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 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.