MacWorld 2011 is currently at Moscone Center from January 27, 2011 through January 29, 2011. This year they consolidated everything into the Moscone West Hall, which makes is very convenient for attending the conference and the exhibit hall.
If you are a new Mac user or love learning new technologies, the Users Conference at MacWorld is an excellent venue. There are a number of tracks including: Mac OS Skills, Creative Skills, Photography, iPhone Tips and Tricks, iPad usage, Small Business, and Education. The presenters so far have been very good and knowledgeable with the topics they present. One of the highlights for me was attending the Kyle Lambert presentation on the process he uses to create artwork on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It was amazing how the iPad can be used to create such detailed artwork vs. software on a computer. Apps such as Brushes are paving the way to make the iPad a canvas for digital artists. (Reason #1)
Of course, the main attraction of MacWorld 2011 is the Exhibit Hall. This is the place where you get to see the latest Mac, iPad, and iPod accessories and software in one place. (Reason #2)
If you own an iPad, MacWorld 2011 has a lot of interesting accessories for you to demo. Many vendors are selling iPad cases with different features. Do you want an iPad holder that rotates 360 degrees and fits on your hand? There’s a few vendors that sell that. Do you want to use your iPad as an advertising sign that you wear on your shoulder? There’s a vendor for that. Need an iPad case that a child can use? Its great to actually see the product in person vs. photos or relying solely on reviews. This is the year of the iPad accessories at MacWorld 2011. (Reason #3)
There are many more iOS app developers at the show this year. Its great to talk to the app developer and see what features they’re planning to release and a quick demo of their product. (Reason #4)
Check out the cool iGrill device that allows you to check the temperature of the steak/turkey/etc on your iPad, iPhone, iPod, (Reason #5)
Most of the vendors are offering show discounts for their products. You can usually get around 20% off on a lot of different products. For instance, you can get the Fling iPad controller for $15, which is $5 off their current price. (Reason #6)
Musicians have a number of products to demo at the show. For instance, IKMultimedia has the iRig and iMic devices available to try out. These two iPad/iPhone products allow you to use the iOS device to record your vocals with effects (iMic) and use your electric guitar with a number of virtual amp and effects (iRig). Another interesting product is the Algoriddim dJay app. This allows you to scratch turntables via the iPad touchscreen and your iPod music library. (Reason #7)
There’s Mac Mini system mounting hardware available for sale. This is one of the few places where you can get a number of specialized mounts for your systems, such as mounting your Mac Mini to the wall. Great for using a MacMini in a Home Theater setup. (Reason #8)
There are many Geeky gadgets to be found at MacWorld 2011. Jackets that have an integrated iPad stand, gloves that allow you to use the iPad/iPod touch screen in the cold weather, and unique flash drives. (Reason #9)
Reason #10 is the people. Its one of the few times we get to meet others in the Apple/Mac community in person.