Review: Macworld Conference and Expo

Macworld Expo still exciting after all these years (July 12th, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: IDG World Expo

Price: Varies

The Good

  • Excellent conferences and speakers. Venue is smaller and easier to negotiate than last year.

The Bad

  • Vendor numbers are down and Apple Computer still refuses to attend.

MacWorld is primarily known as a showcase for Macintosh products and technology, but over the years has developed a very stromg core of presenters in the user and professional conferences. Even as trade shows dwindle in size and pizazz, you should make the effort to go to Macworld, not only to see the vendors and try out new products to help you solve problems with your Mac or extend your creativity, but also to attend the conferences. Subjects vary from introductions to the newest Mac OS X to Adobe Creative Suite or Flash, to Advanced Server Concepts and starting out in creating music on your Mac. The presenters are all experienced, not only in their their subjects, but also in making concepts clear.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting in on a session with Sandee Cohen and Steve Werner, two very experienced desktop publishers. In yesterday's 7-hour session, almost all the material presented enhanced rather than repeated what was given last year. Some of this is due to changes in the software, some because the presenters' own knowledge is always being expanded, but mostly due to the respect these professionals have for their audiences. The tips and understanding I walked away with yesterday reflect some things I might have read about, others I may have learned with less laughter and more deadline-crunching pressure. I definitely would not have had the overview or the connecting threads to help me use this knowledge either in a timely fashion or with deliberation in the design phase of a project.

Today the ProTools Conferences continue and I strongly recommend coming in for Day 2 of ProTools or signing up for the various user sessions at MacWorld Boston. Tuesday's show opens with a keynote by Andy Inhatko which is sure to both entertain and illuminate as only Andy can.

This year IDG World Expo  has expanded the offerings with meet-the-speaker sessions and a lot more personal involvement between the attendees and its slate of impressive experts. While parties and sponsored gatherings have fallen off with the economic tide, the knowledge imparted is still excellent and more personable than anything found on the web.

Macworld Conference and Expo is happening this week and ends on Thursday. The Conference is located at The Hynes Convention Center on 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

Update on Macworld Expo - Day Two

Today, Pam jumped into day 2 of Michael Ninness' Professional PhotoShop ProTools Conference at MacWorld Expo in Boston. Like many people, she uses PhotoShop to fix images and adapt them for various purposes. Pam writes, I thought I just needed a hint here and there to work more efficiently. Was I wrong! Michael showed me the right way to think about changing, selecting, and masking images. When I next use PhotoShop, I will approach the program in a whole new paradigm. I cringe at the time I would have continued to waste had I not attended this session simply looking for a hot tip.

While the ProTools Conferences ended today, you can still catch Michael at MacWorld. On Wednesday from 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM, he'll share more of his time-tested techniques in Session S124: Photoshop Power Shortcuts. He'll deliver much more than a list of keyboard shortcuts because his talks are balanced with bits of wisdom and experience. In addition, Derek Story from O'Reilly Media is doing a hands-on session, Mac Tools for Digital Photographers, on Thursday from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. This session is perfect for beginning and intermediate digital camera users and will cover iPhoto and Photoshop.

Although the show is small in comparison to past events, the users are raving about the quality of the presentations. The vendors generally seem pleased with the traffic generated on the exhibits-only show floor also. Small shouldn't be equated with poor quality, but as an opportunity to receive more personal attention!

by P.A.M. Borys and Ilene Hoffman


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