MacExpo 2003 is shaping up to be a major event, with a series of high-profile exhibitors signed up to appear at the show.

Apple has confirmed it will have a major presence at the home-grown UK Mac show. The company will demonstrate its latest products, and offer a rolling schedule of seminars. The event runs from November 20-22 at London’s Business Design Centre, in Islington.

Major exhibitors already confirmed include Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sony, Xerox and Wacom.

Last year's event attracted over 20,000 Mac users to Islington, with 64 per cent of attendees purchasing products at the event, organizers claim.

Group event director Bob Denton said: "Our major concern this year is that we’ll run out of space. We were close to moving to a larger venue this year, but took to heart visitors’ comments that Islington offers great local hostelries for the networking to carry on throughout the day and late into the night."

This year's event offers an expanded programme of free seminars and inexpensive masterclasses. Organizers are presenting free seminars over three days in two 150-seat rooms. Topics covered include mobile computing, Mac OS X, publishing, Internet, print and colour management, making movies, photography, and video and music.

The number of masterclasses has been upped to eight. Topics include movies, Mac OS X, Photo/video and music. Seminars cost £60 (inc. VAT) for one session and £100 (inc. VAT) for two. There is a 10 per cent discount for companies sending three or more delegates.

Denton said: "Last year we ran just four masterclasses, but the take-up led us to double the number for 2003. These, plus perhaps 30 product presentation seminars, will be a key attraction."

This year, organizers are introducing a series of subject-led "trails" to help guide show-goers to favoured areas. Topic areas include first-time Mac users, digital photography, making music, creating movies, professional publishing, mobile computing and the Web. These will be downloadable as PDFs from the MacExpo Web site.