Apple's Trade Show Registration Ends, Sells Out In Two Minutes

Apple's Trade Show Registration Ends, Sells Out In Two Minutes

Apple's conference and trade show registration software

Faring better than Google did last month, Apple's trade show registration software survived today's attendee onslaught. But surviving off-the-chart demand is cold comfort for those who didn't even get a chance to buy the $1,500 tickets - as the event sold out in less than two minutes. Many are asking "What can be done?"

Cold Comfort

An earlier post examined the bumpy ride software developers had to endure as they attempted to register for Google's annual developer conference. At the time, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world were simultaneously trying to register for the conference as soon as the website went live.

Tickets for the 2013 I/O conference went on sale earlier today, but several familiar problems that have plagued the purchase process in years past, reared their ugly head yet again... The issues ticket buyers have routinely experienced have been slow loading web pages, browser crashes and a screen “stuck” in between steps which cannot be refreshed without losing all the purchase cart data. The resulting frustrations with the ticket buying experience end up being expressed, ironically, on Google’s social media network Google Plus. Also mildly ironic is the role reversal the problematic I/O ticket sale represents.

Today, tickets for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) and trade show went on sale, faring much better than Google by not crashing or freezing. However the frustration felt by attendees has ended up being equal to Google's.

In 2011, tickets to Apple WWDC sold out in two days. In 2012 they sold out in two hours. Now, in 2013, WWDC tickets sold out in a record setting two minutes. That is not a typo. All of the $1,500 a piece tickets were sold out in less than one-hundred and twenty seconds. Software developers who make their living writing iPhone apps have taken to social media to express their frustration.

It isn't just the software developers who are unhappy, the tech press has already branded the registration process a "disaster".

What Can Be Done?

In 'Apple's WWDC Sells Out In Under 2 Minutes - Can Anything Be Done?' Nick Statt asks how the process could be improved:

The growth of WWDC and the increasing frenzy around scoring the coveted tickets causes some vexing problems for Apple and its developers...Calls have come to expand the event but that might dilute the value of meeting with key Apple experts for those who do manage to attend. Holding satellite events at other locations around the world might allow more developers to attend, but could prove a time-suck for top Apple personnel - or would have to make do with lesser experts - again diluting the value of the events.

If an event is in such high demand that $1,500 tickets sell out in two minutes, it cannot be considered an orderly process. Yes, during those two minutes there were no website issues, or problems with the trade show registration software itself, but as Statt inferred, Apple may have all the wrong people at their event. The "come-one-come-all" process that assigns no priority to the different types of attendees may end-up hurting Apple in the long run.

It is said that consumers who love Apple products (aka "fan boys" and "fan girls") can attend Apple's WWDC if they are clever about masking their non-developer status, as can the members of the press who didn't get invited by Apple. If true, those who make the most money for Apple - software developers - are left out of this important industry conference.

Time will tell if Apple heeds the calls to implement a way to separate the wheat from the chaff during the online registration process, as it is in Apple's best business interest to do so...soon.

You Can Be Better Than Apple

If your conference or trade show needs to have an orderly registration process and serve the needs of different types of attendees (speakers, vendors, industry professionals, etc.) we can help. ThunderTix's trade show registration software has the tools to conduct special pre-sale events for each type of trade show attendee, helping to make for a more orderly and fair process.

We know managers of conferences and trade shows have one thing on their mind – a successful event resulting in a lucrative database of attendee contact information. ThunderTix event registration and ticketing software is tailor made for the demands of any size conference or trade show including full and sole access to your own attendee information, and the ability to sell vendor booth space and sell registrant passes.

Interested in avoiding the issues that Google and Apple have experienced? Feel free to fill out the form below and we'll get in touch about being your trade show registration software of choice.