The Manchester leg of the MacFest road show, held last Friday, was a hailed a success by resellers and vendors alike.

The show, co-sponsored by Macworld, gave distributors the chance to meet the public and show the latest Mac solutions.

Gary Ward,
LaCie's business development manager, said: "There's been lots of interest across the board, a lot of high-end stuff - I expected to sell a lot of consumer stuff.

"In the short term there's been a lot of sales, in the long term it's great public relations."

Blue-chip sales Garrett Doyle, managing director of co-sponsor
MacLine, echoed Ward's view. He said: "Blue-chip companies have been buying products, and consumers have been buying mice.

"The Indigo iMac has been a great seller, but we've been selling mainly G4 Power Mac and PowerBooks."

Doyle was also positive on the general state of the Macintosh market. He said: "MacLine is on an upward spurt, but the availability of certain orders has been a problem.

"The PowerBook G4 is the most successful product in the last two years. I can't think of a machine that people have wanted so much. However, supply doesn't equal demand."

Consumer sales Paresh Patel, of peripheral manufacturer
Swann, said of the Manchester show: "It certainly has been busy. We weren't sure what the northern crowd would be like, but it's bettered our expectations."

However, Patel was less confidant than Doyle about the current market. He said of sales leading up to the show: "Sales have been steady, but they could be better. Big business's are concerned with the global slowdown in computer sales, but consumers aren't. Swann is a consumer orientated company, which insulates us to a certain extent."

Show organizer Bob Denton (pictured on the right) was delighted with the reaction to the
London and Manchester shows. He said: "We're thinking about doing the road show two times a year in different locations." He added that Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham are possible locations for future shows.

Denton also felt that MacFest, which was also sponsored by AppleOnline, acted as a bridge to the annual Mac Expo at Islington's Business Design Centre. He said: "When you do an annual event, it can feel like a lifetime in between for consumers. The MacFest shows act as stepping stones to the Mac Expo."