There aren’t many huge tech companies that inspire the kind of fanaticism that Apple does.
When it comes to Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, attendees are so eager to get a good seat at the opening keynote speech that they start lining up to get into the talk at 2 a.m. in the morning. Let’s just say it’s exceedingly rare for people to want to spend 7 hours in line just to get a close up seat at the opening keynote of a professional conference, particularly if that conference is also being livestreamed over the internet.
One group of people that loves this sort of thing are Apple’s student scholarship attendees. In 2016, Apple invited a group of over 350 high school and college students to attend the conference for free. Many of them, wearing the “16” logo jacket swag, were among those camping out. This was their first ever major tech conference and they were into it.
The line would grow to over 5,000 people, Apple told attendees.
By getting in line at 2 a.m. and waiting for 7 hours, teen programmers Blake Bollinger and Michael Verges were among the first in line. That gained them access to a small set of seats dedicated to scholarship winners in front of stage and they loved it.
“It was amazing! It was bigger than anything I could have dreamed of,” Bollinger told Business Insider.