Attending Google I/O is a special privilege for anyone fortunate enough to attend. For gadget nerds like us, scoring an I/O ticket is like winning the Android lottery. It’s an impressive event, no matter which way you cut it, but as many of you would have read this year, it can sometimes not go entirely to plan. Perhaps in light of the negative feedback to this year’s event at the Shoreline Amphitheater in the shadow of the Googleplex, next year’s Google I/O will reportedly return to downtown San Francisco’s Moscone West.
For many, this will be a welcome change (if it is true: so far, only Tech Crunch is claiming the change of location). Moscone is, naturally, very well set up for conferences. The convention center has nowhere near the capacity as the unrestricted open spaces of Google’s carpark, but it does arguably provide a much better environment in which to consume what I/O is all about.
This year’s outdoor event featured long lines in the hot sun, inadequate session seating, no overflow spaces or external feeds of what was going on inside sessions you might not have gotten in to, a pretty confusing layout, poor signage and so on. There are plenty of informative Reddit and forum threads to get your fair share of vitriol if you’re into that kind of thing. And while it must be said Google did a great job under the circumstances, the planning just wasn’t spot on.
A return to Moscone will make getting to the event a lot easier. There will be climate control and proper access. The ballroom in which the keynote is presented will have a smaller capacity than this year’s event, meaning more developers will miss out on it. But those that do get in will certainly enjoy it more (there were a LOT of complaints made this year about having to sit through the keynote under the hot California sun, and rightfully so).
We may see a return to a two-day event rather than three-day festival atmosphere we had this year, although we hope not. Having things spread out over three days allows for a better mix of being informed, schmoozing and enjoying the event itself. We don’t care if the goodie bag is gone for good, just as long as we have new things to play with while we’re there (another big complaint from this year’s event). In any case, we’ll be there, keen to see what lessons Google learned from this year’s I/O and to get up to speed on everything new it has to share in 2017.
Have you attended I/O? Do you hope to one day?