Adobe MAX was an action-packed experience filled with amazing giveaways, exciting announcements, and a real focus on the creative community. The team at Adobe started off the event strong by announcing a new family of Creative Cloud-enabled mobile apps that extend the designer’s process outside of their desktop environment. They also announced the new Creative Profile and new services like Talent Search. You can check out all the new offerings here.
Microsoft + Adobe
Just as we thought the keynote had peaked, Adobe CEO Shantung Narayen was joined on stage by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, where they unveiled Creative Cloud enhancements optimized specifically for the new Surface Pro 3. This was a huge announcement for both the Adobe and Microsoft team. This meant for the first time in the history of Creative Cloud, designers can have a tablet-based mobile design station. It will be exciting to see how this flows out into the market and just how seamless this transition will be. On the heels of that announcement, Microsoft wowed the crowd with another announcement that everyone at the event would be receiving a brand new Surface Pro 3, preloaded with the newest version of Creative Cloud. Amazing. I hadn’t been this excited about anything from Microsoft in years.
The Community Pavilion
While these amazing keynotes and sessions were taking place, our team was setup in the Community Pavilion. This “Exhibit Hall” did not feel anything like the typical exhibit hall at large conferences. The space was filled with vendors who love Adobe products and are stretching them to the edge of what they can do. There really weren’t two booths alike. We decided that we wanted to serve amazing pour-over coffee to anyone that came to our booth. It gave us a great opportunity to spend a few minutes with people and find out more about what they do and their impression of the event. The diversity of attendees was a surprise to me. There were designers from large product companies, educators, designers for non-profits, video production artists, illustrators, consultants, and many other types of creatives. It was refreshing to see such a diverse group gather and share their experiences with Adobe.
A Mobile Generation
One of the smartest things about this event was the ability to jump right into the new products announced and try them out first hand. Adobe had a huge Creative Cloud booth where you could learn more about the new products. They even went to the trouble of breaking up the apps by their use-case, much like how they are marketed and sold. What made this great was they had experts for each use, ready to show you how they used the products in their day-to-day. Another great booth was the team up booth with Threadless. There were row after row of iPads loaded with the new Adobe mobile apps. MAX attendees could draw a new design or load anything from your Creative Cloud account to create a free t-shirt, printed right then and there by Threadless. The entire team took advantage of this experience and went home with matching shirts all created with Adobe Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Illustrator Draw, and Creative Cloud on an iPad. It was pretty amazing.
The BULLY Project Mural
This was a pretty unique and amazing experience. As we were walking the pavilion before it opened, we saw a booth with a large graffiti type mural that simply said “You Are Worthless.” It took a second to realize that was actually what it said. We decided to figure out what it was about and learned it was The Bully Project Mural. MAX Attendees could walk up, take a tile from the wall, and create something beautiful from the hate. Tile after tile was removed from the wall and a new message was revealed. The wall now read “You are Beautiful”. It was inspiring to see the artwork created by attendees and people sharing their stories around this pervasive issue. In true Adobe fashion, Adobe decided to one up the impact of this booth and donate $5 to The Bully Project for every tweet that had the #AdobeMAX hashtag in while Lee Hirsch was on stage.
Sneaks Night at MAX is a longtime fan-favorite and always packed to the rafters. The inner nerd in me was super excited about Sneaks. Who doesn’t love seeing amazing things created with products you love? It’s a rare preview of groundbreaking ideas and technologies brewing inside Adobe’s labs that some of Adobe’s brightest minds have developed – from research interns to PhDs around the globe. These ideas are pushing the boundaries of creativity and were awesome to see.
In the end, Adobe went all out. Again. They showed that they are listening to their user base and really challenging creative community in a mobile-centric world. I have really enjoyed stretching our processes with these new tools and continue to fall more in love with Adobe and their products. See you there next year!