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IDG preps Macworld Expo substitute

IDG World Expo says a show for graphics and music professionals will take the place of Macworld Expo this summer in New York.

Ending months of uncertainty, IDG World Expo said Wednesday that a new show aimed at graphics and music professionals will take the place of this summer's Macworld Expo in New York.

The show, to be called Create, will be held during the same time slot planned for the Expo, running July 14-18.

"It's time for a change, and time for an event which addresses the increasingly tech-savvy community of artists, designers, directors and musicians," IDG Vice President Colin Crawford said in a statement. "We're very excited about the new event and hope the creative community is looking forward to a different kind of learning and networking experience with Create."

Apple Computer said it will co-present the event with IDG, but Create is unlikely to include the keynote speech from Apple CEO Steve Jobs that has been the highlight of Macworld Expo.

"Apple has an amazing community of professional customers in the greater New York area and we are excited to be part of launching a new event designed specifically for them," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The move ends lingering questions over what will happen this summer but calls into question IDG's plans to move the summer installment of Macworld to Boston beginning next year. Apple has said that it will not take part in the show when it moves from the Big Apple.

Rob Scheschareg, IDG World Expo vice president of sales and marketing, would not comment on whether Create would continue in future years or on the status of Macworld Boston.

"We'll see," he said. "We're focused on the event this summer."

Charlie Greco, the man who led the move to Boston, left IDG World Expo last month to become head of the events business for rival Gartner. IDG first hinted last summer that it might move the show.

Whereas Macworld was Apple's main vehicle for introducing new hardware and software, it appears that Create will be more focused on training and education. The show will consist of a variety of tutorials on topics such as QuarkXPress and Photoshop, as well as conference sessions on issues like music editing and setting up a home recording studio.

There will also be an exhibit floor from July 16 to 18. Scheschareg said he expects around 150 exhibitors, down from just less than 250 at last year's Macworld Expo. Scheschareg did not name exhibitors, but said a list of those confirmed for the show would be posted on the Macworld Expo Web site later Wednesday. IDG expects to use less space in New York's Javits Center than last year, but Scheschareg said they have the option for more if they need it.

Although the show will be focused on Mac users, Scheschareg said there is an opportunity to grab some people from the broader creative community given the absence of an East Coast installment of the Seybold Seminars trade show. "That certainly was taken into consideration," he said.

The show will feature a number of speakers, although Apple has not announced plans for any top executives to speak. One Apple employee, Doug Werner, who works with Apple's professional customers, is among the speakers IDG World Expo lists for the show.

IDG said show registration will begin in April.