Google Takes I/O Conference to a Worldwide Audience
I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, is one of the best events marketers have never heard of. To accommodate the thousands who want to go to each year but can’t—recent I/Os have sold out all 6,000 seats in less than 30 minutes—the event has become much more digital. The conference now reaches millions of developers, virtually, around the world in real time.
A new addition to the event was I/O Extended, a platform for 350 free events in 89 countries—part live streaming viewing party and part community builder. For those who couldn’t attend an Extended event, I/O Live stream all I/O content and happenings for an audience of 3.5 million developers in 172 countries. Virtual attendees could also connect and network in real time via Google+.
The live event immersed attendees in Google’s distinct corporate culture. There was a 20-foot Google Maps pin, a 60-foot floating Android robot, all-day snack kitchens, office hours with Googlers and 10 networking lounges. Attendees could watch live demonstrations and take part in product sampling and expert Q&A, and check out the mini Google store offering up branded swag. Large LED ticker screens provided real-time social Google+ data of the developers tuning in from outside.
To give everyone a taste of the action, Google reporters submitted content from all areas of the live event, and attendees shared more than 15,000 photos via the Google+ Events “party mode.” A pre-event I/O Input/Output Chrome Experiment invited attendees—both live and digital—to create their own machines.
During a high-octane keynote session, Google launched 10 products in dramatic fashion. Co-founder Sergey Brin kicked it off by touting Google Glass, the wearable interactive technology, which was then introduced by a group of stuntpeople: A skydiver wearing the device landed on the roof of the Moscone Center as other performers scaled the building facade, all eventually making their way onto the stage. Attendees were able to watch the entire event from the perspectives of the stuntmen using the Google+ Hangout tool.