Words can't even begin to describe the amazing time I had at Adobe Max, but I will do my absolute best to sum up my experience.
If you are unfamiliar with what Max is and you are a creator, I highly recommend looking into it. This was the first year back in person after two years of being fully virtual due to the pandemic. This was my first year attending, so I don't have any other Max to compare it to, but this year set the bar so high I can't imagine Adobe being able to top it.
"Adobe MAX is the leading global creativity conference, a uniquely immersive and engaging digital experience. During the free virtual event, MAX featured live content, including 100+ sessions, keynotes, giveaways, and a sneak peek at things being worked on in Adobe labs in MAX Sneaks." Adobe
The first day kicked off with an opening keynote lead by incredibly talented creators and Adobe leadership. Immediately after that, we were lead to the conference center that held all of the breakout lectures and hands on labs. Being able to go through new (and old) skills live while an instructor taught helped retain the information and I truthfully learned more in one Adobe class than I ever did sitting in a class in college. The instructors were masters of their craft and more than willing to help others learn tricks of the trade. The conference center also housed the enormous vendor pavilion which allowed you to connect with industries relating to the creative world.
My absolute favorite part of Max was being able to attend Max Sneaks. This hour and a half presentation was co hosted by Kevin Hart, so not only was it informational, it was hilarious. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. (Did I mention there was an open bar with popcorn and full size candy boxes?) During this event, we were given a sneak peek into new and upcoming technology that Adobe is investing in. Listening to a live crowd of over 6,000 people cheer over magnetic type and AI was one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed as a designer. As soon as sneaks was over, we exited to Max Bash which can only be described epic. Steve Aoki blasted music on the speakers, massive interactive art dislays, dozens of food stations, cocktails served in lightbulbs with crazy straws, and the biggest dessert bar I have ever seen. And the night didn't stop there, we were then lead to a rooftop Twenty One Pilots concert. Epic, right?
While I learned so much, I found that the best part of Max was being able to recharge and feel my creative juices coming back. The past few years have been hard and I often find myself burning out a lot faster than I used to. Meeting so many incredibly talented creators reminded me that I am not alone and there is so much creativity left in the world.
A few tips:
Wear comfortable shoes. We walked over 35 miles in 4 days. We also chose to walk to and from our hotel because the weather was great, so that added extra steps. However, there is still so much walking you won't be missing your gym.
Always bring a tote bag. There is so much swag at Max you will need one. T-shirts, mugs, water bottles, etc. Also note, many of the vendors were out of the "good" stuff by day two, so it is best to scout it out on the first day.
Snacks, snacks, snacks! Take advantage of the awesome snack stations around the venue. While you do get a grab and go style breakfast and lunch, there are also delicious options between sessions. Churro bars, donut walls, taco and nacho stations, food trucks...basically anything your little heart (or tummy) desires.
Suck it up and just go for it. You will be tired, it is exhausting. But caffeine it up and rally. Surprise pop up events happened regularly and I would have been heartbroken if I had missed any.
The coffee is terrible. Just like most conference coffee, it was bad. I learned to grab my coffee each morning during my mile walking commute. There is a little cafe inside the conference center but the hours were limited. There is also a Starbucks just around the corner from theater, but the lines were so long I would usually just purchase a grab and go option.
Don't forget a water bottle! There are plenty of water refill stations but the only filled water bottle you will find is the one in your registration swag bag.
So that is it, my quick summary of Adobe Max. I know I am missing so many details, but I would much rather you experience the magic in person.