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Annual Macworld event drops 'Expo' for 'iWorld'

Next year's Macworld Expo is now known as Macworld|iWorld, an hommage to Apple product naming, and a change that breaks with the long tradition of the show's name.

Next year's "Macworld | iWorld" conference is being dubbed the "ultimate iFanevent."
Next year's "Macworld | iWorld" conference is being dubbed the "ultimate iFanevent."
IDG World Expo

Putting a lowercase "i" in front of something is an Apple hallmark, and joining that tradition is next year's Macworld Expo, which is getting a similarly themed name.

Today its creators, the IDG World Expo, said that next year's Macworld Expo is instead going by the name of Macworld|iWorld. The name change coincides with registration for the event opening up to the general public ahead of its January 26, 2012, opening.

"The brand is evolving from Macworld [Expo] to Macworld|iWorld to illustrate that the show is about the whole ecosystem of Apple products," Paul Kent, Macworld|iWorld's vice president and general manager, said in a statement posted on Macworld's news site.

Other changes to the show include revamps to last year's "Featured Artists" program to put a greater emphasis on how Apple products are used in media, including TV shows, movies, music and photography. That's being split up into three separate elements: the "Music Experience showcase," the "Film event," and "Art Showings." Meanwhile, the expert training component of the show is being called simply "Tech Talks."

Last year's show, which took place during the same week in January, saw approximately 25,000 attendees and 250 exhibitors. Kent told Macworld that the number will jump to 300 exhibitors at this year's show and include companies like Hewlett-Packard, Polk Audio, and Sennheiser.

Apple famously announced an end to its keynote appearances at the annual MacWorld Expo at the end of 2008, saying that "trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers," while citing its retail stores and Web site as more effective means to get attention.

The last time the company was there was for a keynote in 2009, featuring Apple Senior Vice President Philip Schiller announcing DRM-free songs and three tiered song pricing in iTunes, a new 17-inch MacBook Pro model, Apple's Mac Box Set software, and iWork and iLife '09.

In recent years, the company has held its own private events early in the year, including the unveiling of the first iPad in January 2010, and the Verizon iPhone in January of this year, followed in March by another private event for the second-generation iPad.