Mac industry gathers to discuss future of Macworld Expo

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Macworld Expo organizers hosted a Town Hall meeting last night, featuring an open discussion with Macworld Conference & Expo vice president and general manager Paul Kent.

Rumors have spread that Macworld could go the way of Apple Expo Paris, which folded without Apple's participation.  Instead, Kent insists Macworld will go on.

"We come to Macworld to be inspired," said Kent.  "This show is going to evolve and you need to know that we are embracing this evolution."

Kent suggested future Macworld Expos could connect with film festivals, music  festivals, and digital photography.

"We want Apple to go build more great products, and then we'll be here to show you how to use them," he said.

Apple vice president Phil Schiller said in Tuesday's keynote that Apple reaches millions every month through its network of Apple Store retail outlets, far more than the reach of a week-long Macworld.  Kent countered by saying only 10 percent of the products being exhibited are actually available in the Cupertino-based company's stores.

Others suggestions during the Town Hall meeting included a return to Boston or New York for future events, or rotating between cities.

According to Kent, 60 companies have already registered for the 2010 Macworld Expo, including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Other World Computing.

Free registration is already underway for Macworld Expo 2010.

IDG World Expo invites ideas for the future of Macworld at [email protected].