Another major Apple Expo 2000 exhibitor has expressed its dismay at Apple's exit from the UK's only Mac show. Bill Johnstone, managing director of scanner-maker Heidelberg CPS, told Macworld that Apple "has no respect for its UK customers".

"I read your very informative news stories relating to Apple's decision to withdraw from Apple Expo 2000," Johnstone told Macworld Online. "I can only express deflation, disappointment and utter dismay at Apple's incredulous and crass treatment of the UK market yet again."

Johnstone said that Heidelberg CPS has been "a stout supporter" of the UK Mac event for many years. His company attended the Apple-less 1998 show "despite all the petty squabbling and feather rustling that preceded it".

According to Johnstone, this turned out to be "a costly mistake". "I am sure that the majority of exhibitors went away from Olympia feeling very bitter," he added.

"We have always viewed Apple Expo as a showcase event and a new product launch vehicle," said Johnstone. As Heidelberg CPS's scanning products are mainly Mac platform oriented, the annual Mac-focused exhibition "forms a key part of our marketing plans". Johnstone believed that the March 2000 show could therefore "not be ignored" despite his reservations about attending the 1998 expo.

"Now here we are again having two fingers firmly shown to exhibitors and customers alike," Johnstone told Macworld. "What a way to reward loyalty, love of the platform and its army of beleaguered followers."

Heidelberg CPS - "and no doubt all other potential exhibitors" - will now view any future Mac show with "great trepidation and scepticism".

"We will certainly not be booking any space in advance again and would only commit attendance at the very last minute if we were completely convinced and reassured it was worthwhile. Apple has a lot of bridge building ahead," Johnstone concluded.

EXPO: stories www.macworld.co.uk/expoexit/