Apple's annual developer conference sells out in record time

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple said Tuesday that WWDC 2009 has completely sold out, marking the second time in as many years that its annual developers conference will fill to capacity as programmers descend on San Francisco to hear the latest on Mac and iPhone software development.



This year's conference sold out in a little over four weeks, nearly twice as fast as last year's event, which was the first time in the show's history that Apple was forced to halt the registration process.



WWDC has grown dramatically in recent years, prompting Apple to move the event from the original underground Moscone Center into the modern new Moscone West building. In 2007, Apple set a record for WWDC attendance with 5,000 developers from around the world. This year's conference will see even more attendees.



On its developer web site, under the notice that WWDC 2009 has sold out, Apple says, "Session videos will be available to purchase shortly after the conference. More details will be available soon."



The Cupertino-based company is expected to use its opening keynote at this year's conference to show off a feature complete version of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. It's also a likely stage for the electronics maker to take the wraps off its third-generation iPhone hardware, a move which would mirror that of years past.



WWDC 2009 runs June 8th through the 12th. For a recap of last year's announcements, see AppleInsider's WWDC topics page.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Wow.

    That's 1 1/2 months in advance! It's not even May yet...



    Shouldn't they just get a bigger venue?!?



    Seems like Apple is missing out on a lot of developers interested in the platform which now will not be able to attend.

    A lost business opportunity. Which likely does not make good business sense.



    Having a sold out WWDC is good marketing news.

    But they should sell out the week before opening, not 1 1/2 months in advance.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    hiimamachiimamac Posts: 584member
    Agree.



    A larger venue would be great. Somewhat suspicios as Apple always has a motive when they release "SPIN" like this.



    Love the keynotes but it's getting kind if boring hearing the same thing over and over the first :30 minutes and how Apple has grown. Lots of self patting on the back. Good stuff isn't until halfway in.



    Hoping the re-invent something ala tablet.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Wow.

    Tagr 1 1/2 months in advance! It's not even May yet...



    Shouldn't they just get a bigger venue?!?



    Seems like Apple is missing out on a lot of developers interested in the platform which now will not be able to attend.

    A lost business opportunity. Which likely does not make good business sense.



    Having a sold out WWDC is good marketing news.

    But they should sell out the week before opening, not 1 1/2 months in advance.



  • Reply 3 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Wow.

    That's 1 1/2 months in advance! It's not even May yet...



    Shouldn't they just get a bigger venue?!?



    They really need a bigger venue than Moscone can offer, but what building around that area (plus hotels) can deal with over 5,000 geeks for a week and all the support staff and all the classes. Perhaps they should hold it in Las Vegas where it would be hard to sell out.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    They really need a bigger venue than Moscone can offer, but what building around that area (plus hotels) can deal with over 5,000 geeks for a week and all the support staff and all the classes. Perhaps they should hold it in Las Vegas where it would be hard to sell out.



    If Moscone is the biggest that region has to offer, then they would have to pretty far afield, Vegas looks like the next closest thing that's sure to handle the business. LA is a little closer, but I wonder if that would be a serious contender in their considerations.



    That might be a problem as Apple would have to increase the travel & lodging budget significantly, given the high proportion of Apple employees to attendees, which I thought was something like a 1:5 ratio. Moscone is only 45 minutes away from Cupertino, Vegas is as much as 8 hours away. If they have to fly or bus over 1000+ employees, give them a hotel room and other expenses, that could be a tough pill to swallow, when Moscone is maybe a regular commute away for most employees.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Well, here's my 2 cents.



    1. Bigger venue may not be "manageable"... You need more event management subcontractors, etc. Maybe more than Apple can handle.



    2. SF Bay Area = most of Apple staff and Apple partner companies need not arrange for housing, etc. 'Tis convenient.



    3. This is a big "F**K YOU" to Macworld and IDG. Maybe Apple's saying, hey, WTF, we could organise "iPhoneWorld San Francisco January 2010" and it would be a massive hit...
  • Reply 6 of 29
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    If Moscone is the biggest that region has to offer, then they would have to pretty far afield, Vegas looks like the next closest thing that's sure to handle the business. LA is a little closer, but I wonder if that would be a serious contender in their considerations.



    That might be a problem as Apple would have to increase the travel & lodging budget significantly, given the high proportion of Apple employees to attendees, which I thought was something like a 1:5 ratio. Moscone is only 45 minutes away from Cupertino, Vegas is as much as 8 hours away. If they have to fly or bus over 1000+ employees, give them a hotel room and other expenses, that could be a tough pill to swallow, when Moscone is maybe a regular commute away for most employees.



    Yup in this economy Vegas and its associated costs would be way too much to swallow. Plus Moscone may be more convenient for employees to get to than Cupertino itself! If they live in Marin county, SF city itself, and East Bay...[?]
  • Reply 7 of 29
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Wow. Caltrain electrification only by 2015. Sorry mates, but China could do it in one year. Maybe two with less human rights and environmental abuse... I had to say it. I used Caltrain regularly from 2000 to 2002. Essential. But it looks like it's still the same after more than half a decade!
  • Reply 8 of 29
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hiimamac View Post


    ...Lots of self patting on the back. Good stuff isn't until halfway in....



    Some might argue for the January keynote the "good stuff" never came at all.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Moscone is only 45 minutes away from Cupertino, Vegas is as much as 8 hours away. If they have to fly or bus over 1000+ employees, give them a hotel room and other expenses, that could be a tough pill to swallow, when Moscone is maybe a regular commute away for most employees.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Yup in this economy Vegas and its associated costs would be way too much to swallow. Plus Moscone may be more convenient for employees to get to than Cupertino itself! If they live in Marin county, SF city itself, and East Bay...[?]



    If Apple is getting 5,000-10,000 people to go to Las Vegas for a week, it might be possible for Apple to get room and transportation for their employees taken care of by the hotel/casinos. I could be wrong, but that seems like a small price to pay to get that kind of additional draw.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    If Apple is getting 5,000-10,000 people to go to Las Vegas for a week, it might be possible for Apple to get room and transportation for their employees taken care of by the hotel/casinos. I could be wrong, but that seems like a small price to pay to get that kind of additional draw.



    Isn't it amazing. We're talking possible numbers, given bigger venues, that rival the big Cisco, Oracle, SAP conferences... ...In the current economy and aversion to trade shows and physical conferences.



    You do have a point, booking up large numbers of hotel rooms, employee housing is taken care of.



    The main cost for staff is travel though, flying a few hundred people to and from Vegas.



    In any case I *think* though Apple doesn't have enough staff to handle a 10,000 people convention by itself, with everything else going on, even with a lot of outsourced event management. Not this year anyway.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Wow.

    That's 1 1/2 months in advance! It's not even May yet...



    Shouldn't they just get a bigger venue?!?



    Seems like Apple is missing out on a lot of developers interested in the platform which now will not be able to attend.

    A lost business opportunity. Which likely does not make good business sense.



    Not sure they are making that much money there. If you consider all cost plus the overtime to be made at the HQ to make up for the missing developers and the event preparation... it should not really be considered "business" (as in "profit"). Apple has far less developers than Adobe or MS. Not having 1000 skilled people working for an entire week is maybe about what they can do. Just finding a bigger location and letting more people in is not enough. It is not a trade show. People pay for the workshops and for personal contact with Apple developers. If you change the Apple staff to visitor ratio for the worse, you could easily damage the event and its excellent reputation.



    I am more worried, that the entire iPhone story is getting too big, not leaving enough resources for the Mac and IT/Enterprise parts. While the iPhone business is a self-starter (they rather have too many developers, OK - that's an exaggeration), there are still quite a few areas where Mac users do not find all software required, and IT/Enterprise can certainly use a bigger push.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Isn't it amazing. We're talking possible numbers, given bigger venues, that rival the big Cisco, Oracle, SAP conferences... ...In the current economy and aversion to trade shows and physical conferences.



    You do have a point, booking up large numbers of hotel rooms, employee housing is taken care of.



    The main cost for staff is travel though, flying a few hundred people to and from Vegas.



    In any case I *think* though Apple doesn't have enough staff to handle a 10,000 people convention by itself, with everything else going on, even with a lot of outsourced event management. Not this year anyway.



    It is amazing how the interest has exploded from the already rapid (at least I thought it was) growth of Apple developers. Obviously the iPhone OS, SDK and App Store is very attractive.



    Apple definitely doesn't like to exceed its ability to exceed its control. If they do move to a larger venue or way from the Bay area altogether they will surely have to rethink some things. They moved from Moscone Center to Moscone West; does anyone know how far away they are from each other? In other words, could they use both next year?
  • Reply 13 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    [...] Not having 1000 skilled people working for an entire week is maybe about what they can do. Just finding a bigger location and letting more people in is not enough. It is not a trade show. People pay for the workshops and for personal contact with Apple developers. If you change the Apple staff to visitor ratio for the worse, you could easily damage the event and its excellent reputation.



    That is a good point, it's just Apple staff, it's Apple staff with certain skill sets. You may be onto something there.



    Quote:

    I am more worried, that the entire iPhone story is getting to big, not leaving enough resources for the Mac and IT/Enterprise parts. While the iPhone business is a self-starter (they rather have too many developers, OK - that's an exaggeration), there are still quite a few areas where Mac users do not find all software required, and IT/Enterprise can certainly use a bigger push.



    I've been hearing that since the iPod starting getting popular. Then with the release of the iPod Mini, then the iPhone and drop of the word "Computer" from their name. Yet all these things put more focus on Macs as a viable alternative to Windows as an OS and junk PC HW from other vendors. Apple makes a significant portion of their money from Macs and I've seen the Mac grow better and better every year. I don't think you should worry.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple said Tuesday that WWDC 2009 has completely sold out, marking the second time in as many years that its annual developers conference will fill to capacity as programmers descend on San Francisco to hear the latest on Mac and iPhone software development.



    This year's conference sold out in a little over four weeks, nearly twice as fast as last year's event, which was the first time in the show's history that Apple was forced to halt the registration process.



    WWDC has grown dramatically in recent years, prompting Apple to move the event from the original underground Moscone Center into the modern new Moscone West building. In 2007, Apple set a record for WWDC attendance with 5,000 developers from around the world. This year's conference will see even more attendees.



    Would love to know the sell-out date (days prior) of other conferences, and their attendance numbers, as a point of reference!
  • Reply 15 of 29
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    ...They moved from Moscone Center to Moscone West; does anyone know how far away they are from each other? In other words, could they use both next year?



    They're right next to each other. Like more or less within 1 or 2 blocks. They could definitely use both next year.



    However if you are talking 5,000 to 10,000 attendees Moscone Center can handle that by itself, with some "overflow/extra/last minute addition" sessions at Moscone West, depending on how the event is handled.



    AFAIK ...Last time I was in the events industry in SF was several years back.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by randythot View Post


    Would love to know the sell-out date (days prior) of other conferences, and their attendance numbers, as a point of reference!

    1996 — . . ? (unknown)

    1997 — . . ? (unknown)

    1998 — . . ? (unknown)

    1999 — .2563

    2000 — ~3600

    2001 — >4000

    2002 — . . ? (unknown, notice drop after OS X)

    2003 — ~3000

    2004 — .3500

    2005 — .3800

    2006 — .4200

    2007 — >5000

    2008 — . . ? (unknown, sold out Moscone West)

    2009 — . . ? (unknown, sold out Moscone West)
    Good luck with the rest of them and how many attendees Apple can book for each building.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    They're right next to each other. Like more or less within 1 or 2 blocks. They could definitely use both next year.



    Sounds like a plan to more than double the capacity they had last year.

    .
  • Reply 17 of 29
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I've been hearing that since the iPod starting getting popular. Then with the release of the iPod Mini, then the iPhone and drop of the word "Computer" from their name. Yet all these things put more focus on Macs as a viable alternative to Windows as an OS and junk PC HW from other vendors. Apple makes a significant portion of their money from Macs and I've seen the Mac grow better and better every year. I don't think you should worry.



    Oh, I am not worried about the Mac getting better (at the speed MS is progressing, Apple could sit there and do nothing for 2-3 years, but I am sure they will not), and I consider the removal of "computers" from their name an obvious thing to do, when up to 2 out of 3 bucks they make come from something else. I am more concerned about the iPhone development hype. What happens if a significant amount of the first 5,000 registrants are indeed iPhone developers and some of the third party workshops dealing with desktop development and IT/Enterprise topics do not draw enough attendants, while iPhone workshops are overcrowded? While everything revolves around OS X, the crowds are rather different (some 80-90% game developers on the iPhone side and maybe 1% on the desktop side). Orchestrating an event that makes both groups happy is a major challenge, having separate events down the road may make more sense.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    If Moscone is the biggest that region has to offer, then they would have to pretty far afield, Vegas looks like the next closest thing that's sure to handle the business. LA is a little closer, but I wonder if that would be a serious contender in their considerations.



    That might be a problem as Apple would have to increase the travel & lodging budget significantly, given the high proportion of Apple employees to attendees, which I thought was something like a 1:5 ratio. Moscone is only 45 minutes away from Cupertino, Vegas is as much as 8 hours away. If they have to fly or bus over 1000+ employees, give them a hotel room and other expenses, that could be a tough pill to swallow, when Moscone is maybe a regular commute away for most employees.



    Yeah, it's too bad Apple is so small they can't afford to do that once a year. With all these major shows they have to pay for, like the two Macworlds, the NAB show, the Photo Expo, and all those smaller ones around the world they help fund, it makes it hard. Maybe if they become successful, and make a decent profit, they might be able to afford a bigger venue somewhere.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post
    2008 ? . . ? (unknown, sold out Moscone Center)

    2009 ? . . ? (unknown, sold out Moscone West)



    WWDC has never been in Moscone North/South. It's been in Moscone West for the past several years, and San Jose Convention Center before that.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by King Chung Huang View Post


    WWDC has never been in Moscone North/South. It's been in Moscone West for the past several years, and San Jose Convention Center before that.



    Exactly. There is plenty of room. You just have to reserve a large chunk of it.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscone_Center



    If you can't fit 15,000-20,000 in that entire complex you don't deserve to oversee the conference.
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