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My 3 Biggest Takeaways from Adobe MAX 2019

With over 15,000 attendees, Adobe MAX is the largest creative event of the year. I am so grateful that my company allowed me and 7 other teammates to travel to Los Angeles, CA to attend. This conference inspired me to start creating, to utilize different Adobe programs and provided me with many different ways to automate my work.

On top of all the knowledge I took away from the event, it was really fun too! The conference has a huge party called the "MAX Bash" that features art installations, plenty of food, and live music. This year's Bash had a cereal bar and music from Vampire Weekend. Keep reading to see my main takeaways and tips to consider when attending Adobe MAX next year!

1. Design Tools are Evolving

At the conference’s opening keynote and “Adobe Sneaks”, I learned a lot of new features that have been recently released, will be coming in 2020, and tech that will hopefully come in the future!

One buzzword at MAX was “Adobe Sensei” the artificial intelligence (aka pure magic) that makes time-intensive tasks in the past so much easier and faster! For example, Sensei will eliminate the need for a self-timer and will automatically add a missing person into a group photo so no one gets left out. Read more about other things Sensei can do from Adobe Sneaks here.


2. The Need to Work Faster

The need for working faster and more efficiently was a common theme at MAX. For instance, I attended sessions titled “Adobe Illustrator: New Features, Pro Tips & Time Savers” and “Automating in Photoshop: Tips for Working Faster & More Efficiently.”

From these sessions, the solution for working efficiently in both these sessions involves setting up libraries and engaging in non-destructive editing. For Photoshop, consider setting up actions, presets, and libraries, for Illustrator, set up custom brushes to save time!


3. Brand Templating

One session, I found very relevant was called “Brand Templating: How to Get More Output in Half the Time.” 88% of organizations have seen content created and distributed that do not follow brand standards. With the ever-growing volume of collateral, everyone at the company needs to understand the brand, not just creatives.

So what can we do to solve this? Templating! Designers can provide templates with the necessary design guard rails for people to create designs on their own. This gets rid of menial tasks and lets designers focus on more strategic priorities. Build templates for the most popular projects and include assets that someone would need for customizing such as logos, fonts, text styles, prewritten copy, color palettes, etc.

Tips for Next Year’s MAX:

Schedule your sessions carefully: there are so many great classes and trainers at MAX, however, you may feel that some sessions weren’t as helpful as others.

When choosing sessions:

  • Try to gauge the knowledge level – I picked a class called “After Effects for Designers” but found that the lesson was too beginner for me.

  • Avoid sales-pitches – I took two sessions that featured products and tools (not Adobe) and one of them seemed like a straight-up commercial. Looking back I should have left and slipped into a different session that might have been more useful.

  • Look for hands-on training & labs – Assuming these sessions are open, take hands-on training so you can interact with the software versus listening to a lecture.

  • Don't overbook – Make sure you leave enough time to visit the Community Pavilion to grab freebies, shop at the MAX Marketplace, and talk directly to experts.

What to expect:

  • Casual dress code – As you would expect at a creativity conference, the dress code is very laid-back. Wear something comfortable and dress in layers. Some rooms are very chilly!

  • A lot of walking – Wear appropriate footwear for walking since the sessions are spread out all over the place.

  • Easy navigation – Something that this conference does very well is the way-finding. There is properly marked signage for you to find your way and if you can't there are MAX helpers you can ask everywhere you look.


Thanks for reading!

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