plan to meet certain people and learn something specific (goals) you’ll find it be much more enjoyable.

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  30. The key to making tradeshows interesting is the community aspect to it all. Tradeshows are interesting because of the people attending and not usually because of the “things” you go to see.

    Also, going to a tradeshow just to “check it out” will almost always be disappointing. But if you go with a plan to meet certain people and learn something specific (goals) you’ll find it be much more enjoyable.

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  31. dave: there isn’t a straight story here. Some parts of CES were great. Most were boring.

    Tim, agreed. I went there looking to meet up with geeks, which I did (the Tablet PC dinner and CES Camp were the most fun parts of CES for me) and also to learn about HDTV, which I did.

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  32. dave: there isn’t a straight story here. Some parts of CES were great. Most were boring.

    Tim, agreed. I went there looking to meet up with geeks, which I did (the Tablet PC dinner and CES Camp were the most fun parts of CES for me) and also to learn about HDTV, which I did.

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  33. Bobby, no doubt CES is one of the largest trade shows in the world. There aren’t any Windows or MS specific shows that draw anywhere close to what CES or more than what Macworld does. In 2k5 Macworld reportedly did nearly 36k compared to about 140k at CES that year. Interesting that Macworld drew about a quarter of what CES does.

    If I were to judge CES just from what I saw at the Sands when I finally made it over Sun just after noon, it was already pretty empty and several booths were already packing up. Of the dozen or so kiosks in the Download Pavillion only a few remained. AVN next door was packed with most of the people definately NOT from CES.

    Be interesting to see what happens next year when they overlap.

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  34. Bobby, no doubt CES is one of the largest trade shows in the world. There aren’t any Windows or MS specific shows that draw anywhere close to what CES or more than what Macworld does. In 2k5 Macworld reportedly did nearly 36k compared to about 140k at CES that year. Interesting that Macworld drew about a quarter of what CES does.

    If I were to judge CES just from what I saw at the Sands when I finally made it over Sun just after noon, it was already pretty empty and several booths were already packing up. Of the dozen or so kiosks in the Download Pavillion only a few remained. AVN next door was packed with most of the people definately NOT from CES.

    Be interesting to see what happens next year when they overlap.

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  35. Chris: I noticed you weren’t at either show. Why not?

    Was in Hollywood, another conference, more career vital. Would have done CES if not, had few buddies doing the drive-up.

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  36. Chris: I noticed you weren’t at either show. Why not?

    Was in Hollywood, another conference, more career vital. Would have done CES if not, had few buddies doing the drive-up.

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  37. Robert, you went the last day late in the afternoon, hours before it closed.

    No kidding it was emptier. people were already catching planes home. Show up right after a keynote, see the difference.

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  38. Robert, you went the last day late in the afternoon, hours before it closed.

    No kidding it was emptier. people were already catching planes home. Show up right after a keynote, see the difference.

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  39. Robert: You had to pay to get into MacWorld. Damn. $45.

    You could have avoided paying $45 – provided you supply the right promo code. Damn, I should have known you need one! πŸ˜‰

    P.S. Were you at Chris Pirillo’s talk?

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  40. Robert: You had to pay to get into MacWorld. Damn. $45.

    You could have avoided paying $45 – provided you supply the right promo code. Damn, I should have known you need one! πŸ˜‰

    P.S. Were you at Chris Pirillo’s talk?

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