Last week I shrugged off my introverted self and headed south to San Diego and Adobe Max 2016. According to reports there were upwards of 10,000 attendees walking the aisles of the convention center as Adobe and their partners showcased the latest and greatest in the world of creative technology. In addition to the massive list of sessions, labs and creativity workshops there were vendors like GoPro, Microsoft, Moleskine among many others, and yes, Blurb too.
Even though there was a heavy emphasis on technology the reality is that print is still a key component of the design, illustration, photography and tech worlds, so for us it was the perfect way to spend our week.
In all my years at Blurb I’m certain this was the most interesting, most creative booth we’ve ever had. In fact, people posed with our booth (created by the talented folks at SF-based Siren). Seriously. They would stop, ask us to get out of the way, then proceed to snap, snap, snap. Consequently our booth was filled with attendees all week long.
There wasn’t one specific topic we spoke about as the crowd was so diverse, as is Blurb’s offering, so our job was to ask questions, listen and then provide suggestions. This is the fun part. Watching as an idea forms and then a response like “You mean I can print ONE copy at a time?” comes back at us.
Magazine and trade books were hot, as were our massive photobook samples. Who doesn’t love a 12×12, hardcover, Imagewrap with Proline paper? Answer. Nobody. But the truly rewarding experience for me is when I learn more about someone’s business then provide specific ideas as to how they can best utilize Blurb. Imagine working in a fundraising division at a university and leaning that you can create custom, individually personalized books for your best donors, or perhaps you are a young photographer and are looking for a modern-style, affordable portfolio and you learn about being able to produce BOTH a magazine and a trade book from the same imagery or perhaps your book is already done and press ready and you just need a way to do small, 500 copy offset run. Yep, we do that too.
In general terms the experience of Adobe Max is incredibly inspiring. I had conversations with all manor of creative, including graffiti artists, photographers, designers, radio hosts and type specialists. When you leave an event like this you are buzzing because when you gather so many powerful minds in one place it’s difficult not to be impacted and energized.