Main image of article WWDC 2019's Weirdest Side Event Is a Field Trip to Costco

If you develop apps or services for the Apple ecosystem, chances are good that WWDC, Apple's annual developer conference, is a big deal for you. New services, products, and sometimes a platform or two all make for an exciting week, punctuated by the events surrounding WWDC. One of those events is at Costco, of all places.

The day before WWDC, the “Worldwide Costco Tour 2019” (or WWCT) is being held at a Costco in San Jose. The “event” is at 4:00 PM, and “will last two to three hours.”

Yes, this is real.

Limited to ten participants, the event promises a “multi-course sampler of food & drinks at the food court and official WWCT 2019 swag,” which is awesome, because Costco hotdogs and pizza slices are an institution. But that’s not all you get. From the events page:

While it might seem like an unusual destination for an event, Costco is a unique and truly American concept. If you've never been before, stepping inside is an eye-opening experience and a fun way to get a taste of American consumerism and peek into the daily life of other shoppers.

That’s right, you get to spend $20.97 for a ticket (travel expenses not covered; take your own Lyft to the Costco) to carefully examine “American consumerism.” Fun fact: Costco has 200 stores outside the United States.

But what could you need from Costco? We suggest going for a giant case of water. Or snacks, if you’re not sure the drinks and fruits/chips available at WWDC will be sufficient. You won’t need the famed billion-rolls-of-toilet-paper bundle (or at least we hope you won’t). But then, you'll have to tote your haul back to your hotel or Airbnb, and that’s a chore.

It’s a weird event, sure, but also a bit insensitive to encourage judgements on American consumerism, especially as the event organizer is an Apple employee. We’d argue standing (and camping!) in line for a smartphone is a great example of consumerism gone wrong, so it’s a pot-kettle issue at that point.

We just hope this group is split into smaller groups. Make fun of people buying huge jars of mustard if you like, but blocking the aisle or checkout lane for a field trip? That’s just doing Costco wrong.