Update: IDG has updated their web site. They claim that the wording on the Macworld Expo web site was in error (and they have changed it). They claim that they meant to say, that there would be an overflow room available… in case you didn’t get in to the main hall. They also stated that they didn’t intend at any point to restrict the keynote hall to only Platinum Pass attendees. In other words, your $250 badge will still get you into the keynote hall… if you line up early enough.
I was outraged a few years back when, after standing out in the rain (for three hours), IDG shoved the media into an overflow room to watch the Macworld Expo keynote (with no prior notice that we were going to an overflow room). I got the whole front row into a booing match with IDG press people… we all pointed and booed at the IDG people every time there was an applause line during the keynote. IDG hasn’t tried that since.
Note, those IDG press people were fired… the press people at IDG expos now are good people.
But now, IDG is willing to make Macworld attendees get less for more money. Now, when you pay $250 to go to the show, you don’t get to see the keynote, you get to watch a telecast of the keynote from an overflow room. To watch the keynote in-person, you have to pay $1,695 for the Platinum Pass. And, IDG doesn’t even promise you a seat as in past years (in previous years, Platinum Pass seating was reserved at the front).
This continues IDG’s secret-and-quiet fight with Apple. However, it’s no secret that IDG and Apple haven’t gotten along since the turn of the decade. Last year, Apple security took over running the keynote. And, that starts to explain why we’re at where we are…
See, IDG wants control of the entire show. Apple keeps asserting more control over Macworld Expo. This standoff appears to be the proximate reason why IDG is adding this requirement. IDG may not be able to control the keynote, but legally, they can designate which people can watch it. By relegating the keynote to Platinum Pass attendees, IDG can claim that this is a means to make more money, and not a bitter feud with Apple over the show.
My advice to Apple: Kill Macworld and create Apple Expo San Francisco in its place. Change the date, time, venue, anything to brush off IDG for good. Hopefully when IDG gets the message, they’ll come back to the table.