Apple may not be going, but Macworld Expo Boston is "shaping up to be a very strong show", organizer IDG World Expo told Macworld last night.

The event runs from July 12-15 at Boston's brand-new Convention and Exhibition Center. Notes on the Expo Web site proclaim: "With its return to Boston in July, Macworld Conference and Expo is writing another exciting chapter in its 20-year history."

A representative of the event organizer confirmed: "Planning for the show is in full swing," and clarified IDG's intentions for the event, "IDG World Expo aims to make Macworld Boston one of the most powerful community-based events for Mac users on the East Coast."

Macworld also learned that investment in the show aims at the long haul: "We're prepared to make a long-term investment in the show." Mac users (and potential switchers) considering whether to visit the event are promised more information about the event's keynote presentation in a future announcement "soon".

The organizer's stress of its commitment to the event follows its decision to move the show from its previous home in New York, which was declared in October 2002.

Following the announcement, Apple dropped a bombshell: "Today IDG announced plans to move Macworld New York to Boston in July of 2004. Apple disagrees with this decision, and will not be participating in Macworld Boston. Apple will continue to participate in Macworld San Francisco in January."

Months of fraught negotiation followed, but Apple remained resolute in its decision to skip the East Coast Mac event.

The show offers a range of conferences: The Pro Conference; Users Conference; Power Tools Conferences and a series of 'Hands-on Mac labs'. The latter sessions offer training in Mac administration, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Pro, Acrobat/PDF and colour management.

Mac-user community-focused show elements include Town Hall presentations, community-themed conference entertainment and more.

The event will also feature a Geeks and Gadgets element. This consists of a show display of some cool gadgets – hardware and software – based on Mac OS.