On the road to Macworld|iWorld 2014

This is the week that many Mac and iOS fans have been waiting for – Macworld|iWorld 2014 kicks off in San Francisco. The event happens at the Moscone Center – it officially gets underway tomorrow with the MacIT track and workshops, and the doors to the exhibit hall open on Thursday.

This is a homecoming for me. I used to attend this show every year, but as circumstances changed I had to stop going. So this is the first year since 2011 I've had a chance to attend. Rene's already out in the Bay Area, and I'm prepping to leave my home base tomorrow morning. At this rate I'm just hoping to get out there in time – they're forecasting a major winter storm for the Boston area, where I'm flying out of, almost at the same time as my flight. Even if I'm delayed, I'll be out there – come hell or high water.

Macworld|iWorld, formerly Macworld Expo, has changed a lot over the years. IDG World Expo, the event's organizers, have had to keep pace with a rapidly changing and evolving marketplace, along with seismic events like Apple's decision to pull up stakes from the show after its 2009 appearance. It's certainly not the same as the first time I went, but Macworld|iWorld remains an enriching, fun and informative event.

My earliest exposure to Macworld Expo was as an exhibitor at its summertime event in Boston, back in the 1990s. I worked for a Mac peripheral maker. As Mac user since the mid-80s, I felt deeply invested in the platform and the brand and was proud to show off my company's products.

That company and I parted ways, but I returned as an attendee, and eventually as a member of the press. To that end, Macworld Expo was my north star, an orienting event that helped me get a handle on trends and technology and meet other people who used them in a way that was – and remains – totally unique.

As the Web has become ubiquitous, some people have dismissed events like Macworld|iWorld as an anachronism – an event that belongs to another time when information wasn't as easily accessed as it is today. It's true that we have a world of information at our fingertips, but there isn't anything that replaces that direct contact with vendors, subject matter experts and other users and enthusiasts.

I'm particularly looking forward to checking out new products that are being shown off this week – we've gotten an avalanche of e-mails and press releases from companies that are using Macworld|iWorld as a platform to generate publicity for new hardware products, software applications and services aimed at Apple customers. Rene and I will be meeting with them and recording video interviews, which we'll get linked as soon as we can.

More than anything, though, I'm looking forward to seeing some faces I haven't seen in a while. Some Mac and iOS regulars I saw at WWDC last June, but many others I haven't seen in years. That's one thing that makes Macworld|iWorld truly unique – it's almost like a jamboree. There aren't too many Apple-focused events that draw people from all around the world to one place at one time, and I'm grateful that Macworld|iWorld exists as a place to do it.

So look forward to plenty of news and information from Macworld|iWorld later this week, and make sure to bookmark our Macworld|iWorld 2014 topic page for the latest.

Are you going to Macworld|iWorld? If so, I hope you'll introduce yourself! If not, let me know why – I want to hear from you.