The organizers of the Macworld trade show have apparently told Apple it can't come to SF if it don't come to Boston! I'm slightly stunned. I know this is a game of brinksmanship, but if there's no Jobs keynote at Macworld San Francisco, then there's no reason for me to fly down for the event at all. The same is true for most other print and broadcast journalists I know: Jobs is the draw, and the trade show floor is where Apple displays its new stuff. Without those items, the rest of the show is interesting, but these days, there's not enough new at them.
I find that with broadband access to public betas or press review copies, phone briefings, and the increasingly frequent Seattle-fly-throughs of software vendors, I really don't need a trade show to learn about what's what. If I were in the print and publishing world or covered scanners and digital cameras closely, it would be different, as there are so many models, and it's hard to get hands-on time like you can at trade shows.
The IDG folks might be highlighting that trade shows for some industries are outdated. Macworld has always been a social occasion, a rallying event, and a geek out. If you take out Jobs and Apple, there's just not enough compelling to go, and the show will receive virtually no coverage.
Update: IDG blinked? We'll never know.