How do you turn a huge event into a 100 percent virtual experience?
This was a tough question for Adobe. Not only had it planned more than 300 live sessions and workshops for its 2020 Adobe MAX Creativity Conference in Los Angeles, California. The event had also become like a community gathering for more than 10,000 creators and designers — from professionals and students to social media experts and hobbyists. Every October, they came together to learn, find creative ideas, mix with other creative talents — and discover the latest and exciting updates for Adobe Creative Cloud applications.
But unable to run an in-person event due to COVID-19, how could Adobe provide the community vibe that creatives were so used to? How could it keep the MAX spirit of creativity and inspiration alive?
Luckily for the MAX team, it didn’t have to start from scratch. Adobe had successfully turned some of its earlier events into virtual experiences. In March 2020, for example, it shifted its massive business-to-business event, Adobe Summit, into a virtual conference in less than 3 weeks.
This gave the MAX team confidence it could deliver an immersive event that was just as amazing as in-person MAX conferences. So, using the BlueJeans video conferencing platform, Adobe’s Senior Marketing Technology Architect, Thomas Finet, and cloud tech team built an infrastructure to make MAX 2020 a fully digital experience featuring keynotes, learning sessions, and social events for 56 hours nonstop.
They embedded streaming options in the MAX event site to immerse attendees in a single experience. So instead of ending up on a separate BlueJeans events page, attendees joined sessions and activities on the MAX site, keeping them in the same Adobe environment.
“It was important to have the ability to embed the BlueJeans experience in our website, because we didn’t want our attendees to go from one website to another,” says Thomas Finet. “And we wanted them to be able to join any sessions or activities with just one login and without downloading any app.”
By embedding the BlueJeans widget in MAX pages, Adobe customized content and branded viewing experiences from beginning to end. This meant that everything from the background and event logo to colors and banners reflected the look and feel of the Adobe brand. Even before the event, the company branded registration forms, links, and other marketing communications as its own.
“As an attendee, everything looked like it was part of Adobe,” says Thomas Finet. “And that was very important for the attendees.”
Interactive tools such as Q&A, chat, and polls allowed attendees to connect with presenters, moderators, and other participants.
“It provided them a sense of connection and community with other attendees,” says Thomas Finet. “Their ability to communicate made their experiences richer.”
With BlueJeans, Thomas Finet and his team had a single solution for multiple uses.
They deployed BlueJeans Meetings for ‘Birds of a Feather’ activities, where participants could go into chatrooms and connect with people with shared interests. And they ran ‘Meet the Team’ sessions via BlueJeans Events, which let attendees meet and interact with Adobe product teams.
Over three days, MAX 2020 attracted about 10 million views and 600,000 attendees. It also facilitated more than 50 million social interactions. Because it was virtual — and completely free — anyone could join from anywhere in the world.
MAX 2020 drew in 30,000 participants to 19 Meet the Team sessions using BlueJeans Events, and 4,000 attendees to 39 Birds of a Feather sessions on BlueJeans Meetings. Overall, MAX 2020 attracted 21 million views.
“Our first all-digital Adobe MAX was a great success. We were able to bring our community together despite the many challenges of 2020,” says Thomas Finet.
“The support BlueJeans provided during MAX 2020 met our expectations entirely,” he adds. “Before MAX, we had some worries about what might happen during the event, but everything went smoothly. It was great for us and for the attendees.”
With MAX 2021 also a virtual event — and still totally free — we’re looking forward to working with Adobe on another immersive, engaging, and awesome conference.