Apple will have a presence at MacExpo 2001 at Islington's Business Design Centre between Thursday November 22 and Saturday 24, 2001, the organizers confirmed Tuesday.

Apple spokesman David Millar said: "MacExpo provides the right audience at the right time for us. It's a chance to meet our audience, meet the pro-sumer market and it's at a good time of year. We'll have a stand with a theatre to demonstrate our solutions at the show."

The show organizers welcomed Apple's decision to attend the London show. Bob Denton, event director, said: "This is key. It's precisely what all Mac devotees asked us to achieve, and underlines MacExpo's position as the UK event for all Mac users."

UK focus Apple's decision to take on the largest exhibition space in the hall, and appear at a general interest Mac event is seen as an attempt to rebuild bridges with its UK users, according to industry observers.

Apple cancelled its major London show twice in 1999/2000, leaving exhibitors and users angry and disappointed.

Millar explained: "Over the past few years, we have actually increased the contact points between us and our customers. We have launched a series of very successful seminars for particular interest groups, and have also got involved in a number of dealer-located events. We are trying to address the needs of key audiences."

Evangelizing Apple Apple has run a number of special interest seminars since the collapse of its own London show. Millar confirmed that Apple is trying to expand its market share by attracting new users.

The company hopes that by concentrating its marketing budgets on showing the use of the Mac as part of an overall solution, Apple will bring new users to the company. "We are trying to attract people who haven't considered the Mac before," he said.

James Clive, senior account manager at LaCie, who will be exhibiting at the show, welcomed Apple's involvement. He said: "LaCie has always felt that it is important to maintain a visible presence at product showcases such as the UK MacExpo. We are very happy to see what appears to be a positive commitment to the UK market by Apple."

Peripheral involvement Megan Eaglesham, marketing executive for NEC Mitsubishi, said: "We feel it's extremely important that Apple is represented at the show, it being the MacExpo." Though her company won't have its own exhibition space, it will be supporting certain resellers exhibiting at the show, providing material support and giveaways.

"Having Apple at the show makes it a more crucial event for the Mac community," she added.

Hermstedt MD Andy Eakins, who will also exhibit at MacExpo, welcomed Apple's involvement in the independently organized Mac event. "The show organizers have been bending over backwards to get Apple to the show. It's certain that having Apple there will help the show succeed. The decision vindicates the existence of the show, and renews my enthusiasm for it."

Fresh attitude Eakins discussed Apple's preceding lack of support for the show. He claimed: "It's a 180-degree turnaround in terms of Apple's attitude, and I welcome it. Last year they were trying to persuade me not to attend the show. It's good that Apple UK's new MD, Mark Rogers, is embracing it this year."

MacExpo 2001 is bigger than last year's show, and the organizer's hope to attract 20,000 visitors over three days. Last year's event ran for two days.

Confirmed exhibitors include Hewlett-Packard, Iomega, Macromedia, OKI, Proxim, and Quark. Resellers and distributors, including MacLine and AM Micro, will also be there.

Formac representative Caroline Graham discussed the success of the last independent Mac show. She claimed: "There was a constant stream of visitors, it' was like a mini expo."

Visitors will find more information, and can register online for a free ticket, at www.MacExpo.co.uk.