The Boston Globe’s
Hiawatha Bray reports that Boston’s
lack of available hotel space
may hinder the return of Macworld Conference & Expo, absent from the city since 1998.
Framingham, Ma.-based IDG World Expo, the show’s coordinators, packed their bags and moved the summer event from Boston — where it had resided for more than a decade — to New York in 1998. Now, with a new convention center set to open in South Boston in 2004, the company has been considering moving the event back to town.
Now IDG president Charlie Greco tells Bray that the plan may not happen, thanks to a lack of available hotel space in the city. Ironically, it’s one of the same reasons why IDG pulled the event from Boston to begin with.
The new convention center sports considerably more square footage than the Jacob K. Javits Center where the July Macworld Expo is now held — it’s larger even than San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where the January Macworld Expo happens. The new convention center is being built in a part of the city that is presently undergoing tremendous change as a result of Boston’s Big Dig construction project and various other municipal factors. Unfortunately, a large hotel adjoining the new convention center will not be finished in time for Macworld Expo in 2004.
Despite the setback, the deal isn’t off the table. Greco told Bray that the company is even considering hiring cruise ships — which could dock at wharfs close to the convention center itself — to accommodate Macworld Expo attendees, if needed. He also has high praise for some of the Boston officials involved who are trying to seal the deal.
The deadline for a deal between IDG World Expo and the New York convention bureau to keep the event in New York City has been extended from the 13th to next Monday, to give Greco and company more time to consider their options.