Google is all about conferences and conventions. Each year, in addition to attending a great number of the road shows and gathering across the globe (even giving keynote addresses at more prominent events), Google hosts several of their own events. The biggest and most thought-of, however, is absolutely Google I/O.
I/O is a two-day event, but in that time Google almost always announces major upcoming developments. It’s almost certain that anything to be released in the summer of 2011 will be demonstrated at I/O this year, but it wouldn’t be out of the question for a great number of other projects to be discussed; Google has foreshadowed products and services years before their arrival at past I/Os.
Additionally, Google and partners will often give out brand new – or even pre-release – hardware for attendees. The fact that this hardware is often worth double or triple the cost of tickets, it’s little wonder that this year’s convention sold out. Still, the fact that it sold out in 59 minutes – despite having selected a much larger convention center than they did in 2010 – is noteworthy.
To help compensate for the amazing demand, Google is webcasting the two main rooms of the event. The webcasts will be available for free on a dedicated Google website, with streams running from 9am to 6pm Pacific Time on May 10th and 11th. Further, Google is making I/O available to the hearing-impaired through live captions and to international audience members through real-time translations of those captions.
While Google fans may not be able to receive freebies, see all workshops, or have lengthy discussion with Googlers, some interaction is being made possible; web viewers can submit questions for Q&A sessions during I/O, with the questions that receive the most user votes being asked.