First-timers talk about their experiences at Adobe MAX 2022

The crowd at Adobe MAX 2022 keynote session

Adobe MAX 2022 was our first live event since 2019. For those of us lucky enough to attend in person, there was genuine excitement and the feeling of a big community hug as we reconnected in person at the conference fully focused on creativity. It was also a conference of “firsts.” We welcomed a new wave of companies, influencers, and content creators: those who started growing their brands, engaging and maintaining a loyal following since the pandemic began and altered the way we work.

The foyer at LA Convention Center, site of Adobe MAX 2022

Among those “firsts” at MAX were Adobe Express Ambassadors Britney Wang (@ChefBaoBae), and yoga instructor, Trevor Taylor (@JustLikeTrevor). We checked in with Britney and Trevor before they left for Los Angeles, so we thought it only made sense to check back in with them about their first MAX experience — what they learned, what they loved, and their biggest surprises from a wild and week.

Looking back at Adobe MAX, how would you describe it to someone who’s never been?

Trevor: What struck me immediately was the overwhelming feeling that I was part of a creative community. From the second I walked in the door and started meeting fellow content creators and Adobe ambassadors, I knew I was in the right place. There were moments where I couldn’t even tell who was an Adobe employee, who was an ambassador like myself, and who was an attendee from another business. The spirit of creativity and connection was that universal.

Britney: I loved every second of MAX. I’m not a graphic designer or “creator” in the traditional sense. I’m a chef and small business owner who also happens to be a content creator. Any nervousness I had disappeared quickly when I realized that everyone else at MAX was in my shoes and had also come to learn. It really is a celebration of creativity and being surrounded by people who are equally motivated to develop their skills.

There were 200+ sessions at MAX, from social media to graphic design to making an alternative living. What stood out most for you?

Britney: The session with Monotype on the neuroscience of typography was mind-blowing. I’m a very intentional person, down to the fonts I choose in my social content, so knowing why brands choose different typography to project a certain feeling and connect with their audience, spoke directly to my thinking process. Adobe Sneaks was also hugely inspiring and fun. It was amazing to see how far content creation has come and get a glimpse into where it’s going. To see it through the eyes of someone like Kevin Hart made the experience both funny and relatable.

Trevor: I have to answer this in two parts. As a professional, the sessions on how to take full advantage of Adobe Premiere Pro were immensely helpful, especially for an influencer like myself who is building their brand on social media. I gained a new appreciation for the importance of consistent branding, of being mindful about the words I use to tell my story and caption my content. On a personal note, Kadir Nelson’s session was inspirational on every level. Seeing his art, hearing about his journey and how he spent 18 months exclusively drawing horses to perfect his illustrations for the film Spirit — it was amazing to see a successful artist still approach their craft in such a committed and authentic way.

Kadir Nelson on stage at Adobe MAX during the Inspiration Keynote.

Sounds like you both walked away with lots of chew on. How will those learnings translate to your businesses? What’s next?

Britney: Being a small business owner, I’m not necessarily the tech savviest. I had an idea of how to use Adobe Express to create my content, but like many people in my position, it’s easy to use, and I’d taught myself. Adobe MAX highlighted the features of Express and other Adobe tools that I didn’t even know about, powerful features that separate content from experiences to really hit the mark with audiences. As for my business, I’m planning to move back home to Hawaii and set up an IRL store while continuing to build and develop my digital brand. I’ve got my eyes on the prize, and now I'm much more informed about the tools and skills I need to get me there.

Trevor: I’ve never been more energized. I feel like I have a fully formed direction for my brand. It’s not just Trevor the yoga instructor. It’s Trevor the resource for health, happiness, and healing — who also does yoga. My big learning from MAX was how to connect all my content with a unifying thread so it feels consistent and projects the story I want to tell. In the colors and fonts I use, in the look and feel of my videos, imagery, and text, the goal is for my audience to understand what I’m all about. Thinking bigger, I want to build a platform that’s attractive to brands so we can partner up, co-create, and promote the values of health, happiness, and healing in new and creative ways.

“What struck me immediately was the overwhelming feeling that I was part of a creative community. From the second I walked in the door and started meeting fellow content creators and Adobe ambassadors, I knew I was in the right place.”

-Trevor Taylor

You’re obviously familiar with Adobe Express. Were there any other Adobe solutions on display at MAX that got you excited?

Trevor: I was curious about Adobe Premiere Pro and the product demos didn’t disappoint. I’m excited about the potential to take my brand in new directions with a more unified approach to content creation. And of course, designer Paul Trani’s demonstration of how Adobe Express users like myself can get more value out of the solution, be it creating quick thumbnails to promote my videos or setting up templates to bring a consistent look and feel to my storytelling.

Britney: My plan going into MAX was to build new design skills so I can make my content more engaging. Being able to bring my vision to life makes me feel empowered and in control of my brand. Plus, I’m a visual learner, so seeing somebody show off Adobe’s solutions in person helped me to understand how I could use them to my own advantage.

“It’s inspiring and reassuring to know you can create art even if you’re not considered a creative professional.”

-Britney Wang

Any final words for your fellow business owners, fans, and content creators? Especially anyone considering joining us at Adobe MAX next year as a first-timer.

Britney: I told my friends after MAX that the whole week felt like a dream. There was so much happening, so much information to soak in, and so many people that inspired me. Plus it was FUN! I met and connected with people who I know will stay friends for the long haul, which I never would have expected at a creativity event. My mind is still reeling from the experience and racing with all the possibilities, and I can’t wait to put them into action.

Adobe MAX goers play with confetti in the community pavilion.

Trevor: Be curious! I went into MAX as a sponge, open-minded and ready to absorb every nugget of knowledge I could find. People often approach new situations focused on all the ways it can go wrong or all the reasons they don’t belong, but my experience at MAX only confirmed that the best way to approach uncertainty is with optimism. Every new experience can help get you closer to your vision, especially when you least expect it. And with so many people from different industries and backgrounds in attendance, MAX is the perfect incubator for those creative flashes.

Didn’t get a chance to attend or tune into Adobe MAX this year? You can still watch sessions on demand here.