It took less than 30 minutes for tickets to this year's Google I/O to sell out, beating last year's record of less than an hour.
Google I/O has always been a sell out event - but the the rate at which this happens has increased exponentially. In 2009 it took 90 days, in 2010 it took 50 days; in 2011 59 minutes and now less than 30 minutes for the "longer and later" 2012 event.
Ticket prices had increased this year. Part of the increase was to reflect the fact that Google I/O 2012 is a three--day event but, as we previously suggested, this may also have been intended to moderate demand. If so the ploy didn't work.
There was a virtual "queue around the building" all jostling to be first in as soon as tickets went on sale at 07:00 PST on March 27th. According to Google's Vic Gundotra, there were 6,250 queries per second hitting its servers at 07:01. Academic tickets ($300) had gone up by 7:28 at $300 and regular $900 tickets within a further couple of minutes.
Google has already made plans to enable those unable to attend the event in person to keep up with the news and information available to the lucky ticket holders.
In summary these are:
Keynote to be streamed live
All key sessions also streamed live
All session videos to be available after 24 hours
Google I/O Extended viewing parties will be happening all over the world
Details of the locations of Google I/O Extended events are still "coming soon" so let's hope that now potential organizers know whether or not they will be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco they start to plan where and when the alternative "parties" will take place.
So is Google I/O really the all important conference of the year where vital technical details that you can't afford to miss are made public? Or is it that Google has a long reputation for giving away hardware worth more than the cost of the ticket at previous events? The truth is that for the average attendee it must be a bit of both. If Google is really serious about attracting the more technical delegate then its best ploy is not to set "entrance exams" or screen applicants but to simply stop giving away the goodies.