I attended WWDC this year, and overall it was a fantastic experience. I would, however, like to give some feedback on one particular aspect of the conference.
Before I begin, I understand that it would be easy to brush off my feedback as coming from just some grumpy English guy, but I genuinely believe this is important feedback. Please do read until the end.
I would like to ask that the cheering, whooping, clapping and hollering by conference staff is toned down.
I'm a person that would describe myself as "slightly introverted". I cannot begin to describe how deeply uncomfortable it was to walk into the registration room on Sunday to multiple employees cheering and clapping at me, trying to give me high fives. I understand the want to make people excited, but this needs to have its limits. During the conference, I got cheered and high-fived pretty much the entire week for things like:
- Picking up a bag of chips.
- Walking down some stairs.
- Coming out of the toilet.
- Walking back up the earlier-mentioned stairs.
- Walking down the street outside the conference when I was going somewhere else.
The core of my feedback is that WWDC is an event that takes pride in being open to people of all kinds. Ignoring that many, many cultures find the American-style whoopin' and hollerin' just plain strange, I have also met several people over the years at WWDC that find the conference completely overwhelming - it's a situation that can produce an incredible amount of anxiety. For some people, they're in a strange city with lots of strange people for the first time, and while cheers and high-fives from strangers in bright clothing can seem friendly and inviting to some, it can also be absolutely terrifying for others.
I'm not asking that WWDC turn into a dry, boring event — there are plenty of opportunities where it's great fun. The keynote line, the little pop-up events for dancing and pin badges, the AR game… all great! However, when it's completely impossible to go near the premesis without getting yelled at, perhaps it's gone a little too far.
Again, I want to stress that overall, I found WWDC 2019 to be a wonderful experience. But, you really don't need to high-five me for picking up a muffin.