The four-day Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the anticipated Macworld event that start tomorrow are expected to draw fewer visitors as the weak economy drains corporate travel and marketing budgets.
Macworld is a consumer show having its own stores to show off its goods and CES is an industry show backed by the Consumer Electronics Association - A yearly industry event where its members can show off their hottest new products to dealers, industry professionals, and market watchers.
About 44,000 people attended Macworld last year, and organizers are expecting a similar number this year but unluckily news came out that Apple would pull out of Macworld and that show's future was in question.
Last year's CES show drew 152,000 visitors and a record number of exhibitors, making it the largest show of any kind in the U.S.
With the current economic downturn CES predicts about 130,000 attendees at this year's show, down from 141,000 last year, and 2,700 exhibitors, down from 3,000 last year, 15 percent fewer attendees at this year's show.
In a surprise announcement last month, Apple said Steve Jobs, for the first time since 1998, won't be giving his annual keynote. Instead, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, will speak during Jobs' usual Tuesday morning slot.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates from CES who had given the opening keynote at the conference 11 times from 1994 to last year would not speak Chief Executive
Steve Ballmer is replacing him. Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft last year to devote his attention to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
However, despite of market downturn, CES continues to attract new companies 300 exhibitors will be attending for the first time and many companies that are cutting their CES budgets are still showing up, said association spokesman Jason Oxman.
Macworld is also expecting more successful years. Macworld Conference & Expo has thrived for 25 years due to the strong support of tens of thousands of members of the Mac community worldwide, said Paul Kent, vice president and general manager of Macworld. We look forward to many more successful years of Macworld to come.
Both shows are trying to remain relevant as companies drastically cut back on travel, entertainment.