The first week of March, I had the opportunity to ‘live like an Adobe Evangelist’ by touring with our 3 creative evangelists, Jason Levine,Rufus Deuchler, and Paul Trani. It was a daunting task, but I grabbed the reins with both hands and held on for dear life as we sped from city to city across Europe.
First, we had our London event on Tuesday 5th (see my blog post here). As soon as the last question from the audience was answered, the guys slammed their laptops shut, and we dashed off to a taxi, headed for Paddington Station and my first ride on the Heathrow Express train. It really was like touring with a rock band – I kept expecting crowds of screaming girls to rush the car!
After a quick flight to Stockholm, we only allowed ourselves one quick beer in the bar before getting a good night’s rest.
It was a good thing we did have a good night’s rest, as the Stockholm event had 600 attendees! The crowd were excited and energised, and gave lots of great feedback. Rufus again dazzled with his trick of taking a photo of the crowd on his iPad and then using Photoshop Touch to insert an image of himself into the crowd shot. Brilliant! Jason was on fine form with his 1970s John Travolta impression on video, and had the entire crowd in hysterics. And Paul really impressed the audience with his responsive web design.
Rufus in Stockholm
Slamming shut the laptops and again jumping into a taxi, we sped off to Arlanda Airport for our flight to Copenhagen.
Recognising that I wouldn’t be making myself popular by inhabiting every minute of their time, I let the guys have dinner to themselves and met up with a great Adobe community member. She gave me a lovely walking tour of the ‘meat packing district’ of Copenhagen and I got a few nice shots. What do you think?
The next morning, we had another phenomenal turnout; this time nearly 600 attendees at the Copenhagen event! We were treated to lots of great questions and excited attendees. You can get a sense of the excitement the guys were generating in this shot:
I was so sorry to leave the guys but I had a lovely lunch planned with several of our community members at a beautiful restaurant in the new foodie capital of Europe, Copenhagen. It was a delightful end to a whirlwind trip!
I can’t thank the team enough for inviting me along, making me feel so welcome, and impressing the hell out of me. What they do is amazing and we should all be very appreciative of seeing them in action!
Until the next time, this is Christie The Roadie, signing off…
The Adobe Create Now event in London held on Tuesday 5th March smashed all expectations. In order to accommodate the hundreds of people wanting to register, the team hosted 2 events: one in the morning and another in the afternoon. There was also a live stream of the event, to accommodate those whom were unable to get a physical place in the venue.
Despite the long day, we were delighted to welcome two fully sold-out audiences to the physical and streamed events, reaching over 800 people!
I was really excited to meet up with some existing and new community members. I even had the honour of taking a nice photo of some of our attendees in front of the Create Now banner, and giving them information on our user group system. That’s an excited audience!
One of the nicest chats I had with an attendee:
Huge thanks to the London Adobe team for putting together such a great team!
Atlanta #CreateNOW event boosts rebooted local Adobe User Group.
#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.
Adobe User Group Managers Michelle Johnston and Daniel Flores great their attendees before the Atlanta #CreateNOW event
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!
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!
Adobe Freelancer Claudia McCue and Adobe Speaker Garth Braithwaite converse before kicking-off the demos
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 aboutdebunking 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!
On Friday 1st March, Adobe held a #CreateNow event in the historic city of Warsaw. It was a huge success with over 500+ attendees – standing room only! Our evangelists Rufus Deuchler, Jason Levine and Paul Trani presented the Creative Cloud Workflow. The team had collaborated to create shared demo assets that each of them utilised, powering the case of the workflow as it passed from one creative member to the next. The roof nearly blew off the house when Rufus presented the new Photoshop Touch for iPhone. People were absolutely delighted to see ‘Instagram on steroids’ as he put it!
Jason Levine gave us an extra-special surprise which had the crowd in fits of laughter. I won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say we were taken on a cruise on ‘The Love Boat’.
It was a fantastic event hosted by my wonderful Adobe colleagues Klaudia Jaworska and Piotr Walczyszyn of the Warsaw office and I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.
There’s a slight calm before the flurry of activity associated with the #CreateNOW tour.
The Adobe User Group portion of the #CreateNOW tour kicked off in San Francisco on Feb 7th with Terry White & the following Adobe User Groups: SF Creative Suite Lovers, Photoshop till You Drop, SF InDesign, and SF Illustrator User Group. I will be out on the road at most of the events listed below
It all started with an email from a User Group Manager frantically looking for a last minute speaker. As a Community Manager, sometimes I can help, sometimes I cannot. But this time, I was able to go the extra mile in trying to help this User Group….We originally just intended to do just an Adobe Connect Webinar; but then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to bring a live speaker to Seattle? We have never done been able to do this with one of the Creative Suite User Groups on such short notice. And so fortunately, after a few phonecalls, I was able to find an Adobe Community Professional Speaker (ACP): Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE.com. Howard Heflin who runs the Seattle Photoshop User Group (SeaPUG) was thrilled! Now, the SeattlePUG originally started in 2008; and, it is one of the larger Photoshop User Groups in the Adobe Group’s Program. Initially, we had over 200 RSVP’d and over 81 on the waiting list for Colin’s visit. We were fortunate to pack the place with over 160 attendees. I usually start off a session by asking a few questions about product usage; 50% were using Photoshop CS5; 50% were using Photoshop CS6; not too many Creative Cloud Users; lots of Lightroom Users, including some newbies who came just for this meeting. All in All, this was a heavy photographer focused User Group.
After the marketing stuff by some Adobe guy, Colin got right into the Lightroom and started his Demo. Colin generally does not cover the demos or content material from his many videos, instead he focuses on new discoveries and questions he’s come across with the products…. Like, I did not know that there was an xml-based file associated with a Lightroom image and the adjustments made to it. This XML file can actually be opened in Dreamweaver. And Colin, did just that, by opening the XML file and changing the lighting/Color adjustments from text in the XML file. Pretty Nifty and something new. Colin is so patient as a presenter. Now, discussion did get bogged down a bit on “Photoshop/Photo file–Meta Data”, there was a lot of interest in this subject, but as Colin answered a few of the immediate questions, he then pointed to his Lightroom 4 DVD that pretty much covers all the basics, and then got back on track. Colin then move onto more “juicier” topics, like “What is “High Dynamic Range – HDR Photography?. Lots of folks, really didn’t know, so Colin did a short explanation on how today’s cameras are limited in the amount of “details” that can be picked up in a photo, less than what the human eye would normally see. He also went over some of the new features in Photoshop CS6 which allows for the combining of “bracketed” exposures of a subject into one singular image with higher dynamic range (Colin was flipping back and forth between Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 to make his point). Very cool part of the presentation and seemed to hold the interest of some of the newbies.
All in All, there was definitely audience interest in having more topics on Lightroom at the SeattlePUG. The audience was appreciative of having a high quality speaker come to present at their group. The Adobe Community Team often tries to bring Adobe Community Professionals to the User Groups (when feasible) to:
Bring Fresh new content/speakers to an area
Promote Photoshop & the New features available to Creative Cloud Members
Seattle will be hosting another ACP – Stephen Burns of Chromeallusion.com on March 19th at the Adobe Offices. This will again be another GREAT! user group meeting, brought to you by the Adobe Community Team.
Lastly, while I was at the meeting I got to meet the Adobe sponsor for the Seattle Photoshop User Group, John Cornicello and thanked him for volunteering and helping out this user group. One of the hardest things for a User Group going is finding a venue in which to meet at consistently.
Time Lapse Coverage 0f SeaPUG meeting
While at the meeting, I set up my camera to take a series of time-lapse photos which resulted in a short 30 sec movie. It’s not meant to provide detail just a high level overview of what happened at the user group meeting.
Thanks to the volunteers at the Registration Desk! And to our Speaker — Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE!
16 Jan 2013 – Dinner with Seattle Area Adobe User Group Managers
While in Seattle, I took the opportunity to gather up the local area Adobe User Group managers in order to talk to them about the upcoming #CreateNOW tour being sponsored by Adobe. The CreateNOW tour was fast approaching and we needed to speed up the logistics and planning for the event. More importantly, we needed to decide on a venue for the next big event. It is not often the Adobe Community Team gets around to the user groups; and, we are trying to do more of this when it is practical and makes business sense. The Seattle Adobe User Group will be holding their #CreateNOW tour on March 9th; I am looking forward to attending that event to see what they can do.
Seattle Area Adobe User Group Managers (Creative Suite & ProVideo)
2012 was a busy year for the Community Team at Adobe. There were challenges carried over from the previous year, but some real successes thoughout the year. Mainly, as a community manager, I was able to get out more and attend more regional events. But perhaps, one of the best things that happened to the Community Team was the hiring of a dedicated European community manager (Christie Fidura). It was a team effort (i.e. the hiring process) between current & former Adobe Community Mgrs. (Rachel Luxemburg, Ed Sullivan, Liz Frederick, and myself). I am so pleased (perhaps, relieved) to have Christie onboard and getting us reconnected with our community partners in Europe. Europe is our 2nd largest market; and, they have not had a community manager…..perhaps ever. Thanks to Andre Jay Meissner for his support, doing all that community work in Germany, and for being a proponent of regional community managers. We still have lots of work to do in So. America and Asia-Pac, but that will have to wait for now.
There was also a transition of Community Managers in the Adobe Community Professionals Program (ACPs) with Marie Nedich now at the helm. Liz Frederick is now engaging with HTML5 and Gaming Developers as part of Adobe’s 2011 strategy shift. The ACPs and the Freelancers are sooo important to the Adobe User Group program (symbiotic in nature), because in most cases they are the only speaking assets the Adobe Community can routinely rely upon to speak at their events. Adobe Evangelist were super busy in 2012 with the release of all those new products; Edge Tools, and of course, the Creative Cloud. This why we have community programs like the ACPs and Freelancers.
Now, the Creative Suite Product team did do an excellent job with the CS6 Pre-Launch TechWed NDA Webinars. The Community often remarked that CS6 was the best prepared launch that Adobe has ever done; and, we took extra steps to get the community up to speed and educated about the Creative Cloud.Special Thank You to Tricia Lawrence (Adobe Creative Suite Team), Scott Morris (Creative Cloud) and ALL of the TechWED speakers for their efforts (12 webinar sessions, over 3000+ attendees; avg 125/session) in keeping the community informed, it very likely impacted the Creative Cloud membership adoption rates.There were over 30 CS6 & Community events in 2012 in North America, reaching over 10,000 community members.
We still have much more education to do in 2013 about Creative Cloud Team, so I suspect there will be additional Adobe Community Events in 2013. In 2013, there will likely be changes in the way we measure program participation in both the Adobe User Group and Adobe Community Professionals Program, stay tuned for that.
Looking forward to AdobeMAX the content, people, and community activities may be different than in past years and this should be a good thing. MAX will be more reflective of where Adobe is heading as a company. (More about the Adobe Community activities at AdobeMAX in a later post). I would urge all ACPs and User Group Managers to attend this year and look at the content schedule for MAX…it’s different this year!
I have prepared a listing/links (below) of the 2012 Adobe Community events in North America from my notes, emails, conversations, etc. I also have photo slide show (flash-based) that captured some of the spirit, faces, and good times from an incredible year at Adobe.
Thank You! To All the Adobe User Group Manager & ACPs for an incredible year. It is a pleasure being your Community Mgr – Aaron HoustonAdobe Community Mgr No America
Adobe Community Team was invited by WACOM to participate alongside them in the 2012 Creative Talent Network Expo. CTNX2012 was held in Burbank, CA November 16-18, 2012. with over 8000 art & film students, animators, and illustrators in attendance. What was really cool about this event was that it takes place very close to the Disney Animation and Dreamworks studios in Burbank. In fact, Disney animators actually participated and attended this event. Adobe had booth manned by Adobe Community Mgr Aaron Houston, local Los Angeles Area Adobe User Group managers, and Adobe Education representatives. There were also Adobe Touch App & Illustrator demo’s by Adobe Community Professional (ACP) Chana Messer on the new WACOM Cintiq interactive touch tablets. Adobe Education team member Rick Miller and Leona Guidice also helped out with the Adobe booth.Special thanks to Tony Arredondo and Steve Smith from WACOM for being true “Community Champions” by inviting the Adobe Community to participate in this premiere event.
Actually, the idea of getting Adobe and its community involves at WACOM event began back in June 2012. Tony and Steve attended an Adobe Speaker dinner for the Las Vegas CS6 Camp. So, when Creative Talent Expo was mentioned as a possible collaboration (thanks to ACP Stephen Burns), it seemed like a “no-brainer”, since I was already in the LA area for the LAWEBPRO Design Camp. I couldn’t have done it without the AdobeEDU team and the LA-area Adobe User Group community helping out in the booth. So thanks to: George McKinney (LA PhoneGap), Josue Bustos (LA PhoneGap), Chana Messer (LA Illustrator), Cynthia Gordon (Orange County Creative Suite & ocmma.org), Adam Bell (LA Adobe), and Ko Maruyama (dmala.org) Together, with the User Groups Managers and ACPs we were able to talk to over 400 students and animators about: Adobe’s Creative Cloud; Student/Teacher Programs; Adobe Touch Apps; and, all things Adobe. We’ll see what opportunities present themselves in 2013 with WACOM. Here are some photos from this event. – Aaron Houston Adobe Community Mgr No. America.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the LA Web Professionals User Group’s Design camp at the Barnsdall theater (BGT) in West Hollywood on 15Nov2012. LAWEBPRO is an interesting User Group: they are very large (over 900 FB members); they run very large events (often 300+ attendees); and, they attract the very best web designers & internet marketing specialists in LA. And so, it was no surprise that Daniel Kramer (User Group Mgr) did a great job in organizing this event. Daniel also has a lot of help from his coordinator, Anissa Barton. It’s actually a great combination with Daniel & Anissa. Daniel handles the logistics, speaker-wrangling, and event-promotion and Anissa is great with the people. The event went down, pretty smooth and there were lots of LAWEBPRO volunteers manning the check-in desk and food line.For the main event, LAWEBPROs hosted a great cast of speakers: noted web designer, Author, certified trainer Brian Wood (askBrianWood.com); long-time Photoshop guru Lee Varis (Los Angeles Digital Imaging Group - LADIG co-organizer), and Adobe Community Professional Chana Messer (Mac in Art). Chana did an overview of Adobe’s TouchApps for iPad.
Attendance was great! Over 250+ attendees throughout the evening showed up for some great tips for the website development. The venue’s auditorium was nearly full and the lobby during breaks was “cozy”. Any more attendees and things would have started getting uncomfortable. Daniel Kramer also feeds his attendees & guests quite well; This time he had a variety of Chinese food entrees. Attendees seemed very happy with the selections. The LAWEBPRO group does charge a minor fee to attend these events, but the amount was insignificant compared to the value and content that this event provided. One thing I do recommend to User Group Managers who want to hold events is that it often good to charge a fee to attendees, because it keeps the attendee “no-show” rate low. And since, this event was funded by Adobe Camp monies, the Adobe Community team appreciates a “personal incentive” for the attendess to ensure they show up. “Details about the sessions and the content can be found at the LA Web Design Camp – Registration Page.All in all, this was a successful event.
Looking forward to future LAWEBPRO events in 2013.
Adobe User Group Mgr (LADIG.org) Lee Varis really enjoys presenting!
After the event, I asked the event organizer to provide me some EventBrite charts on how this event tracked in terms of paid registrations and page views from the time we first started promoting the event till the day of the event. The charts are interesting in that what we see from attendees is that most decide with 72 hrs whether they will be attending.
LAWEB Pro Web Design Camp – Attendee tracking
2012 LA Web Pro Web Design Camp – Registration Page Views
The Las Vegas Adobe User Group hosted a “Neon Photowalk” in the Fremont Street district (Old Vegas) — Sunday, Oct 21st, 2012, from 4-10pm. This was a FREE event for all levels of photographers from pros to iPhone/iPad users. We also had lots of Adobians from out of town (Los Angeles, Florida, San Jose, San Diego, etc) as well as some new friends from the Sin City Photography Group. And that was the main purpose of the Photowalk: community building between two very different communities.There were over 120 signups to the event; but, we kicked things off with over 60 shutter snappers at Emergency Arts – “The Beat” coffee shop. As it turned out, some of the Beat employees were also lovers of the luminous lights. One employee had already been photographing hundreds of Vegas neon signs for his own art-piece which he presented me a copy which was very cool!
The Beat has definitely got an artistic vibe to it and the Photowalk organizers were so pleased that they allowed us to set up camp there. While onsite, we also conducted few drawings for Adobe Software, T-shirts, and a special drawing for a WACOM tablet (Thanks to Tony Arredondo -WACOM Technology & Stephen Burns). Those in attendance also got a free beverage courtesy of Adobe. With maps in hand, the Photowalkers sallied forth in their quest for best Neon Photo and a chance to win (CS6 Photoshop Extended).
One of our favorite stops was the Neonopolis courtyard and some of us spent a lot of time at this location. At NeonoPolis, Adobe Community Professional Stephen Burns gave lessons to about a dozen Photowalkers on color extractions using timed exposures and also a nifty click and drag technique which produced some interesting abstract neon photos. Here’s one:
Abstract Neon Photo — Delayed Shutter Technique
Click & Drag Technique
ACP Chana Messer finds some new friends on the PhotoWalk
This event spawned TWO other Blog posts worth mentioning:
Photowalkers taking a break at Mediterrean Cafe after shooting inside Neonopolis courtyard
“Thanks for sharing with the group! And special thanks to Krystal, Nate, Aaron, Stephen, Chana, et al., for putting on a great event!”– Speer Photography & Design
We gave lots of stuff away to the Neon Photowalkers at the Adobe Table
“I LOVED the photo walk. Well organized and I met some GREAT TALENTED photographers and Photoshop gurus I admire. I had a great time and I can’t wait for the next one!” — Barbette Siller
” I made these images on the Adobe sponsored Photowalk down Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas a week ago Sunday, October 21st at night. It was put together by several hard working folks both from Adobe and the Las Vegas Adobe Users Group. Made slideshow using only iPhone and the Photodex’s Mobile App.! Using the 30 horizontally composed images I posted just below this video. We had about 60 photographers participating walking in small groups.”– John Danielhttp://www.facebook.com/johnndaniel
Here is our winning picture for the event. Congrats to Cindy Wallace for “Viva Vegas” and also to the runners-up Jeff Speer and Wayne Wallace — True Pros! There was also some very very nice stuff shot by Stephen Burns, Sally Cox, Chana Messer, Nate Ludens, Krsytal Hosmer, and of course, Lee Varis! Thanks for being good leaders of this Photowalk
As with anything we do with Adobe Community Events we try to capture some data on how the event went down. From the number of signups to the pageviews we try to gage how we will promote the next events. We had a slow start to the promotion of the event, but things ramped up quickly the last 72 hrs before the event as evidence from these EventBrite charts.
Stats — Attendee Signups
Stats – Page Views Up till the Event
Oh What Fun We Had!
Oh What Fun We Had! — Thanks Wayne Wallace Photography!