Adobe MAX for first-timers

Tech conferences can feel overwhelming for first-timers. With hundreds of speakers, sessions, talk-tracks, and networking events to choose from, even seasoned attendees struggle to plan out the optimal experience.

But Adobe MAX isn’t a tech conference, it’s a creativity conference. And it’s not just for professional creatives and Adobe Creative Cloud users. MAX is an open invitation to everyone who wants to explore their creativity.

Whether you’re a solopreneur wondering how to start building a brand from scratch, or you simply want to boost your resume (CV) with photo editing, graphic design and video editing skills, Adobe MAX has you covered with sessions ranging from how to build stunning social media content, to the ins and outs of Generative AI, to the future of 3D content.

The world is brimming with creative ideas, but big a challenge for people is how to manifest those ideas when they don’t have access to the resources, tools, networking and collaboration, or environment to nurture and follow through on them. This notion of “access” is the driving force behind Adobe MAX, and of Adobe as a whole.

We caught up with two of our Adobe Express ambassadors to find out how they feel as first time MAX-goers. We asked them about their expectations of the event, how they’re preparing for it, and what they hope to learn. We’ll follow their journey at Adobe MAX and after, to see how they’re using what they’ve learned, if they’re now creating stellar content (!) and if they made any new relationships to help grow their businesses.

Say hello to Britney Wang, AKA @ChefBaoBae, chef and dumpling queen, and yoga instructor, Trevor Taylor, AKA @JustLikeTrevor.

Give us the elevator pitch of how you got to this very moment as Adobe Express ambassadors.

Britney Wang: I was born in Shanghai and moved to Hawaii when I was two years old. I’ve always had an interest in cooking, but my traditional family steered me towards a stable and ‘safe’ career — like banking or finance. Shortly after moving to LA, after college, I started working a corporate job in finance. I hated it. I ended up quitting, and thought I’d end up back in a finance job, like the blueprint of my life was already written out for me.

Trevor Taylor: When I graduated from college, I went back to my hometown to teach English at my former high school, and coached volleyball and track. It was an opportunity to go back to my community and give back — teach the family members of the community that raised me. Academics was great, but teaching athletics was what lit me up, because of the element of play and movement. I’d been practicing yoga and loved that it too had those elements.

Wang: I got a job as a line cook, I started an Instagram account and began teaching dumpling-making classes for free. My parents were obviously not onboard with my new ‘career path.’ The friends I’d had were from work, but all of a sudden, I was meeting new people who supported what I was doing. I started doing these classes full-time. I made it onto a TV show. And then during COVID I was able to grow something from my own hands, and also find people with that same type of passion and motivation to work with and grow something together.

Taylor: I decided to move to Seattle, where I knew exactly one person, and enrolled in yoga teacher training. I fell in love with all of it — including that one person. I got into Instagram because I wanted to share my passion, and I felt like it was a place to tell my own stories. It was intimidating, and I had reservations about being on camera, but over time, I got comfortable. I’d share my thoughts on health and happiness and on how to provide a better space for yourself — I built an organic, engaged audience. It’s a place where I can show people that I'm not a yoga teacher, I just happen to teach yoga.

We look forward to having you join us at Adobe MAX as Adobe Express Ambassadors! What do you think makes MAX different from a traditional conference?

Wang: As a self-taught content creator, MAX feels democratic. Like a melting pot where Fortune 500 marketing departments mingle with small business owners and content creators without blinking an eye, and that’s a truly empowering environment for everyone involved.

Taylor: Totally. You don’t need to attend art school or earn a formal degree to get people’s attention with your creative ideas. Adobe recognizes that creativity comes from everywhere, and the mix of people attending MAX is a testament to that vision.

How do you feel as a first-time attendee? Nervous at all?

Taylor: I never considered myself as creative. I didn’t draw, paint or play any instruments. So when I started to build my business, I had serious imposter syndrome when it came to creating and developing visual content. I feel the same way about attending MAX. If you’d asked me a year ago, I would have said I was nervous. But through experience, I’ve learned that in today’s world, anyone can be a content creator, and there is space for me at MAX.

“I never considered myself as creative. I didn’t draw, paint or play any instruments. So when I started to build my business, I had serious imposter syndrome”

Trevor Taylor

Wang: I’ve never been to a conference of any kind before, so I’m a bit nervous because I don’t know what to expect. But I’m also excited to learn and experiment with more advanced creative tools. I know I won’t walk away empty handed.

Wang: I’ve never been to a conference of any kind before, so I’m a bit nervous because I don’t know what to expect. But I’m also excited to learn and experiment with more advanced creative tools. I know I won’t walk away empty handed.

What kinds of content excites you most, and what creative skills are you hoping to take away from MAX?

Taylor: I’m hoping to see how I can consolidate my creative toolset. My video reels get a lot of engagement on Instagram, but I want to connect with my audience in new ways without having to use 10 different apps with 10 different logins. The entrepreneur in me is also itching to see Mr. Bingo’s talk-track on how to make an alternative living. His story really speaks to me.

Wang: I see myself as a storyteller, using food as the premise and my classes and social content as the medium to build meaningful connections with people. It’s crazy to me that I was able to get that story across and grow a business from scratch during a global pandemic, and I credit much of that to social media. I had zero experience editing photos or videos before starting, but now that I’ve gotten a taste (literally!) I’m ready to build those skills to a higher level.

Every creative success story has its defining moments. Where do you hope your story will go from here?

Wang: My story is one of learning and seeking inspiration in new places. I expect to meet like-minded people at MAX, but I don’t just want to hear from other social media brands and content creators. As a small business owner, I want to meet people with complementary skills, maybe somebody who wants to team up with me on a joint-business venture or a collaboration? I drive my business partner crazy because I lie awake every night scheming and coming up with new ideas.

Taylor: I feel similarly. I don’t identify as a yoga teacher or a business owner. I identify as a student. And as a celebration of creativity, MAX appeals to who I am at my core. Every person you meet can be a teacher or a student, and vice versa. If I do MAX right, I’ll have played both those roles with as many other attendees as possible.

The must-see (or must-stream)

If you too are a small business owner, or perhaps just starting out on a new venture to find where your creativity takes you, we recommend you add the following sessions to your list. They are all being streamed — and they’re free —just make sure you register before they fill up!

Want to join Britney, Trevor, and thousands of other inspiring people at Adobe MAX this year? Get the full experience live in Los Angeles, or tune in virtually for free access to more than 100 online sessions and presentations.