Google I/O dev event sells out in record time

Scalpers already asking 3X face value for June developer conference tickets

The Google I/O 2012 conference sold out its allotment of 5,500 tickets within 20 minutes today, a company executive said.

I/O, which has been held since 2008, is Google's annual developers conference that covers everything from Android and Chrome to Google+ and its cloud-based services. This year's event will be held June 27-29 at San Francisco's Moscone Center, the same venue Apple traditionally uses for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Google opened ticket sales at 7 a.m. PT, and suspended them about 20 minutes later when supplies ran out, said Vic Gundotra, the company's senior vice president of engineering, in a post to Google+.

"We were experiencing [a] 6,250 [queries per second] load on our servers at 7:01 a.m.," said Gundotra.

The $300 tickets for students and faculty sold out slightly faster than the $900 general admission tickets.

Last year's Google I/O sold out in just under an hour, while 2010's version took 50 days to reach sell-out.

Google said it had set aside 5,500 tickets for this year's event, nearly three times the number for the confab's 2008 debut.

Developer events have been a hot ticket -- no pun intended -- of late. Last year, for example, Apple sold out WWDC inside of 12 hours, even though tickets cost $1,599 each.

In 2010, WWDC tickets lasted about eight days.

As Gundotra noted the fast sell-out, he also committed the company to live-streaming the opening-day keynote and what he called "key sessions." Other conference sessions will be available 24 hours after they occur, he said.

In the past, scalpers have posted passes to Google I/O and Apple's WWDC on sites like eBay and Craigslist, looking for a major return on their investment. Last year, for instance, tickets to Apple's WWDC ranged from $2,125 to $4,599.

The same held true today: By 9:30 a.m. PT, one Google I/O ticket was being hawked on eBay for $2,700, or three times its face value.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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