I’ll just comment on the pricing, as I admit I totally wanna be there myself. And meet all the cool people.
The pricing. Now, Let me just clear something up. This conference is Microsoft’s way of promoting its new line of products to the world, to enhance developer focus on products and basically show how cool it is. In the end, Microsoft is a company, and they sell products. To who? To their customers who just happen to be developers.
Now, if you came to me as a company which sells a products that they think I need and you say “Hey, I have lots of cool stuff coming your way that you might really really like!” I’ll say “Cool!, when is it?”. But then you’d say “But it will cost you 2000$ to get in”. I’ll say “What the..?”.
Hey , get it in your head – you’re trying to sell us on something that you want us to work with. How dis this marketing show turn out to be something that I as a potential customer, have to pay for? Don’t you depend on the dev community? What if no one showed up? Would you lower the cost of a ticket then? Of course! You need the people to come in and see what’s new.
The fact that some people love your products so much and want to network with people in your company so much does not give you the right to take advantage and charge the hell out of everyone. Last time I checked, Microsoft could afford giving out that event. Why should I care how much Microsoft pays for the event? It was their idea! You want to sell something to me, not the other way around. So why should I be so dumb as to say “oh, cool. I’ll get to pay just 1,700$ instead of 2,000$ and they’ll let me in to their hall of fame!”.
You know what? As much as I’d love to be there, it’s the people that will be there that will make up the best part of this conference. Microsoft’s strategy won big time here: Its customers are paying to see new stuff and cool people. Most customers would argue that it should be the other way around.
So why do we still go to these conferences?
I think it works in this case because we’re dealing with developers and technical people – people who are excited about technology and are willing to pay up to see the next big thing before anyone else. These kinds of people are great customers. They are the dream of a tech store owner. They’ll spend a bunch of bucks on stuff so tiny and insignificant, that even they’ll throw it away two months later at the sight of a newer model.
Wake up! You can get away with this strategy for only so long. Then people will start saying “you know, they should be after me, not me after them!”. Ah, but will that really happen? probably not. It’s in our blood. And Microsoft is exploiting that fact to its full potential.