MacExpo 2001 yesterday attracted large crowds to Islington's Business Design Centre.
Optimistic show organisers had expected a successful turnout, but were thrilled at the response. Show organizer Bob Denton (illustrated) said: "We had 3,500 attendees by 12pm, with 5,233 by 1:30pm." 7,280 people had been to the show by 5:30pm. Anticipating up to 20,000 visitors to the Expo, which runs through Saturday, he voiced caution, saying: "It's too early to get too excited, but I can see the resellers are selling like crazy, and everybody seems to be happy."
Denton confirmed plans to exhibit at the same venue next year, saying: "We are already taking bookings for next year's event."
Strong sales One such booking came from LaCie. The company's UK MD George Leptos said: "It's excellent. There's a lot of people, and our resellers have already run out of stock on some of our products and are reordering. The Mac market will go from strength to strength. Recession – what recession?"
Denton confirmed that, given Apple's support, the show could take place in the same location next year. "There are other halls and areas here we could not book in time this year. We can expand the show space in this venue," he said. "Because Apple signed up late, we were unable to secure bookings on the other hall, or the conference rooms here for this year's event," he explained
Apple's David Millar said: "We're very pleased with the turnout and the reaction from our customers so far. We've found it a useful adjunct to our marketing activity." Discussing iPod, which Apple launched in the UK at the show, the Scotsman said: "It's nice that we've been able to launch something at the show. Clan Macintosh has come together today."
Old times Millar's sentiments were echoed by Adobe's John Cunningham. "This is reminiscent of the Apple shows we used to have in the UK. In comparison to other exhibitions we've attended this year, it's delivered on its promised audience. And the quality of attendees we've been meeting has been great," Cunningham enthused.
He added: "People are genuinely interested in discussing our solutions, and our support for Mac OS X has also attracted a positive response. The attention for all our products has been excellent with a good spread across all our vertical markets."
Macromedia's Web products manager Jonathan Harris was also positive in his reaction to the show's first day, saying: "It's amazingly good – attendance has surpassed our expectations from shortly after the doors opened. It looks like this may shape up to be the best show we've been to. The obvious concern is how it's going to go tomorrow and Saturday. So far though, it shows the strength of the Mac market in the UK. It seems people want an Apple show here."
Good show Donald Kaye, of Connectix, said: "It's nice to be able to talk about and to the Mac community. The show's going very well – everybody seems happy, and for us it's been good too from the number of people approaching us to say they like and use our products. It's a really good show that's been put together so well."
Looking forward, Kaye said: "We hope it happens next year, and that Apple continues to support it."
Show visitor Lisa Horton summed up the prevailing mood: "It's smaller than the events Apple used to run in the UK, but everyone seems happier at this show. Even on the stands they are busier and seem happier. That's great for the heart of the market. The people who sell are happy, visitors are happy and its a great success."
iPod a hit Reseller Garrett Doyle, of Cancom MacLine, said: "It's a great show this year. We are doing very well on sales – we sold out on iPods as soon as they came in at 11am.
Gamers were out in force at the show. Mark Venner, of MacGames.co.uk, said: "We're making sales here today. After looking at the serious solutions on show here, people come to us for the light-hearted stuff. The show looks good."
Ralph Kratz, of Sonnett Technologies, flew from Switzerland especially for the event. He said: "I'm very impressed with the number of people. Our products are selling very well, too – we need to restock." Maneesh Patel, once of now defunct reseller Mygate, said: "The show looks very promising with the buzz of yesteryear." Denis O'Connell, of Irish reseller CompuB, said: "The show's going very well, sales are good."
David Clark, of Formac, said: "We hoped it would be a good show, and there's more people than I expected. We're going to run out of products at the show. It's very encouraging."