5,000 Digital Marketers invade Utah for Adobe’s Digital Marketing Summit
From March 6th to 8th, 5,000 digital marketers, a world record holder, a Grammy nominated band, the world’s leading marketing experts, an innovative educator, the creative genius behind Portlandia and an American Idol descended upon Salt Lake City, Utah for the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit.
As people settled into the main halls for day two’s opening keynote – some still feeling the effects of the previous night’s Bash – the second day’s presentation took on a much different tone. Whereas the first day’s keynote was to shock and awe, the second day’s opening keynote was to inspire and push people to take risks.
The overall theme of the keynote was “Taking the Leap” which was perfectly embodied by the first guest speaker, Felix Baumgartner. Baumgartner is the skydiver who, in October 2012, set the world record for the highest jump and first person ever to break the sound barrier assisted only by gravity. Baumgartner discussed his experience leading up to his record shattering jump and the need for people / organizations to push the boundaries and venture into the unknown.
While Baumgartner represented taking the leap literally, the second guest speaker approached it from a more metaphorical angle. Sal Khan, the founder of the Khan Academy – a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education to “anyone, anywhere” in the world – spoke of the formation of his organization as a way tutoring his cousins online and his decision to take the leap and leave the life of a hedge fund analyst to dedicate himself to his cause full time.
Khan’s speech was filled with humour and pulled on the heart strings of all those attending, reinforcing the idea that there’s potential in the world and that we just need to give people the tools to tap into it. At the end of the speech, the crowd erupted in thunderous applause giving Khan a much deserved standing ovation.
Feeling inspired by the morning’s keynote and ready to take the world by the horns, the crowd broke off into another day of breakout sessions.
The end of day two wrapped on a comedic note. The Summit’s closing keynote offered attendees sneak peeks at digital marketing applications Adobe will be rolling out in the next six to twelve months. The keynote was co-hosted by Portlandia creator and star, Carrie Brownstein, who delivered an irony soaked soliloquy on wry (pun intended), discussing the general love/hate relationship most people have with social media.
As the sun set on the second day, the Summit again took on the appearance of a concert with the Depot After Dark party. Summit goers converged at Salt Lake City’s famous Depot, to be entertained by live music and karaoke.
About an hour into the party, Adobe’s Matt Langie, Director of Product Marketing, joined the band on stage, announcing his attempt to cover Led Zepplin. Thankfully, after about two seconds into his debut performance, Matt confessed that he would not be able to do the song justice and instead brought out a friend who was better equipped to deal with the task – American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks.
With the formal portion of the event over, Adobe decided to end the Digital Marketing Summit on a high note. The final day was dedicated to fun in the sun and snow with 5,000 marketers invading Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah for Adobe’s ski day.
While the first day focused on celebrating how far the digital marketing industry and tools have come, the second day looked at where the industry could go. Adobe Sneaks offered a glimpse of the next stage in the Marketing Cloud’s evolution and Felix Baumgartner and Sal Khan both reinforced the idea that the only way to reach the top/summit is to take risks.