December 07, 2008, 5:10 PM — There's a little bit of mini-kerfuffle about the fact that big names are reducing their presence at January's Macworld Expo, or even pulling out completely -- the two biggest suspects being Adobe and Belkin. This is interesting (or, rather "interesting") on a meta-level to me, as the only thing I find duller than the concept of trade shows is hand-wringing about who is or is not attending trade shows. Your humble blogger has in fact never worked on the advertising/marketing side of anything anywhere, so perhaps I am not the proper person to remark on this, but I'd love to hear about the concrete benefits of attending trade shows at all for the companies concerned. (All the editorial folks I've known who had to attend these things tend to be thoroughly depressed by the prospect.) Thus one can only assume that this is because the coming recession causes companies to cease to shovel money at things that produce no immediate tangible benefit, and not because of some vendetta against Apple or Macworld Expo per se.
As a side note, Belkin notes to the WSJ's D blog that they're getting rid of their booth at CES too, but still plan to schmooze it up at both conferences: "We believe that private meetings in hotel suites are more conducive for this type of discussion, as they are more intimate." Hubba! Seriously, though, perhaps my very non-schmoozy nature (you literally cannot get less schmoozy than being a pajama-clad blogger) is what blinds me to the benefit of attending these things, which are of course one part dog-and-pony show and several million parts schmoozefest.