By Dan Moren
February 16, 2017 6:12 AM PT
WWDC is in early June…in San Jose?!
Well…didn’t see that one coming. Apple’s announced that the 2017 incarnation of its Worldwide Developers Conference will be held from June 5 through June 9, but not in its usual home at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Instead, the event will take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, about an hour south of the city.
(Fun fact: This is actually a homecoming of sorts, since the event was held in San Jose at McEnery from 1989 up through 2003.)
I suspect a large part of the move is that McEnery is much bigger than Moscone; in 2011, the center added an additional 125,000 square feet, bringing it to around 550,000 square feet. Moscone West is, all in, just shy of 300,000 square feet. That has capped the number of attendees that Apple can admit to far fewer than apply to attend—last year the company had to use the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco to accommodate everybody for the keynote. Update: Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber talked to Apple’s Phil Schiller about the move, and Schiller says the number of attendees will be “about the same”, though the proximity to Apple’s headquarters will mean way more availability of the company’s employees.
Since the introduction of the iPhone, the event has become more and more popular, necessitating Apple to handle ticket sales by randomization. While the company will still be deciding registration by lottery, it seems likely that the new venue will be able to accommodate more folks.
There’s also the added fact that it’s not cheap to stay in San Francisco: hotel rates have risen considerably over the last few years, making it an expensive proposition for most—especially small developers. It’s unclear if demand will push up the prices in San Jose in the same way, but it’s hard to imagine that it’ll be as pricey as San Francisco.
It will be interesting to see how the conference will react to the new venue. There are a lot of established patterns and events around WWDC, and those will either now need to react by relocating to San Jose, or by asking folks to make the trip back and forth.
Tickets for WWDC go on sale on March 27 at 10 am Pacific. You’ll need to be a registered member of Apple’s developer program or developer enterprise program to purchase one.
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