The MacGathering™
Macintosh Computer Expo for Southern California
Expo, Seminars, Classes, and Social Happenings

About the MacGathering™ & SoHo Tech Show™
A personal message from Deborah Shadovitz

Why a MacGathering ~ Why a Small Office focus ~ Our Toolbox

Why a MacGathering?

I started this event in 2003, in response to 4 years of being asked by both Mac users and vendors to produce an event that brings them together.

The MacGathering™ is a place where every product works with the Mac and Mac users can meet each other to socialize, learn, and share experiences, knowledge and recommendations.

Some folks think the Mac is only a graphics and audio machine — but it's a strong tool for much more. Many businesses run fully on the Mac OS. This show provides opportunity for attendees to learn more about those business possibilities.

You'll notice that many of our seminars will be marked with [Mac/Win] tags. That's because:

  • There's plenty that Windows users can learn. For example, Microsoft Office and Adobe software is cross-platform, as is iTunes and the iPod. Email protocol is the same on any platform, and so is good literature layout
  • In business dual platform issues often come up. We want to help Mac users be aware of software that runs on Windows as well. We've asked vendors to explain similarities and differences between their platform versions. This can help both Mac and Windows users to determine which platform to use for each need.
  • Sometimes a business that uses Macs wonders if it can hire a contractor who uses Windows, and vice versa.
  • The internet doesn’t replace in-person knowledge and face-to-face friendships.   

A Bit of History

Once upon a time there was a Mac show at the Long Beach Convention Center. Unfortunately, around 1993 the owner of Macworld Expo at that time bought that show and closed it. Locals felt he wanted to push users up to Macworld Expo SF. Macword Expo is an amazing show that I recommend for all Mac users, but the long trip and cost didn't work for many.

Left without a local show, users asked the Los Angeles Macintosh Group to host one. I was part of that amazing event, MacFair (aka MacFair LA), which hosted 12,000 Mac users. But MacFair and the LAMG closed their doors after the 1998 show. Although not financially involved and not a member of the event's board, I ran the LAMG's meetings and did a lot for MacFair LA.

Because of my LAMG/MacFair associations, whenever I spoke at or attended a user group, or ran into Mac users, I was asked to start a new show. At the same time, I knew from many vendors that they wanted to visit LA users, but don’t have the resources to attend all the great small groups in So Cal. So the MacGathering was born. Together with some excellent volunteers you'll meet on this site, I developed our dream event.

I hope you’ll join us. Get together, hang out, learn from other Mac folk, share ideas — and learn about a bunch of great Mac software and hardware first-hand.

Deborah Shadovitz, September 2004


Why a Small Office (SoHo) focus?

As of May 13, 2002, per the US government's Small Business Administration, US small businesses — businesses under 500 employees — number around 22.9 million, make up more than 99.7 of all employers and employ more than 50% of the private sector workforce. 53% are home-based. Clearly, this is a significant market. And those statistics don't take into account the many people who are employed by large firms but maintain workspaces in the home as well. [Stats source =]

As a long-time computer specialist who also did a stint as a Palm evangelist, I have heard far too many stories from people having a heck of a time with their computer systems or trying to figure out what hardware would work best for them. The most common story is something like, "I told my friend I needed a computer and they recommended Dell/Gateway/whatever, so I got one." The problem is that this is a hardware recommendation and doesn't address which OS is best for the person and what software they'll need. Additionally, it doesn't address other hardware such as handhelds, that may be helpful - or not. And once you've purchased your hardware you feel stuck.

The SoHo Tech Show is designed specifically to educate the consumer so he/she can make intelligent, informed decisions about hardward and software that may help them in their business.

It deals with the issues any person running a business must deal with. For example, money-tracking, contact record maintenance, business letter creation, email, and the Internet. Thus, we'll address bookkeeping and tax software, database structure, word processing, email, and Internet use. And, for those who want to create newsletters or fliers, page layout will also be addressed. Perhaps a need for a specific software will determine which computer platform is right for a business. Or perhaps an attendee will learn that it's possible to hire an independent contractor who works on a platform he previously thought incompatible. Additionally, we'll address all aspects of networking, dealing with multiple platforms, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

SoHo, ToHo, One Man Show…
If you're doing business with more than a paper and pencil… whether you're using a computer or thinking of computerizing… the SoHo Tech Show™ is the place to go.

Deborah Shadovitz, December 2003


If you have any questions that aren't answered on this site, I invite you to contact me by email.

Our Toolbox

A lot goes into producing an expo like this, so great tools go a long way. Our computers are Apple Macintosh 100%.

Before the show:

  • Planning notes — all collected and noted in Circus Ponies' NoteBook
  • Website — Adobe GoLive.
  • Site stats are tracked by CountersCC.
  • Fliers, brochures, coupons — Adobe InDesign.
  • Logo and other artwork — Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
  • Business cards and coupons — Printed by 4 Over, Inc.
  • Banners — Printed by
  • Show floorplanthe Omni Group's Omnigraffle 3. All fliers, brochures, floorplans, etc were exported as PDF within InDesign or printed as PDF in the Finder. They were always distributed as PDF. When emailed, they were zipped using the Mac OS Finder.
  • In order to check our web stats, we need a PC, so that was done using Virtual PC — Windows XP.
  • Our audio interviews are captured using Rouge Amoeba's Audio Hijack Pro is captured off the web and Griffin Technology's Radio Shark if off the air.
  • Sinbad was animated by Mike Browne, (Sinbad did his voice himself - at last year's keynote.)
  • Registration database system — custom programmed in PHP/MySQL by Peggy O'Connor
  • And to look our best, Key staff will visit Vous Hair on Melrose, the official hair salon of the MacGathering.

At the show:

  • Audio at the show is provided by Fender Audio portable sound systems.
    We use the Passport 150 and Passport 250.

  • Projectors for 2005 were provided by Epson and Mac Enthusiasts.
  • The Vendor Videos were shot and edited by Convention Floor Videos. If you're interested, please email the MacGathering™ staff and we'll pass on your info.

This page was last updated on Saturday, March 24, 2007 at 10:51 PM.

Site & logo design by Deborah Shadovitz, all content ©2005-2007 Deborah Shadovitz
Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Inc. This is an independent event; it has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.