It may only be July 2011, but it’s never too soon to get excited about Macworld 2012. The Apple-themed event will turn 27 next January, and the organizers are looking to bring new and innovative content to the table when the show descends on San Francisco’s Moscone Center from January 25 through 28.
Macworld 2012 will be organized around four major components, general manager Paul Kent told Macworld by phone: the Main Stage, Out-of-the-Box Events, Macworld RapidFire, and Workshops. While each has its own particular format, the focus in all of them is to expand the idea of what a Macworld session can be.
Main Stage will feature the most impactful, interesting people from around the Apple marketplace, Kent said. The 20- or 40-minute sessions will vary in content, featuring everything from how-to presentations to performances, artistic creations, debates, and more. But all of them will deal with how Apple technology can be harnessed and used for interesting purposes.
“It’s really about the things that are best brought to life in a face-to-face environment,” said Kent. “How Apple tools can be used to one’s greatest satisfaction, enjoyment, and productivity.”
The Main Stage is intended to attract the best of the best in the Apple sphere, but it’s also about broadening the types of session content beyond just training and how-to. “We’re calling it a Call for Genius, because we want to cast a much wider net and open up the presenting process to a lot of new people,” said Kent.
Just in case that’s not welcoming enough, Macworld 2012 will also feature Out-of-the-Box Events, an opportunity for presenters to let their imagination and creativity run wild. Macworld’s “open to all ideas,” Kent said. Things like game shows, challenges, fashion shows—virtually any format is fair game, as long as it’s in some way connected to the world of Apple. The sessions will run 45 or 90 minutes long.
If that sounds a bit lengthy for your tastes, then perhaps Macworld RapidFire will tickle your fancy. This evening event—and yes, Macworld 2012 will be extending past normal business hours—will be composed of five-minute talks, each focused on explaining one particular concept, idea, or feature to the audience. And when they say five minutes, they mean five minutes—Kent confirmed that the clock will be running. At the end of the evening’s two-hour time slot, the best speaker will take home a prize.
Finally, for those looking to immerse themselves in a particular topic, Macworld 2012 will host a series of full-day workshops on January 25, the day before the expo floor opens. And, in a nice benefit this year, if a workshop session performs especially well, the speaker will get a chance to share in the financial success.
With these new formats, Macworld organizers really hope to solicit new and creative ideas for this year’s event, challenging the community to come up with some truly great session ideas.
“This is beginning to hint at some pretty cool changes that are starting to evolve for Macworld,” Kent said, adding that the event is really focused on attracting new types of participators and attendees in 2012. “We’re changing the game quite a bit, and this is the first visible indication of that.”
But one thing will always remain true. “The true Apple products fan will find many things to love at the new Macworld,” said Kent.
Macworld 2012’s call for submissions runs through September 2; submissions for MacIT are due the same day.
Editor’s note: Macworld.com and Macworld magazine are run by Mac Publishing, which does not run the Macworld trade show. The company that runs the Macworld trade show is IDG World Expo, a separate company that shares the Macworld brand name with Mac Publishing and shares the same corporate parent, IDG (International Data Group).