Adobe Summit is right around the corner and I can’t be more excited. The out-of-office notice is already out to my clients and colleagues and now I can focus on discovering, learning, catching up with old colleagues and meeting new people.

Is that it though? Is an out-of-office notice, a plane ticket, conference ticket and a hotel reservation enough? To be frank, no. Adobe Summit is one of the largest conferences in the U.S. with nearly 300 sessions split over a 3-day period. It is a marathon and it requires training and planning. So, here are a few tips for you to get the most out of Adobe Summit this year:

1.Research – find the right sessions for you

It is critical that you research and plan which sessions you want to attend so you can preregister in advance. The best sessions fill up fast.

  • Use the Summit website to get more information.
  • Go ahead and register for sessions you like as a first pass.
  • Be an analytics person and make a spreadsheet (or marketer and make a word doc).
  • Start Googling for reviews and blogs about the Summit or Sessions.

For Adobe Partners like Softcrylic, there will be tons of content about the best sessions to attend. Check out our Summit Page for the top sessions to attend:

Pro-Tip: Look for sessions with big brands like Delta Air Lines, Home Depot or Sprint. They are Adobe power users and I expect they are going to put on a good show.

2.Pre-Plan – Work will always find you at the conference

Have you ever heard the saying, “No plan survives the first shot?” Well, a conference is no different.

  • Make sure to inform your stakeholders and leadership team that you will be unavailable for most of the day.
  • If you absolutely must work, plan work breaks so you don’t miss the important sessions that you wanted to attend.
  • Assume that you will have less time to work than you think. The Summit can get crazy and super fun.

Pro-Tip: Inform your clients and team to include “Urgent” in the subject of emails that need your undivided attention while at Summit. An Adobe Summit trip is north of $3,000 for most people. It’s best to get the most out of Summit and concentrate on what is important.

3.Keep It Simple – Don’t bring unnecessary things to the conference floor

I’ve made this mistake multiple times in the past by bringing my 15-pound backpack to the conference floor which is about 10 pounds too heavy. You really only need a small bag that can hold a notebook, some business cards, a charger and a water bottle. Every presenter’s slides will be available online after the Summit.

You’re going to be on your feet, sitting in non-ergonomic chairs and walking (a lot). If you’re not careful, carrying a heavy bag will not just wear you out, but can cause you some serious pain. I made the mistake last year and I got a migraine.

Pro-tip: You will probably be on your phone a lot, pack a charger and maybe an extra portable charger. If you don’t have one, pick one up from Amazon. They are life savers.

4.Network – But don’t be annoying about it

Softcrylic’s own Jerry Helou posted a really funny BuzzFeed article covers off on some of the do’s and don’ts:

Bottom-line: be respectful, act decent and have a good time. Don’t barge in on conversations or a lunch table just because you see someone from Adobe or a company you want a job at. Strike up a short conversation and ask good questions.

Pro-tip: Ask permission to find people on LinkedIn if you’re really that interested in knowing them more.

5.Hydrate – You will be talking, drinking and walking a lot

I can’t stress this enough, drink a lot of water.

You should be drinking about 100 ounces of water a day without doing things that dehydrate you. You would have to drink 25 of those little water glasses at conferences to stay hydrated. Then add talking, walking, alcohol and the fact that Vegas’ average humidity is 30% #datanerd – you get the point.

Pro-tip: Vigorously drink water or stop by the Walgreens outside the Palazzo and stock up on coconut water and Pedialyte.

6.Transit Time & Comfort – Make sure you have comfortable shoes

This conference is massive. You are at least a 10-minute walk from everything aside from any queuing, talking, and getting lost. Take the time the first day you get there to map everything out including any evening events you are going to. It will only pay dividends throughout the Summit.

You will also be on the go from 8 AM to whatever hour you choose. Comfy clothes and shoes keep you happy and focused during your sessions and at the poker table while reducing the amount of time you have to run back to your room and change. If you’re going to the Bash Wednesday, plan some time to change attire and drop off your bags in your room. It’s a concert so no need to be in your dress clothes or bring your bag.

Pro-tip: Know where you are going next to make sure you give yourself transit time and reduce stress in all the hustle and bustle of the Summit. I use Monday afternoon to get reacquainted.

7.Be Flexible – Know where you have breaks in your day

No Adobe Summit is perfect for anyone. There are points for everyone where you are worn out, have a change in the plan, or you just need a people break if you’re introverted.

For me, 3 days of networking, absorbing content in session, and having fun with clients and colleagues is recipe for disaster the morning of day 3. Some of the best sessions that fill up quick are hosted again on Thursday and everything is not as crowded because people are already on their way home or recovering from the Bash.

Pro-tip: If you’ve done your homework, prioritized your sessions and mapped things out then you should be able to pivot on a dime. This is the best part about Summit. It’s a rollercoaster of learning, meeting and partying. Make the most of it.

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Brett Newcome

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Brett Newcome

Brett is an Analytics professional, Certified Usability Analyst, and experienced product manager dedicated to exceptional work, finding the balance of technical & creative design, and the best user experience for large, enterprise initiatives.

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