That’s a wrap: A look back at the record-breaking 2022 Adobe Summit

That’s a wrap: A look back at the record-breaking 2022 Adobe Summit

Ten tracks spanning 18 industries. More than 200 sessions and training workshops across 4 global regions. Countless attendee small-group conversations. An all-star keynote emphasizing the power of customer connections in the digital economy. And, of course, Sneaks, a behind-the-scenes look at the exciting innovations emerging from Adobe Labs.

It was a record-setting year for Adobe Summit. Over three days — March 15-17, 2022 — more than 100,000 people from around the world tuned in for keynotes, sessions, training workshops, and mainstage events featuring a diverse lineup of dynamic Experience Makers. The focus: Make the digital economy personal.

Keynote: Opening remarks from Shantanu Narayen, Anil Chakravarthy, and more

Day one of Adobe Summit kicked off with an hour-long keynote that expanded on the importance of making the digital economy personal. “All businesses must redefine how we engage with customers and deliver digital experiences at an unprecedented scale,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe chairman and CEO.

This notion is bigger than just personalization at scale. His message to Experience Makers: Digital experiences are getting personal, and we need to find ways to personalize multiple moments in a journey or even optimize to individuals. Going forward, relevance and contextualization are key — and through the product and partnership announcements, Narayen showed how Adobe can power this dynamic path forward.

Anil Chakravarthy, president of digital experience business at Adobe, reinforced Narayen’s remarks. “In a phrase,” he said, “it’s all about the experience.”

Starting now, Chakravarthy said, “Success will be defined by a new standard, and that is the ability to achieve personalization at scale. That means delivering those relevant experiences in real time for every customer on every channel, both online and offline,” including immersive experiences like the metaverse.

During their keynote, Narayen and Chakravarthy also previewed a series of new products and partnership announcements, including:

CEO chats and customer stories

Following Chakravarthy’s remarks, Narayen spoke one-on-one with Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Inc., about their push to create end-to-end customer experiences across their stores. Through recent integrations, WBA now supports customers at every stage of their health journey, from simple prescription pickup to in-home, post-acute, and chronic care management, Brewer explained.

Also sharing their experiences in the new digital economy were Lorenzo Bertelli, group marketing director and head of corporate social responsibility at Prada Group, American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern, and Michael Sutherland, chief transformation officer for Real Madrid.

The opening keynote wrapped with a one-on-one conversation between Narayen and John Donahoe, president and CEO of Nike, Inc., where the two discussed the evolving needs of today’s customers — specifically, that they’re demanding more engaged and responsible relationships with brands.

“The consumer wanted to have a seamless, premium, personalized experience,” Donahoe said. “They expect that increasingly, and that forces us to embrace digital — not just in our end-user experiences, not just in consumer experiences, but every step through our value chain. Our design — our product creation — has to be more digitally enabled so that we can make the product that the consumer wants.”

Ryan Reynolds on adding a personal touch to campaigns

Actor, producer, screenwriter, and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds also joined the keynote, sharing his experiences as a marketer and storyteller. Despite the increased reliance on technology, he stressed the importance of “having a personal touch both on the internet but also outside of that. Access and accountability are two things that have been massively beneficial and two things I would never underestimate,” he said. “Folks want to feel like you’re listening to them and, hopefully, they listen to you… It's really about moving at the speed that people are moving.”

It’s also important, Reynolds says, to focus on storytelling and having fun with it. “If marketers were able to…drop into a current conversation and their brand can sometimes become the conversation, and that is, you know, the biggest win of all.”

Adobe Summit Sneaks hosted by Kristen Bell

Day two opened with Adobe Summit Sneaks, where actress and philanthropist Kristen Bell walked attendees through what’s new and next from Adobe Labs. The theme? “The Sneak Peek Across the Street of Technologies You Can’t See Yet but Maybe Will Someday Soon” — a riff on Bell’s new Netflix series.

Submitted by Adobe employees, Sneaks projects give Summit attendees a glimpse at the future, how we’re thinking about technology and personalized experiences, and how Adobe Experience Cloud can deliver even more value to users.

This year’s seven Sneaks finalists included:

“None of today's concepts are committed to release,” Bell said, “but a little birdy told me some 60% of what you see today will make it into products in one form or another.”

Mainstage broadcasts and luminary speakers

Rounding out the event were mainstage broadcasts featuring luminary speakers and panels. On day one, attendees logged in for “Transformation: Pushing Boundaries to Become a Changemaker” featuring Allyson Felix, an entrepreneur and the most decorated US track and field Olympian; activist and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood; organizational psychologist and bestselling author Adam Grant; and Lorenzo Bertelli of Prada. Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president of Adobe Creative Cloud, and Sébastien Deguy, VP of 3D and immersive at Adobe, rounded out the group.

During the hour-long conversation, these all-star panelists dove into transformation in every sense of the word. From Felix’s Olympic journey and shift to entrepreneur to Westwood’s new-wave fashion focus to Adobe’s game-changing immersive technologies, the discussion dove into what it means to truly transform.

On day two, actress and luxury real estate agent Chrishell Stause, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur Mo Gawdat (and former chief business officer at Google X), bestselling author Michael Pollan, and author and entrepreneur Mel Robbins teamed up for “Teaching Ourselves and Our Machines How to Live Better.” Here, it was all about elevating and accelerating our businesses and our lives through technology, mindset, behavioral changes, and motivation.

More ways to connect and learn

Also central to Summit 2022 were the new and enhanced ways to connect and learn from Adobe insiders, session leaders, and fellow attendees. Through the Summit integration with Braindate, participants dove into small-group and clubhouse-style conversations with industry experts and peers. During a live Q&A with Adobe experts, attendees learned firsthand from product pros and got answers to their previously submitted questions.

Attendees were also invited to live chats during Summit sessions. Through this platform, audience members could ask questions and dig deeper into key themes, topics, and product knowledge.

Continuing to learn and grow from Adobe Summit

While the 2022 Adobe Summit has wrapped, there are still countless opportunities to power your customer experiences, your business, and your career with Adobe Summit. Sessions, keynotes, and Sneaks are now available on demand so you can catch up with content you missed or revisit valuable insights. You can also explore quick tips, trends, and customer success stories by track and continue to explore sponsor offers and experiences.

Adobe Summit is free, virtual, and now on demand. Explore 200+ sessions, keynotes, and more to learn about how to make the digital economy personal.