The first 3,000 attendees to register for MacExpo 2001, the independently organized UK Apple show, will get free tickets, according to the promoters.

Representatives confirmed the restriction to Macworld this morning. Insiders also confirmed that it's possible the numbers will be extended or the restriction lifted entirely, given this weeks news that Apple will be exhibiting at the event. This is the first time in four years Apple has participated in general-interest UK Mac event.

MacExpo 2001 is coordinated by MacExpo Events. It was pulled together to fill the vacuum left by Apple's decision not to run its own show in London, which left bitter disappointment among the UK Mac community.

Good contact Apple PR Manager David Millar believes, that despite the four-year gap, Apple is in reality creating even more points of contact with its followers. It does so through a series of special interest seminars, and by frequent appearances at specific trade shows, such as BETT, the UK education show, said Millar.

This year's show features a huge number of exhibitors as well as Apple. These include Extensis, Heidelberg, Hermstedt, Hewlett-Packard, AM Micro, LaCie, Keyspan, Iomega, Powerlogix, Macromedia, Microtek, Quark, OKI and Macworld.

The show includes Games and Education, Developer, Internet, Solutions, and Music and Audio areas.

It will take place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London, between November 22-24. The location is well-served by bus routes, and Highbury and Islington and the Angel Islington tube stations are both situated within a few minutes walk. There's more information on the MacExpo Web site.