#CreateNOW tour stopped in Atlanta on 27 Feb 2013; and, it provided an excellent opportunity for Adobe to reconnect with its User Group community. The Atlanta AUG has had a series of leadership transitions the last couple of years. So, as an Adobe Community Manager, ¬†I was eager to see how they were getting along and meet with their new leader, Michelle Johnston. We met a couple of hours before the event to talk about the Adobe User Group program, benefits, ACP speakers, AdobeMAX, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Michelle remarked that when she first took over the Atlanta Adobe User Group, it had been dormant for some time. The first “reboot” meetings were really tough, only 3-4 people showed-up. But, after Michelle’s persistent networking at several local user groups and finding a new co-mgr (Daniel Flores), the group has now grown to up over 400 members on their meetup page. ¬†Now, Atlanta AUG is very active in social media and recently launched a twitter account (@AUGAtl)¬†and a facebook page to better engage new users. As a community manager, I love this level of initiative; it’s a beautiful thing.
An Opportunity to Grow with the #CreateNOW tour
Michelle Johnston (Atlanta AUG mgr) first heard about the CreateNOW tour via the pre-release emails and facebook postings from the Adobe Community Team. ¬†She was then contacted by Adobe to see if there was interest in hosting an event in Atlanta. ¬†Atlanta is a major hub for creatives/developers and there was interest from the Adobe Product teams to do an event in the U.S. southeast. So,¬†Michelle rallied the existing members, friends and co-manager to start planning out this event. There was lots to do: search for a suitable venue; engage corporate sponsors (Matrix Resources), engage Adobe for funding; securing food/drinks @Costco; promote the event; etc. The corporate sponsor (Matrix Resources) provided a very nice meeting facility that seats 150 people for free. I had a chance to meet with Leah Antonoff (@LeahShortie), Matrix’s community manager earlier in the day to discuss future visits and ACP speaker training opportunities.¬†It truly pays dividends, when Adobe invests time and resources to develop these corporate contacts with the Adobe User Group mangers, because they are very important in holding events like #CreateNOW tours; venues are tough to come by these days at a reasonable rate; and, Matrix Resource was very gracious in letting the Atlanta host the event in their wonderful training center for free; They do training and they recruit creatives, web developers…so, it makes good business sense to forge these relationships. Involving the local trainers, recruiters, and User Groups, is a kind of “marketing from the street” approach that is both credible and more appealing to end-users than traditional marketing. And the interaction is regional, not from a corporate Facebook page, website, and other social media. The folks from Atlanta appreciated Adobe taking time to meet with them on a personable level.
What Happened at #CreateNOW Atlanta in under a Minute!
( Time-Lapse video) or go here:¬†http://bit.ly/15tOYER
Attendance VERY GOOD — First Event! Something to build upon!
At the event itself, we had about (95) attendees from the initial 159 RSVPs that’s not bad for a typical free event. There was a check-in desk manned by Michelle’s co-manager Daniel Flores who did an outstanding job with the other volunteers: stuffing attendee bags, answering questions, and being the greeters for the event. Very Cool Group of folks!
While at the event, I got to see one of the Adobe Freelancer speakers present, Claudia McCue. Also, I got to see Garth Braithwaite from the Adobe XD team (User interface/product design) present. I’m always interested in how people present and deliver their content. Claudia cover features from the various products in the Creative Cloud and she dispelled some of the myths people are having about the Creative Cloud. More about debunking those Creative Cloud myths here. ¬† ¬† Garth covered some of the new Adobe Edge Tools that web developers and designers can make use of (i.e. Edge Code, Reflow, Animate, & Web fonts). He told the audience that they can get these 1.0 version tools forever via the “FREEmium-level” creative cloud membership, just by going to http://html.adobe.com and clicking on the “Edge Tools Service” tab…scroll down and click on the yellow “get started” button! Enjoyed both of their talks.!
|¬†Attendee Comments from the event|
|¬†All in All, I hope we will be back soon in Atlanta with more Adobe speakers. For the next visit, I hope to bring in Adobe Community Professional speakers to focus more on work-flow within the Creative Cloud.Atlanta Adobe User Group is “off and running” once again!|