Are You an Adobe Max Newbie?

BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE’s designers share their experience in our Adobe Max Beginner’s Guide

Adobe hosts a massive, 3-day creative conference that offers a tremendous mix of inspiration and practical knowledge for designers; you’ll want an Adobe Max Beginner’s Guide to prepare for this amazing event. After months of anticipation, BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE released our designers from their design caves (we’re kidding – their cages aren’t usually locked) to join 15,000 other creatives from around the globe, who were eager to learn directly from leaders in different fields!

That’s right, this conference is a place for global inspiration and global networking.  

Now that our designers have returned to their locked rooms (we mean homes), we’ve managed to quell their excitement long enough to get their thoughts onto paper. Here is our Adobe Max Beginners’ Guide for first-time attendees.

  1. Sign up early!
    Adobe Max is broken into 3 days of sessions, workshops, and labs, each of which has a different purpose and method of interaction. We recommend taking one of each type (session, lab, workshop) every day, which means that you must sign up for workshops & labs early – those fill up first (plus you may get an early bird discount on conference fees)!
    Creativity workshops are 90-minute to 3-hour workshops that give hands-on learning from industry leaders. It’s a great way to learn a new skillset while playing and exploring a new medium or new features of familiar tools! Do you REALLY know photoshop? Learn from those who know the Adobe Creative suite best: Adobe Engineers, of course!
    Labs offer hands-on technical training on the latest software releases. After a 90-minute session, you will overloaded with tips, tricks and techniques that make work so much easier! Feel on FIRE when you return to your desk!
    Sessions are presentations followed by Q&A from creative leaders we admire the most. Sessions are valuable themselves, providing a lot of good information, but the Q&As offer a break from the screen while offering something new that can be incorporated in your work. So, be prepared to ask away!
  2. Do your research. Courses are categorized based on skill level, which helps beginners sort through which ones may be more relevant. Sessions, labs, and workshops are also organized by medium: photography, animation, video, web design, graphic design, etc. Due to the clickbait nature of the course names, we strongly suggest researching the speakers in advance. There is a slight chance the content is not exactly what you expect. But, don’t worry-there is always something to learn, so make sure to practice our next tip.
  3. Don’t take notes! Yes, that’s right, forget about taking notes! Just listen and learn. As first time attendees, we instinctively went with our laptops, pens, paper and cell phones. We snapped photos of slides and diligently took notes, but realized that wasn’t always necessary: the speakers often sent us the course slides. Also, the large sessions are recorded and can be found on Adobe Max Online for a limited time. This allowed us to review the lessons we found most important and see the things that we missed.
  4. Look at products in development. Prepare to have your mind blown! The learning curve at this conference is incredible, so keep looking ahead. Be sure to check out Adobe Sneaks, where conference attendees are allowed to see prototypes of software currently in development by Adobe engineers. Seeing what Adobe is working on to improve workflow and make our lives easier gives designers confidence that the future is bright and that Adobe is listening to our needs.
  5. Start conversations and network! Most designers are naturally introverted. We work at our computers all day and don’t often have the chance to interact with people other than clients and coworkers. Now is your chance! Meet other creatives and share tips, tricks and creative inspiration! Most likely, you’ll find they’re going through the same struggles and same journey as you. You might also end up sitting next to the creative director of a company that influences you. One last thing, don’t leave your business cards at home. If you connect with someone, your business cards help people stay in contact. So, have business cards ready and bring plenty!
  6. Don’t forget to visit the Community Pavilion. This is where the Adobe sponsors have booths to share information with attendees. Microsoft was the headline sponsor this year. As Apple users, we’ll confess that we cringe at the thought of working with Microsoft products, but the Pavilion allowed us to play with some of their newest technology! We can say confidently that, now, Microsoft is providing some very impressive tools for our trade, and are becoming innovators rather than followers.
  7. Have fun! Adobe hosts an after party after Adobe Sneaks called the Max Bash. This was a great event to unwind and have fun with the rest of the attendees. Oh, and come hungry! The food was scrumptious! *insert Homer Simpson drool*

Key Takeaways from Adobe Max:

  • Never stop creating! We joined this industry for the love of creativity. Creativity runs in our blood, but work sometimes doesn’t allow much freedom to be overly adventurous. Having a personal passion project can be a very good practice to keep that creative spark going, which can fuel your work as well.
  • Collaborate! Too many believe that they must shut people out when they have a good idea: that somehow they’ll be the next Mark Zuckerberg as a silent creative genius. Not true! We found that, in sharing ideas with others, together, an even better idea is created. It opens up a whole different world of possibilities.
  • Listen & be supportive. Working with others can be a challenge, but with the right team, the end product is much greater than the individual parts that go into it.
  • Set yourself up for success. A company can have the very best product/service, but, without the right team, the company will struggle to succeed. Choose your team members wisely,

And if you didn’t get into a session you really wanted to attend, don’t sweat! All the sessions (but not workshops or labs) are available for everyone to see at Adobe Max Online. If you are not a hands-on creative at your job, and wonder whether Adobe Max applies to you, there are courses dedicated to helping directors build skills to manage other creatives while increasing the creative atmosphere of your future/current team.   

If anything in our Adobe Max Beginner’s Guide remotely interests you, we highly encourage you to check out Adobe Max in 2017! They’ve already announced that the 2017 conference will be held at The Venetian in Las Vegas October 16–20, 2017. You can begin pre-registration on the Adobe Max Website.

We hope to see you there!

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