Apple Expo 2000 event organizers have called an emergency exhibitor and media partner meeting to decide the fate of the troubled show. Apple recently left pre-booked exhibitors stranded after dramatically exiting the event, which is now bereft of its principal sponsor and focus. Apple UK has also confirmed to Macworld that there will "definitely" be no Apple presence at the show.

The emergency meeting takes place tomorrow at 2pm in Wembley Conference Centre.

The management team from US Web-CKS (the owners of the show) are travelling from Hamburg to discuss Apple's shock exit and what should happen next.

Exhibitors are furious that Apple broke its promise to make Apple Expo 2000 "bigger and better" than the originally planned 1999 show - which was scheduled to take place at the end of this month but was cancelled in July. The 2000 event is still planned for March 31-April 1, but is now in danger of collapsing altogether.

Kevin Dorley of distributor Softline told Macworld that he was "seriously disappointed" in Apple. "For the second time this year, because of Apple, we may have rip up and completely rewrite our marketing plans," he fumed.

Dorley is concerned that, contractually, the show organizers could merely open the Wembley doors to a hall empty but for a solitary Mac - and still keep hold of every exhibitor's deposit. However, Dorley believes that this is very unlikely, and that some attempt will be made to salvage the Expo - despite Apple's withdrawal.

Despite earlier hopes, Apple UK's marketing manager, Martin Capel-Smith, has now confirmed to Macworld that there is not even the remotest possibility that Apple UK will return with a local presence.

Keep reading Macworld Online for the latest developments.

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