Google I/O Developers Conference Tickets Sells Out in a Flash But Not Everybody's Happy

   on March 28 2012 2:40 PM

Google's annual Input/Output (I/O) developers conference sold out in as little as 20 minutes, but complaints regarding the way tickets were allotted are starting to pile up.

We were experiencing 6,250 [queries per second] load on our servers at 7:01 am! wrote Google SVP Vic Gundotra on a Tuesday post to Google+. For the first time, Google I/O 2012 will run for three days - June 27-29 - instead of two, at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. Google expects roughly 5,500 attendees.

Live Stream and Extended Viewing Parties

Gundotra expressed sympathy for those who were unable to get a ticket at the event, and noted that Google will live stream the keynote and key sessions as they happen, and will post videos of those sessions within 24 hours of the event. In addition, Google I/O extended viewing parties throughout the world. While we're overwhelmed with the interest and enthusiasm around Google I/O, we know it can be very disappointing and frustrating when an event sells out this quickly, wrote Gundotra.

The tickets sold out three times faster than in 2011, and this year's price is double. While in 2011 Google I/O tickets cost $450, this year they were $900, with a limited number of academia tickets priced at $300.

Scalpers Alert: Tickets for Sale on eBay

With such strong demand, scalpers have gathered like vultures, and Google I/O tickets are already available for sale on eBay. One ticket already sold for $2,700 on eBay, and several other tickets are being auctioned for as much as $4,000. It is not certain, however, whether those buying Google I/O tickets from eBay will be allowed to use them.

Google's ticket policy is that tickets cannot be resold, said a Google spokesperson, according to Information Week. You can request to transfer your ticket to another attendee by sending an email to googleio2012@google.com with 'Transfer Request' in the title, the spokesperson told Information Week. You will receive instructions on the transfer process, but it will require the new attendee to register using their Google+ account. Transfers are allowed at our discretion. Regarding the specific case of eBay-acquired tickets, the spokesperson reinforced that all ticket transfers are at the discretion of our team.

First Come, First Served

According to Google, tickets for this year's developers conference were made available on a first-come-first-served basis. On the other hand, many developers complained they have struggled to buy tickets as soon as they went on sale, and claimed the allotment process is not fair.

'Scalpers can get tickets but eager developers can't'

As a professional Android dev, it's very disappointing to not get a ticket despite hitting the register button at three seconds after 7am PST, argued developer Dan Hill, as cited by Information Week. It's even more frustrating that there are tickets being sold on eBay for 5x face value. Something is clearly broken when scalpers can get tickets but eager developers can't.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

Join the Discussion