Trade Show Talk: 8 Takeaways From Our Conversation With Adobe’s Rachele Cazarez

May 9, 2024

Adobe, a public company that produces two major corporate events in the U.S. annually, drew more than 10,000 attendees to its annual Adobe Summit at The Venetian Convention & Expo Center when it was held March 25-28. 

The event featured 12 tracks with more than 200 sessions and keynotes with leaders like Adobe President, Digital Experience Anil Chakravarthy; GM Chair and CEO Mary T. Barra; Pfizer Chief Digital & Technology Officer and EVP Lidia Fonseca; and basketball legend, entrepreneur and media personality Shaquille O'Neal.

We caught up with Adobe Senior Event Marketing Manager Rachele Cazarez at the recent Connect Spring Marketplace to get to know this industry leader and find out the scoop on the enterprise hosted buyer event with a trade show that she and her event team of 30 produces each spring in Las Vegas. 

On Wed., April 3, she sat down with us on the show floor in our podcast booth at Connect, which was held April 2-4 at The Venetian. Find out what’s trending with this corporate event organizer. 

Read excerpts from our conversation or listen to the full interview here. 

Adobe's Rachele Cazarez
Adobe's Rachele Cazarez

Flagship events: Adobe produces two flagship events in the U.S.: Adobe Summit and Adobe MAX. Adobe Summit is held annual in Las Vegas, and Adobe MAX will be held Oct. 14-16 in Miami. “It’s the first time we will hold this event on the East Coast,” she said. “It’s usually held in Los Angeles, but due to timing we are moving it to Miami Beach Convention Center.”

Backstory: Cazarez, who has been in her role for eight years, works on high-visibility events in the company’s portfolio. In addition to the flagship events, she supports trade shows and other corporate events around the globe, as well as works on a financial analyst meeting with press and industry analysts. 

Hybrid approach: “We did virtual events during COVID that were wildly successful,” she said. “Now we blend our events. People can consume our content any time they want globally, and we can reach so many more people who aren’t able to travel in.” Adobe typically livestreams keynotes and records some of its 200+ sessions for viewers to watch on demand. 

1.        What’s trending: AI. As a company we are focused on it, so it’s a conversation we are having at events.

2.        Using AI for events: I have taken AI courses on LinkedIn, but we have a lot of restrictions and issues we have to navigate through. We are just bringing it into the fold. At the moment, we aren’t using it for events, but we are open to it. We are trying to figure out how to integrate it. I will probably take a certificate program. AI is the future, and we need to be educated on what’s out there. 

Adobe Summit
Keynote stage at Adobe Summit 2024, held March 25-28 at The Venetian Convention & Expo Center

3.        Tech at the event. RainFocus handles registration, and we have badge scanning. It’s important to collect attendee data for our stakeholders.

4.        Measuring ROI. ROI is the main reason we do events. People always think it’s about party planning. No, it’s business. We want our events to be beneficial for attendees and the company. We evaluate the pipeline and look at the type of attendees and how to communicate to them. We compare before and after the event to assess the impact to our pipeline. We host thousands of meetings onsite, so we look at what types of meetings they were having, did they transpire and did they move business forward.

Adobe Summit
Basketball legend, entrepreneur and media personality Shaquille O'Neal took the main stage at Adobe Summit 2024

5.        Budgets and rising costs. It’s a challenge. Budgets aren’t increasing, but costs are so we have to be diligent and transparent with our stakeholders. We tell them we may not be able to do the same as last year without more money. Tell stakeholders upfront about costs. Everyone has been understanding because they are seeing it in their own bills in daily life so it’s not a difficult conversation to have.

6.        Experience. We focus on experience for our higher touchpoints, like our sendoff party called Bash. This year and last, Bash was held at Area 15, and we took over the whole campus. We prefer to stay onsite because it can be harder to get people to off-site locations.  

Adobe Summit
The event featured 12 tracks with more than 200 sessions at the Venetian Expo & Convention Center.

7.        Tips for events in Las Vegas. Work with the convention and visitors bureau in any city you go to. For example, they can connect you with the right people to close streets down and make that timeline a lot shorter because they have the connections. During Connect, I heard on the stage that LVCVA has negotiated discounts in the city exclusive to conventions and meetings visitors. We didn’t even know that, so I stopped by their booth on the show floor to find out more. I learned it launched in March, and it’s called “badge and save,” which includes a QR code for discounts. Organizers can find out more here.

8.        Wish list. If money were no object, I would add a drone show to our Bash. I’ve been wanting to do it for many years, and I was working on arranging it before the pandemic. That would be spectacular and engaging for our community because we are a creative company. The type of imagery we could put up there and the story we can tell would encompass who we are. Beyond the tech and creativity, you have to have the right vendor to get clearance, adhere to stipulations and cut through the red tape. I met with a vendor at Connect, and it’s on my list to get for my next event, but we will see.


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