Suzie Brady, Communications Manager, Adobe ANZ, LinkedIn
Snow clouds are moving in across Salt Lake City on Day Two of the Adobe Summit, the Digital Marketing conference and the delegates are moving slowly this morning. Everyone is still coming down from the Adobe Bash; the excitement of The Black Keys concert, the innovation of the showcase room and the dancing that went on to the early morning. Little did we know we were about to go on a roller coaster ride of emotion, suspense and intrigue at the opening keynote: we were about to jump from space, drive over 100 miles an hour, win an Olympic medal and conquer long division at last!
It might be freezing outside but the temperature rose in the conference room as Austrian base jumper Felix Baumgartner walked on stage. His ‘walk on’ would have been underwhelming if Adobe’s gigantic screens weren’t playing Felix’s record-breaking skydive from space. Even though we know he landed safely after breaking the sound barrier, we delegates were on the edge of our seats as the enormous images beamed out across the room.
Adobe’s John Mellor introduced Felix and spoke about how marketers were forced to make big decisions every day as we take risks to adapt to the pace of the technology evolution.
Felix knows a lot about risk. He said a lot of people call him an adrenalin junkie but he thinks of himself as a risk manager. His skydive from space was the culmination of five years of meticulous planning. Overlooking any detail would likely result in death and Felix discussed the importance of the team he had around him; the knowledge he acquired to understand every detail of anything that could go wrong and being one step ahead so every possible issue had a solution.
In the middle of his discussion with John, Felix had a little coughing fit and attributed it to a ‘space cough’; he is probably one of the very few in the world who could use that as an excuse to miss work! In the end, Felix said the only unknown factor that remained before the jump was whether a human could survive breaking the sound barrier. It was an inspirational discussion.
Delegates then had to change gear as the giant screens screeched NASCAR footage across the venue. Marc Jenkins, Vice President of Digital Media for NASCAR was joined by Alan Wexler, Executive Vice President, Managing Director for North America and Europe. The duo spoke about how they are working with Adobe to deliver a richer and more personalised experience for their fans.
By taking advantage of rigorous analytics and feedback from fans, NASCAR is allowing fans to interact with their favorite car and its team, and get a real time understanding of what’s happening to the car, and what the team is doing, during a race. That level of detail has never before been available in real time.
Senior Vice President for Digital and Broadcast at NBC, Julie DeTaglia then took delegates on a journey to deliver coverage of the Olympic Games. The challenge to adapt to new technologies every two years is a daunting prospect; but it is often big sporting events that drive innovation and that only benefits viewers.
The keynote ended on a surprisingly emotional note. Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, told the audience how he is changing the world by delivering education videos around the world. His mission statement is to deliver world class education for anyone, anywhere.
The Khan Academy now has over 75 million unique users and Sal’s inspirational journey in his quest to deliver education to anyone, anywhere brought delegates to their feet in a standing ovation. An incredible finish to a great session! You can follow him on Twitter @salkhanacademy
If you couldn’t be part of this fantastic event, don’t despair. Adobe is bringing you this content and more to events in Sydney and Singapore in mid-year. Register here to receive an invitation.