Leveraging Events to Engage Your Audience: Key Takeaways from Adobe Days

Have you been trying to think of how to successfully market your software to students?  Have you tried asking them how?  This is exactly what Adobe did right during their first annual Adobe Days event at Adobe’s Headquarters in San Francisco.

On May 17th, Adobe invited 19 students and recent graduates to the City by The Bay to talk about topics that matter to students.  The event was held over two days, with content covering how students can use Adobe’s latest Creative Suite products to improve their lives.  But this was not how the conversation started.  The topics at the event ranged from how Adobe products are created, how students can succeed at building a résumé, to creating a t-shirt design for their student organizations.   It’s no surprise that these topics were requested in advance by the students, because Adobe asked them what was important to them, and what they wanted to learn more about.

The key to success was discussing topics of interest to students and then answering the question – “how does Adobe fit into all of this?”  Adobe wasn’t talking about how great their latest version of Creative Suite was in order to sell the students on this idea. This is a great way for other brands to get students to talk about their products.  Consider the topics that interest them and begin by asking questions.  It’s really as simple as that!

Most large software and tech companies are catching on to the fact that students are an important population to get to know when it comes to building brand loyalty and securing success for the future.  However, students’ behavior patterns are hard to pin down because they constantly change.  Students stay updated on current trends and they are one market that changes rapidly to the technologies they have to adapt to.

Want to be a company that influences student behavior to use your brand?  Why don’t you start by getting to know them better and inviting them to your offices?

Here are a couple of quotes from bloggers who attended the event:

“Adobe Days was an EPIC opportunity to travel to San Francisco for two days (which for me was the first time) to check out the Adobe HQ, meet the amazing team that keeps it all running so smooth, and provide/receive some valuable information about their Creative Suite products and the cool stuff they have planned for the future”  –Mustafah Greene, Surviving College

Ivy wanted to get other student bloggers involved, and so Adobe Days was born. What followed was an awesome two-day conference where we got to meet Adobe team members and other student bloggers, give our input on the products and campaigns Adobe is planning on rolling out, learn a thing or two about CS6 and some other topics, and tour around San Fran.  –Thomas Frank, College Info Geek

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you know our Ivy social media judo model.  If you want to do social media right, you’ve got to find the right influencers who are interested in your company and who will blog and reach their audiences on your behalf.  Adobe found the best 15 college bloggers to engage with and invited them to their San Francisco Headquarters.  In turn, they received some valuable feedback from students regarding their current back to school marketing campaign, in addition to ample social media chatter on their latest Creative Suite software and how students can benefit from it.

If you can’t afford to plan an event, try setting up a conference call or webinar.  Just make sure to remember one thing – always practice reciprocity.  Think of how you can help students first, and you will be surprised by how willing they are to share their opinions.  Especially if you find the right students who care.


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