I think it’s possible to go out to WWDC without spending a
fortune. You can attend AltConf, find an Airbnb room for
$150/night, and stay a few days instead of all week. I downgraded
my expectations for WWDC and booked a cheaper hotel room a couple
of months ago. It’s about how much you want to be there.
In fact, I’d still argue that it’s less expensive to “attend”
WWDC now because it has been proven how much you can get out of
AltConf and other events without the $1600 conference ticket.
When I went to my first WWDC back when it was held in San Jose
(and the same could be said for the early years in San
Francisco), hotels and flights were cheaper but it was pointless
to attend without a ticket.
The problem with Manton’s idea is that there aren’t many Airbnb options within a walkable distance of Moscone. (Even if you don’t have a conference ticket, most of the social stuff you might want to attend is in the general area of SOMA or Union Square.) I count 83 results at this moment, and some of them are “shared rooms” (gross) and others are just as expensive as a decent hotel room.