The CocoaConf Blog

WWDC 2013 Dates? Here’s A Clue

By Dave Klein (February 27, 2013, at 8:16 AM)

One thing that no organizer of an Apple developer conference would ever want to do would be to plan an event on or near the week of WWDC. One might find himself sitting with his staff in an empty hotel, or worse yet, washing dishes in that hotel’s catering center. :-O

If you only put on one event a year, you can play it safe and schedule your event in early spring or in the fall. But if you hold multiple — say eight — events a year, it can be a little trickier.

The Apple World Wide Developer Conference has been held in early June for the past six years. So June is a pretty safe time to avoid — but even six consistent years is no guarantee. In the recent past, there has been a consensus of rumors about the date. Often, these rumors have been validated by the published schedule of the Moscone Center, where the event has been held.

This year, the only rumor I’ve been able to find is a post by “djtech42” on MacRumors, written last July. This post is mostly predicting the content of the event, but it does list a date: June 10th to June 14th. That sounds reasonable, as it is about where it was last year. However, there is nothing to back this up, and so it is difficult to use this date for planning purposes. Looking at the Moscone schedule, we see that that week is conspicuously empty. Hmmm...

Another thing that a conference organizer learns by organizing conferences is that it is not wise to schedule an event at the same time as a large event, regardless of type, because hotel costs tend to rise dramatically when there is a big event in town. So, I thought I’d check the prices of a couple of the hotels closest to the Moscone. Lo and behold, it turned out that both the Intercontinental, adjacent to the Moscone West, and The W, across the street from Moscone North, showed significant price spikes for that week. So, I looked at a few other hotels. The table below shows my findings.

  Hotel Name       6/2-6/8     6/9-6/15     6/16-6/22 
Intercontinental $276 $419 $258
The W $302 $436 $376
St. Regis $465 $538 $482
Parc 55 Wyndham $281 $362 $289
Marriot Courtyard $256 $309 $269

As you can see, all of these hotels have higher prices for the week in question. It doesn’t seem to be just because of the season, since the prices are lower for the weeks before and after. This looks like what you would expect to see in hotel rates when a big event is in town.

Perhaps these hotel managers are big fans of MacRumors, or maybe they have figured out a way of getting inside schedule information from the Moscone. Seeing that, due to their proximity, a large part of their annual revenue is probably coming from people who are attending at the convention center, this seems pretty likely.

I’m not one to try to start rumors, but I᾿m not opposed to lending some facts to rumors that have already been started. And based on these hotel prices, I’d say that “djtech42“ is on to something with his prediction of a WWDC 2013 date of June 10-14.

Now, if only we could figure out when the tickets will go on sale...