In a stunning blow to IDG, Stark Expo has hired away the man widely credited for keeping Macworld Expo afloat since Apple stopped attending the conference after last year.
Stark Industries CEO Pepper Potts, who sits on the board of Stark Expo, explained the move.
“After the events of Stark Expo 2010, we need someone with Paul’s experience in rebuilding confidence in a conference,” she said. “As you can imagine, it’s a little hard to get exibitors to sign on for Stark Expo 2011 when their pavillions were all destroyed by automated battle drones controlled by a Russian maniac bent on revenge. Paul brings a proven track record of being able to accentuate the positive in a difficult situation.”
For his part, Kent was melancholy about leaving Macworld Expo behind, but excited about the opportunity presented to him.
“I’ll miss the people of the Apple community who I’ve worked with for so long,” Kent said. “That truly was the best thing about putting this show on every year. The people.”
“But, holy crap, is Stark Expo paying me a lot of money! I mean, I threw out a number that was so big astronauts could see it from space and they added a zero to it! I should have switched to defense industry conference planning years ago. No offense, but so long, Mac suckers!”
Composing himself and wiping the tears of laughter out of his eyes with a crisp $100 bill, Kent said “No, but seriously, I’m gonna miss you.”
Kent does have his work cut out for him. So far the only two exhibitors signed on for 2011 are Stark Industries itself and Xe Services.
“I’m pretty sure that, with the help of my obscene entertainment budget and the Stark Industries luxury box at Yankee Stadium, I’ll be able to sign on some more big-name exhibitors this summer,” Kent said. “I dunno, does anyone make cases for weapons systems? People like cases.”
IDG CEO Bob Carrigan issued a prefunctory statement expressing his personal disappointment while wishing Kent all the best.
Carrigan was later seen at a Boston drinking establishment crying while sipping a crantini.