Adobe has long been thought of as a creative and innovative brand. The examples of their imaginative event marketing that you’ll find below demonstrate how the thought leader weaves together technology and passion in everything they do.
Groundbreaking from the start, Adobe was the first Silicon Valley company to ever make a profit in its first year. This was in 1982. Today, Adobe continues to expand on its reign as a multimedia product innovator, creative software genius, and now, marketing technology giant. As you’ll see in this article, part of their success can be credited to their advanced marketing strategy.
The latest event marketing statistics state that 84% of corporate leaders value in-person experiences and believe event marketing is a critical component in their company’s overall success. And although Adobe has become one of the world’s leading software and technology companies, they still prioritize live events as a major part of their marketing strategy.
Take a peek at the examples below and be inspired by stellar event marketing from one of the world’s leading brands.
AdobeMax’s mission is simple. They aim to inspire creative professionals through educational tools and a sense of fun. Their yearly conference invites industry heavyweights like Ron Howard and Questlove to speak on what they’ve learned as content creators during their own prolific careers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for what they have planned for this year's conference!
In their own words, AdobeMax is a “mashup of practical knowledge and wild imagination”, two of the hallmarks their company was built on. Attendees enjoy sessions, labs, workshops and some bonus pre-conference training meant to teach new skills. Their community pavilion acts like an adult’s version of recess with games, cool sponsors, and plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded individuals.
Key Takeaway: You don’t have to be 100% serious all the time to throw a professional and valuable event for attendees. Adobe’s classy sense of humor and play make it stand out from other conferences. Plus, their vibe is a huge hit with their target audience, which consists of content creators, artists, and entrepreneurs.
2. Adobe Summit
Source: Adobe Summit
Adobe Summit is a digital experience conference. Throwing an in-person event is a wild concept for digital products, but Adobe pulls it off with style. Using their three-word mantra (innovative, informative, inspiring) as the cornerstone for their event branding, Adobe takes technology and makes it human again.
Aimed at giving their attendees exceptional examples of experiential marketing, Adobe Summit has an impressive schedule of keynote speeches and activities. With over 300 sessions and labs and more than eleven different program tracks, guests have more than enough opportunities to gain value from this experience. They say Adobe Summit isn’t a conference, it’s an experience. And they may just be right.
Key Takeaway: Surprise your event attendees by subverting their expectations. Taking a common way of thinking and turning it on its head is the kind of stuff all great thought leaders should aspire to do.
Source: Adobe Innovation Summit
The Adobe Innovation Summit focuses on the brand’s B2B clientele with a sales oriented perspective on its creative suite of products. Customer adoption tips and cross-channel experience strategies are the main attractions at this live event. Adobe hosts this event multiple times per month in cities all over the world.
They also use this summit as an opportunity to promote their various product suites including programs for design, commerce, business workflow systems, and more. Adobe really believes in live B2B event marketing and it shows. Even the description of this event points out the importance all businesses must place on in-person events in order to form better relationships at all levels of the sales process.
Key Takeaway: Follow in Adobe’s footsteps and really walk the walk. If you believe in something, demonstrate how it’s done while simultaneously showing clients how they can do it too.
Source: Adobe Symposium
The Adobe Symposium is another Adobe branded event focused on providing marketing experts with new ways to create digital experiences that leave an impression. Over 4,000 business leaders, digital marketers, and creative professionals attend the yearly gathering. Recent participants applaud the event’s exciting networking opportunities and inspiring content.
Adobe Symposium also does a great job of letting its customer base speak for itself by literally asking customers to speak for themselves. Multiple customer showcases give real Adobe users a chance to explain how and why they use Adobe products along with advice on what their audience can use it for in their own businesses.
Key Takeaway: If you have a valuable product or service, use your live event to provide additional proof that it lives up to the hype. Rather than just telling your attendees how great you are, invite other people to do it for you.
Source: Adobe MAKE IT
A B2C-focused event, Adobe MAKE IT’s mission is to help young creatives make their art without having to overspend on tools. The event is geared toward college-aged participants and young professionals. They provide career advancement services, helpful tutorials, and wisdom from other successful peers.
Their content marketing is a Millennial and Gen Xer’s dream. Chock full of resume templates, funny how-to articles, and inspiring role models, the event provides value to attendees before they’ve even purchased their tickets. They even host digital pre-conference sessions to get guests excited for what’s to come.
Key Takeaway: Knowing your target audience will never go out of style. The voice and style in which Adobe presents this event and its marketing is truly specific, unique, and creative. Plus they throw in some high-value content that’ll make attendees want to actually bookmark and hang out on the website for a while. Doing the same for your events will help boost event ROI.
Source: Adobe EchoSign
Although this event marketing example from Adobe is more intimate and less flashy than its larger counterparts, the value provided to attendees is just as prevalent. The quick two and half hour event showcases their EchoSign product and answers real user questions right on the spot.
Product demonstrations are a key part of any live event strategy. Hosting this particular gathering in Chicago helped Adobe connect with users face to face, something that most other mainstream tech providers aren’t able or willing to do in this day and age. They also concluded the event with a user survey to follow up on their participants’ experience with the product.
Key Takeaway: Small but thoughtful live marketing events are just as important as colorful, show-stopping ones. Product demonstrations are a great way to build real human connections between your brand and your customers.
Source: 99U Conference
In its 11th year, the Adobe 99U Conference continues to inspire the next generation of designers, artists, and business leaders. The global and technology-focused event brings together some of the nation’s most talented college students for a two-day conference. The agenda boasts keynotes from CEO’s, award-winning journalists, and renowned musicians, just to name a few.
The topics discussed at 99U Conferences are purposefully chosen to meet the needs of the audience. Speakers touch on dealing with failure, finding better internship opportunities, and thoughtful leadership techniques.
Key Takeaway: If you’re looking for more corporate event ideas or items to include in your conference agenda, try answering the questions your audience might be too afraid to ask. Or, conversely, help them ask the questions they don’t even know about yet.
Source: Magento Imagine
Magento is one of Adobe’s many companies but their event marketing style makes it pretty easy to tell. This eCommerce conference has participants from all over the world meet and take part in innovative industry discussions. Aside from the usual talented speakers and breakout sessions, the event hosts networking lunches and marketplaces for sponsors.
Imagine’s mission is simple: connect the global eCommerce community. Once assembled, these attendees can then inspire each other, advance their own abilities, and form partnerships with their peers. They also bring some fun and joy to the experience, like they do at all of their events, through entertainment and the local flavor.
Key Takeaway: Although you should have activities planned at your event, make sure to make community a large aspect of everything you do. Events are meant to bring together people who would otherwise never meet. Keep this in mind in every aspect of your planning.
Source: Marketing Nation Summit
Marketo, the host of this event, is another member of the Adobe family. Although this year’s event is being held in conjunction with the Adobe Summit, past iterations have been standalone occasions. Showcasing both Adobe branded products and Marketo’s own portfolio of solutions, the yearly event is meant to educate and train attendees on how to best use their tools.
Geared towards customer experience managers, the Marketing Nation Summit is a great addition to Adobe Summit’s other offerings. The event even gives participants the chance to earn their Marketo Certification, a globally renowned technical marketing certification by the namesake.
Key Takeaway: Piggyback off the success of one event by adding a smaller, more focused experience to it. This tactic allows you to take care of niche audiences who need a little more attention.
Source: Photoshop World
KelbyOne is yet another Adobe property who is rocking the event marketing game. Their conference, Photoshop World East, is a 3-day creative event filled to the brim with activities. Their 7 specialized tracks cover over 100 classes, live shoots, and networking opportunities.
If you attend Photoshop World you’ll be in good company. Talented instructors get in on the fun for a bunch of other social activities like organized dinners, cocktail receptions, and contests. Each agenda item has its own creative twist, confirming that Photoshop World is, indeed, unlike the regular 9 to 5 conference experience.
Key Takeaway: Fun and games should make up a large portion of your event agenda. Even if you choose to include the usual conference add-ons, make them your own by mixing up the rules a little bit.
A subsidiary of Adobe, Behance is a marketing and design company behind award-winning campaigns for events of all shapes and sizes. In this particular example, we’ll take a look at Behance’s live Adobe tutorial replays. Designers, artists, and creatives host a live demonstration of how they use Adobe products to create their work.
The educational videos mix playful host commentary, awesome giveaways, and, of course, the tutorials themselves. This series is constantly updating and posting new content so you’ll always find something new when you check back.
Key Takeaway: Not all of your event marketing has to be in-person. Live streaming and live stream replays offer some great opportunities to host online communities and reach fans without any travel required. This tactic can make corporate event management much simpler.
Adobe hosts great event types of all kinds. But they’re also great guests at other gatherings. Since the extremely popular Sundance Film Festival features an Adobe product (the majority of the films shown were edited in Adobe’s Premiere Pro), it was only natural that the brand make an appearance. Although they weren’t the main focus, the panel nearly stole the show.
Highlighting its festival connection, the Adobe panel focused on editing for film, gaming, and even virtual reality. They also held a reception afterward and invited VIPs that guests could schmooze with. Adobe even created Mentor Minute, a storytelling series about some of their featured guests.
Key Takeaway: If you don’t have an event of your own to piggyback on, think outside the box. In addition to brilliantly identifying a natural brand partner, Adobe also did an excellent job of squeezing every bit of event marketing juice they could from the experience. From Instagram Stories to networking opportunities to live stream Q&A’s, Adobe made the most out of an already spectacular event.
Main Takeaways: Imaginative Event Marketing from Adobe
Adobe and its many subsidiaries are shining examples of what we all strive towards as event marketers. Their events prioritize fun, human connection, and creativity. If you want to host events like Adobe, keep these things in mind:
- You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just have your own spin on it with outside the box details.
- Attendees of every age, race, and demographic go to events to have fun. Make sure you plan some of that in your agenda too.
- Work all the angles. Whether it’s digital or in person, work every possible marketing angle you can since you’re going through all the trouble to host the event anyway.
Even if you only keep one of these tips or examples in mind, you’re one step closer to throwing your own imaginative marketing event!
Speaking of imaginative events, don't even think about hosting one without event software. This kind of tool will allow you to streamline the details and focus on the big picture.