IDG World Expo, based in Framingham, Mass., is bringing Macworld Conference & Expo back to Boston. Macworld, which was held in Boston for 13 years before it was moved to New York in 1998, is planning to return in summer 2004, after completion of the city's new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

At a press conference October 17, the key players: Charlie Greco, president and CEO, IDG World Expo; Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston; Pat Moscaritolo, president, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Gloria Larson, chairwoman, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority jubilantly announced the return.

But just hours later, Apple Computer Inc. announced that it would not support a Boston-based Macworld, stunning city officials and IDG. IDG officials quickly responded, assuring a nervous mayor and others that IDG would continue with a Boston Macworld without Apple's participation.

Apple's absence from Macworld could significantly lower conference attendance, because many attendees come to see Apple's new product rollouts and to hear Steve Jobs give the keynote.

A few days after the announcements, on October 21, Apple and IDG World Expo confirmed that Apple will participate in Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco in January 2003.

IDG and Apple have also agreed to hold ongoing discussions about Apple's role in upcoming East Coast Macworld events.

Boston's new BCEC, which is being built in a still-developing area of South Boston, has been challenged in booking large conventions because of a lack of nearby hotel rooms. A report in the Boston Globe says IDG required 2,400 “conveniently located rooms” the week of the show.