Moscone facing a slow June

As Apple Inc. (AAPL) prepares to kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference 2007 at Moscone Center Monday, the San Francisco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is reporting slower-than-usual convention business for June.

“Usually, the summer has a good steady clip,” SFCVB spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong said. “This year, June is actually a little bit slow, in that we don’t have that many groups that are using [all of] Moscone — north, south and west.”

Aside from the tail end of the PCBC The Premier Building Show, there are no major conferences scheduled for Moscone North and South for the month of June, SFCVB Executive VP Leonard Hoops said. There are smaller events suchas the Apple conference booked at Moscone West.

Trying to help the local hotels, the SFCVB launched a three-nights-for-the-price-of-two campaign for California residents only for the month of June. It has met with some small success, Armstrong said, but the SFCVB is hoping it at least leads to future bookings. Some 16 hotels are participating in the promotion.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicks off the $1,595-a-head developers conference Monday with a keynote speech at 10 a.m. The attendees are computer programmers for other companies who use Apple at part of their work, and they must sign nondisclosure agreements for everything that happens at the conference except for the keynote address, a spokesman said.

That makes it distinctly different in tone from the massive, general-interest MacWorld Conference and Expo, which brought a record 45,572 attendees to Moscone Center in January, according to convention firm IDG World Expo.

The 17-year-old developer conference, by comparison, hosted more than 4,200 developers last year and is expecting higher attendance this year, Apple spokesman Anuj Nayar said. The developers will receive training on how best to use features of the new Mac OS X Leopard operating system, Apple said.

Leopard is scheduled to ship in October. News-hungry computer types may have already gotten a teaser about conference fare this week, when Sun Microsystems (SUNW) head Jonathan Schwartz said Leopard will use a Sun-manufactured open-source file system rather than its own file system as in previous operating systems, according to news reports.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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