And it took Steve Jobs to give it a proper send-off:
Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.
Apple gets conversational marketing and is abandoning traditional outreach in favor of high-touch venues like their retail stores. I also expect to see them cut back on print advertising this year and focus on their important constituencies: mainstream consumers, media professionals and developers with online and broadcast channels.
I’m going to miss the Stevenote at MacWorld, but we’ll still be hearing from him in other venues next year, I expect.