Everyone is talking about how Macworld has diminished in importance since Apple pulled out. This was my first Macworld so I have no comparison to past shows. However comparative to the high-tech events that I work on and attend, this was teeny tiny. However many many gentlemen with gigantic backpacks were all a flutter in every aisle. Ariana and I looked across the entire expo and we counted 3 other women, typical. We did expo only and I got the funny "artsy" pass. The Mobile App Showcase area that got so much play in the press was super small. The event organizers used circle kiosks and grouped them so closely together it was really hard to maneuver through. I would have set up a large square with storage in the middle and given vendors a space along the square. Most of app vendors didn't need a kiosk as they were showing apps directly on phones. A Wolfvision Visualizer projecting onto a larger screen might have helped as well, although they are spendy. Most of the expo hall booths that we set up do not have a commerce end to them. It was weird and cool to be able to buy things from the vendors. I picked up a couple of things for my husband's iPad.
For the most part it was the accessories that I liked, I have a Zune MP3 player and a Windows 7 Phone so I don't use iTunes and there really weren't many "partners" there, no Adobe, no Microsoft booths.
Items I Brought Home:
Fling - Made by TenOne design, Fling is a tactile analog joystick for the iPad. There are two suction cups attached to clear engineer grade resin thumb pads. They attach to the sides of your iPad and practically disappear when you use them. You shoot, hit, etc… with one and move with the other - really innovative. @TenOneDesigns
Sleeve 360 - I watched one of the mobile app vendors spin his iPad around and thought it was cool and turned and there was the Sleeve 360 booth. There are tons of cases that prop up the iPad in different angles but this one tethers to your hand. It also props up and it does envelope your iPad to protect it. Its nice when you are carrying your iPad from room to room you put your hand in the sleeve and hold it (as we know dropping an iPad is very very bad). @Sleeve360
Items I Liked:
iGrill - Produced by iDevices. This is just awesome out of the box thinking. Only real non-tech or music application I've seen for an ianything product. Connect your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch to the iGrill thermometer via Bluetooth, and monitor the temperature of what you are cooking from anywhere within 200 feet via the iGrill app. I LOVED that you could use this in your kitchen and hang it from your stove with the probe inside the oven (no opening the door). This device is now in Apple Stores. iDevices is a company to watch for new interesting products and apps. Retail iGrill is $99.99 @igrilltweets
Freehands Gloves - I'm in love and I actually just ordered a pair of these. I'm a chronic texter and I take a million photos so I'm not sure why I didn't get a pair at the event. Freehands gloves feature fold-back index finger and thumb tips to let you text, adjust your MP3 player, take photos and adjust one of your contacts in the cold. They have tons of styles for both men and women and the most expensive pair is $27.95. @freehands
Assero Defender - This is great for the person on the go that wants to actually use their iPad when they aren't sitting. It’s a backpack/shoulder bag/Baby Bjorn for your iPad. Basically you can flip the front zip pocket down and use your iPad while standing or walking. A mobile office with lots of smart bells and whistles for the user, nice job. @Assero2010
The Pièce de Résistance:
EZTY - Moveable, reusable long life clips and tie wraps. This little gadget is awesome and I love that they are reusable and removable. I hate using zip ties and then having to just toss them - so wasteful. They have some other great products as well - Joan who gave the demo was lovely too. High strength interlocked connections, "Tilt & Zip by HAND" for fast connection of ovals, Cut & Connect any length needed, Flexible-Stretchable snug holding of objects, NO TOOLS.
Something that struck me about all of the vendors I talked with (which include all of the above) is that they were all nice people who were passionate about their products and came from all over the U.S. to exhibit. It was nice to talk directly with the people who dreamed up, designed and created a product. Something that you don't always get at a conference.
After a good two-hour walk around the stalls, Ariana and I headed to a favorite by the Moscone Center - Fang Restaurant - 660 Howard St - Yum! Salt & Pepper Mushrooms, Cooling Lettuce Wraps and Pan Fried Chicken in Yellow Curry were fantastic. Also try the Chrysanthemum tea, tastes great and gorgeous in the cup.
All in all an interesting day.
Macworld 2011 (www.macworldexpo.com) is a four-day event that educates, entertains and immerses attendees in the Apple products community. A comprehensive expo hall offers access to hundreds of Mac products and services, paired with expert advice, demonstrations and instruction. Macworld 2011 conference programs feature industry leading minds, presenting cutting edge product training on the topics attendees most want to see. From Mac Power Users to creative professionals to first-time users to Enterprise computing professionals, Macworld 2011 has the conference content, special presentations and exhibit hall attractions that create what has been called "Mecca for Mac Users."