Adobe Summit EMEA : a look behind the scenes
Being a provider of digital marketing technology you may think that events are a thing of the past for Adobe. Quite the contrary. We don’t think about digital marketing on its own but about marketing in a digital world, where all channels are valid. In fact our own measurement systems tell us that events are a critical part of our marketing mix, with Adobe Summit EMEA being the biggest and most impactful in our marketing calendar.
Summit is our chance to showcase the latest in digital marketing together with our partners and customers. And as a company committed to changing the world through digital experiences, it is important we deliver an event that far surpasses the typical technology conference. With an audience of innovative marketers from leading brands such as Argos, BMW, Dixons, Marks & Spencer, Net-A-Porter, RBS, Shell, Ryanair and Tesco we can’t afford to deliver an inconsistent or “me too” experience. Which means we put a lot of effort and investment into Summit.
Here’s a little peek behind the scenes on what’s involved in staging Europe’s largest digital marketing conference and some insights into why its worth the effort, with some fun facts along the way.
Although Summit is a two day event, the onsite work starts four days before. The Audio Visual set up alone consists of 50,000 pieces of equipment and 80km+ of cable, requiring 17 articulated lorries and just under 9,000 man hours to build. That’s the equivalent of one man working ten hour days continuously for two and a half years!
To attract the right audience we considered carefully the right mix of Adobe content, practical insights and entertainment. And it worked – with over 4,000 attendees from 50 countries in attendance, including eight out of the top ten Telcos, nine of the top ten Commercial Banks and seven out of ten top Manufacturers.
The “main stage” keynotes featured the likes of Audi, Chelsea FC, Coca Cola, Philips and Renault. Plus guest speakers including Professor Brian Cox, Benedict Cumberbatch and Claudia Winkleman. To support this we had HD screens that were 10,000 pixels wide measuring roughly the length of half a football field and 3 stories tall!
With over 130 breakout sessions across ten tracks there was something for everyone – ranging from customer case studies to luminary speakers to “hands on” Tech Labs. That’s 267 speakers presenting over 5,500 minutes of presentations which is equivalent to sitting through 63 games of football back to back (the English Premier League only play 38 in a whole season). And we amassed over 9GB of PowerPoint files (not including demos or video). But its the quality that counts of course and sessions were extremely well rated, scoring on average 4.08 out of 5. And to keep everyone going during all this digital marketing goodness we provided a caffeine boost to all delegates with 32,000 teas and coffees and 1,000 cans of Red Bull being served over the two days.
Social media played a strong part of the Summit EMEA programme both in the build up to the event and on the day(s). Content and insights as well as speaker interviews were shared in advance of the event. On the two days of Summit extensive use was made of event content and speaker quotes. In addition the event had its very own Social Game where anyone (not just delegates) could interact with a virtual world, unlock key Summit EMEA content and win prizes along the way. All of this resulted in 5,000+ social game players, 31,000+ social mentions and #AdobeSummit trending worldwide.
Finally marketers unable to attend Summit EMEA in person didn’t miss out. We provided an online TV Channel, “Summit Live” featuring live streaming of content along with 33 exclusive interviews hosted by TV journalist David McClelland. Over 3,500 people tuned into Summit Live – effective doubling the size of the audience on the day. And we captured and rendered 10TB of video across breakouts, customer testimonials and Summit Live for future reference.
Naturally, commercial sensitivities prevent me from sharing the business impacts of Summit but its fair to say that beneath the creative veneer beats a data-driven heart tracking and measuring ROI. And of course, the buzz continues, with all that wonderful Summit content available on-demand at http://summit.adobe.com/emea/sessions/summit-online/ ensuring Adobe Summit EMEA 2015 lives on even though the event has passed. Giving a non-digital activity a digital life far beyond its two days.