When a newbie goes to a summit

April 4, 2019 David Huml

I’ll be honest; I had never attended a large scale vendor’s summit before. So I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew is that it was in Las Vegas and that everybody was going to be there. In my professional universe there are two major conferences that make some waves in the otherwise calm waters of marketing automation. ‘Modern Customer Experience’ is the one that encompasses all things Eloqua, and just a week later, Las Vegas becomes ground zero for all Marketo enthusiasts.

Actually this year’s summit was a very special edition. It was the first major event since the acquisition of Marketo by Adobe back in September 2018. Marketo’s usual San Francisco summit was merged with Adobe's main B2B event in Las Vegas. Everybody could feel the buzz created from this synergy. But to be fair, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a city like Vegas.

 

 

It was incredibly interesting to attend such a massive scale event, especially for me, being a newbie to vendors' summits. The main Adobe's keynote session was dedicated mainly to introduce the 2018 acquisitions. It wasn’t just Marketo that became a fresh Adobe's family member. In 2018 Magento, market leader in ecommerce, and French Algorithmic, industry standard in tools for 3D material and texture creation, joined forces as well. Adobe's CEO Shantanu Narayen hosted most of the keynote and made sure that both Marketo and Magento's community members felt welcome under experience cloud.

In my opinion 3 main messages were delivered in the opening keynote:

  1. Positioning of products in Adobe's experience cloud and Adobe's customer journey
  2. Highlighting open data initiative that Adobe leads together with Microsoft and SAP. Besides that Marketo is now strategic partner with LinkedIn - making it one of strongest ABM players on the market.
  3. AI artificial intelligence platform Adobe Sensei (you could bet on it that each engineer on stage will mention Sensei at least once)

 

 

The second day's keynote was dedicated to the better-known public speakers. We saw interviews with Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella (my personal role model, yay!), actress and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon and quarterback Drew Bress. In the afternoon actress Mindy Kaling successfully walked us through Summit Sneaks. In a relaxed general session we got an entertaining sneak peek at what's being developed at the Adobe labs.

On the third day, Marketo branched out to a separate venue. CEO Steve Lucas, now Adobe's SVP for Digital Experience, pumped up everybody's adrenaline with his high level energy. I’ve never seen a more natural born showman in my life. He assured everybody that Marketo has never been stronger and we can expect many innovations. The main focus was on account based marketing.

LeadFabric sent 4 consultants in total so we could properly spread our wings between multiple venues - and we did... talking to our current clients, networking with peers, meeting with technology partners and mainly educational stream from all that delicious content that Adobe & Marketo prepared.

I personally visited several sessions dedicated to email marketing (the perfect preparation for the upcoming Litmus conference that LeadFabric definitely will attend!). And I made time for both networking and engagement with current (Integrate, Conversica) or potential partners like Liveclicker.​ We also attended a Marketo sneak peek talk, saw some cool features that might or might not make it to production instance soon (get excited).

Now with Magento and Marketo is Adobe's cloud solution beyond B2B for both enterprise and mid market companies. And in March 17,000 Summit attendees could witness got confirmation on it from the first row.

I’m already looking forward to the next years’ summit! Want to know more about the Adobe summit or LeadFabric? Just call us on +32 (0)2 880 66 00. Or send me your questions on dhuml@leadfabric.com!

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