Tickets for the widely anticipated developer conference Google I/O sold out in record time this morning, prompting backlash from disappointed individuals who were not able to procure tickets, and others who felt the queuing system was unfair or poorly designed.
All 5,500 spots for the event sold out within 20 minutes, a third of the time it took last year – and in spite of tickets that cost $900, twice last year’s price. With a peak demand of more than 6,000 requests per second, it’s somewhat surprising it took that long: Likely explanations for why it took more than a few moments to sell out were server bottleneck and physical limitations on how swiftly users could enter payment data.
To their credit, Google’s marketing team seemed to anticipate the rush, deemphasizing the conference on social channels for the past week and posting a reminder that tickets were likely to sell quickly.
“Last year, tickets sold out in less than an hour, so to be prepared, we suggest you sign in to your Google+ account and be ready to pay with Google Wallet,” wrote spokesperson Mike Fox last week on the Google Developer Blog.
Google I/O is an annual conference for developers who work on Android, Chrome, Google+ and other Google platforms.
Some users have expressed frustration that server problems prevented them from obtaining tickets – and indignation that scalpers are already offering tickets for several times ticket price. Google’s policy toward tickets that have been resold is not yet clear.
“How is a company that brags about being instant not able to develop a proper queuing system?” wondered Google+ user Seth Moon.
Google SVP Vic Gundotra took to Google+ to commiserate with developers who didn’t receive tickets. He noted that the keynote and key sessions will be streamed live this year for individuals not physically at the event.
“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,” he wrote.
Google I/O 2012 will be held in San Fransisco, between June 27 to June 29.
Image: Universal Pictures