02 Jun, 2019
WWDC19 Check-in Experience
When you are randomly selected to attend the WWDC19 conference, Apple sends you an e-mail reminding you to Check-in to the event on the Sunday before everything starts.
I didn't think too much of it. I grabbed an electric scooter rental via the Bird app and after a short ride from my AirBnb, I was at the venue at 9:00 AM expecting to perhaps queue a little, go through registration, grab my badge and be on my way to do a little bit of sightseeing around the Bay Area.
Instead I was greeted by a small mob of over-enthusiastic Apple welcome employees wearing blue t-shirts and giving me high-fives every time I walked past any of them.
At the beginning, being early in the morning and not having fully recovered from my jetlag I have to confess I was a bit annoyed by the whole thing. I rolled my eyes when a woman without breaking character shouted at us that we were "heroes" as we were being ushered trough a queue in front of the McEnery Convention Center.
Even though earlier in my life I have been guilty of so called Apple fanboyism, I considered myself to be older and wiser and not so easily swayed by the promises and fanfare of a XXI century worldwide multinational corporation giant.
But somewhere around the half hour mark of this never-ending cheerleading fest, I started to feel genuine enthusiasm. As we slowly approached the entrance of the convention center the friendly chatter with the other developers in the queue started to remind me of why I started coding mobile apps in the first place.
The army of blue shirt welcomers were probably just doing their job but trough their questions they got us talking about apps, marketing and code in a way that felt organic and natural, even though being told you are "awesome" every five steps you walk is far from it.
I approached the gates and a bearded man prepped me to go inside. I was then taken individually to the registration desk where another blue shirt scanned the Wallet app conference pass. In exchange he gave me the physical conference badge with my name on it. I was told not to ever ever loose this badge. Many times over. Seriously, don’t loose the badge.
I also received the famous "goodie bag", which this year featured a double sided, Apple branded, official conference bomber jacket. It was actually really nice! I was also given 2 sets of pins: One set of pins features emoji designs, and every person gets a random set which later becomes a collectable that people trade around. The other set contained a single pin with a flag of your country of origin as stated in your Apple account. In my case, a shiny Dutch flag.
After a bomber jacket try-out session and a million compliments on how good and awesome I looked from the blue shirts, I was guided to the free complimentary breakfast: Burritos, Starbucks coffee and assorted fruit, candy bars and chips.
The check-in for the conference is a small event on its own and even though my original plan was to not spend too much time on it, I’m glad I hanged out, talked to people and let the blue shirts cheer on putting aside my initial jetlag fueled grumpiness.
I look forward to an exciting week.