January's MacWorld will mark a significant point in time - it will be the last time the show will be attended or keynoted by Steve Jobs and Apple. Which seems a strange move, given that this is the premier Mac show and has been the location for many of Apple's key launches down the years.
There are a few reasons being put forward for this decision - one that Apple will be moving its show to CES, which runs concurrently; the other around Steve Jobs health and its varying reported strength.
I suspect that this is actually a sign of a wider malaise that will afflict the trade show industry in the coming months.
After all as things are getting tight financially why go to the expense of exhibiting at a tradeshow when some online viral marketing will do the job just as well. Or if you're a company like Apple you have ready access to the cream of the blogging community just waiting to blog your every more, live and at little or no cost to your advertising budget.
Now this won't work for a lot of companies, they don't yet have the pull to make it work. But the beauty of the blogging community as a marketing resource is the way that news with value spreads like wildfire from even a very few good sources. It won't be long before smaller companies will have worked out how to make this work for them as well and then who really needs to go and press the flesh at a trade show?