Making An Online Event Fun: How Adobe Reimagined Sneaks In 2020

Making An Online Event Fun: How Adobe Reimagined Sneaks In 2020
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Each year Adobe invites thousands of customers and employees to Las Vegas as part of its annual Summit for a week of discussions, education and, in the words of Adobe product executive Steve Hammond, some “fun”.

The event, which last year had 23,000 attendees, has long used the ‘Sneaks’ format as a way to drum up engagement and entertainment in a way that is a “little more casual” than the usual conference experience.

Sneaks calls on all of Adobe’s 20,000 employees to come up with ideas that demonstrate innovation, whether they be labs, prototypes or concepts.

Certain employees are then selected to present their idea as part of the Summit.

“What we find is that there are a lot of in the closet designers and engineers that work on these ideas on nights and weekends,” Hammond told B&T.

“They have an idea and they submit it – some of those turn out to be the most innovative and creative ideas that we have.”

Like many companies organising events, this year provided a unique challenge.

“We want to try to make sure that we can always get the innovators and the people who created the original idea on stage so that they can show off their technology,” said Hammond.

“But what happened this year, just like every other year, we planned in advance by capturing ideas early and then working with these teams to mature their ideas into something that we can present.”

Some of the final ideas this year included swapping clothes eCommerce with AI, promoting accessibility in marketing, AI for teaser images and captions and customer segments via natural language.

However, with COVID-19 continuing to worsen and travel restrictions starting to be enforced by some companies in late February, issues soon emerged for Adobe.

All employees coming from outside of the United States were told they would not be able to attend and present.

“That was a little disheartening to a few people, because they really want to show off their ideas and innovations,” he said.

However, when the pandemic worsened to the point where the in-person event was called off altogether, it meant anyone could present their idea.

“We ended up setting it up so that anybody who had submitted these ideas for Sneaks could actually present their content remotely. And it turned out to be a fun way for them to be able to show off their technologies and still be included,” Hammond said.

 

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