My Experience @ US Summit 2023
26 Mar 2023 » Opinion
As I explained in my last post, I was invited to attend the US Summit 2023, an invitation that made me very happy. If you have attended this year or any of the previous events, this post is probably not for you. However, if you have never attended, this will give you a flavor of what you get.
Preparing for Summit
The weeks before Summit are always hectic. Every week for six weeks before the event, we get an email with the subject “X WEEKS TO SUMMIT”. With the first email, you think “there is plenty of time”.
However, with my regular job, an on-site visit to one client and preparing my presentation, weeks went by and I did not progress with my presentation as I would have wanted. I remember being quite nervous sometimes, as I felt like I would not have enough time. This is why I have been silent during this last month.
AEP under the hood
I was lucky and my session was on the first day, on Tuesday, before I had any booth duties. This meant that I could focus more on the presentation and watch most of the opening keynote.
It was finally time to present, with the meeting room half full. My manager and my senior director were among the attendees (no pressure!) I knew that my session was very niche, so I could not expect a full room. In any case, I felt that those who stayed until the end liked it and a few came to ask me questions at the end. To me, that was a success.
Here you have the recording, if you want to know more about AEP: See Under the Hood of Adobe Experience Platform - S401. You need to use your Adobe ID to sign in, but it should be free.
Now, let me tell you something. Do not think that only Adobe employees get to present. If you have something interesting to share about Adobe technology, if you have solved some not-so-common problems ingeniously, or if you have applied an Adobe tool to a brand-new use case, I would encourage you to present. Many of the sessions are delivered by our partners and customers. Talk to your Adobe representative if you are interested.
As an example, the AEM team holds the rockstar awards event, for which Adobe employees are not eligible. I met the winner from this year the evening before the prizes were announced, as we both come from the same town. This last part was also a big surprise to me, as I would have never expected to randomly meet someone from that far.
What can you do during Summit?
- Network, network, network. To me, this is the most important activity that you should be aiming at and I cannot recommend it enough. I met coworkers from all over the world, most of who I had not seen for years or never in person before, former colleagues now working for partners, clients and random attendees. There was one attendee, who I knew from a past client engagement, interested in joining Adobe with my help. Some people even wanted a selfie with me: I couldn’t be happier.
- Hands-on labs and sessions. There are a ton of these to choose from. Since I am part of the Adobe Professional Services team, I had to be at the booth a lot of time and I could not attend any of the labs or sessions. However, if you come as an attendee, you should come with an agenda. I can guarantee that you will not be able to attend all of those that you would want due to lack of time.
- Private meetings. You can organize private meetings with Adobe, customers and partners. I was in two of these meetings, where the product managers shared the roadmap for AJO and CJA with a customer.
- Community Pavillion. This is where I spent most of my time. Manning the booth meant that I had the opportunity to speak with many customers and partners. This is the place to meet the experts, find a partner, and get to know what other companies can do for you.
- Bash. Apparently, this party is legendary. I had never heard about it before, but everybody was looking into it. The location of this year’s Bash was Area15. I have to admit, though, that I am not a party-goer anymore, I was tired and I left soon.
I think I am missing some other activities, but I cannot remember them all. So much was happening at the same time…
I do not want to forget the exceptional team that was behind, making sure that the event went smoothly. Nothing was left to improvisation and things worked like clockwork. And I am not only referring to the Adobe organization, but the additional staff that was hired for the event. Las Vegas is not only known for its casinos, but also for its capability to organize large events. I can confirm that the bar was set very high. Do not forget that we were 10,000 people there.
If you have never been to this event, I recommend that you start planning for next year. I know, there is plenty of time, but I am sure getting your employer’s approval to attend will not be an easy task. I spoke with some attendees and they only got approval last minute. You should start by adding this to your check-ins with your managers, as one of your goals for 2024.
In my case, I do not know what I will do. I definitely want to come back, but my managers may want to give the opportunity to others on my team. I will let you know if I am coming back next year!