Adobe Summit Guide for Newbies

The 2024 Adobe Summit will be maybe my 10th Adobe Summit? 12th? Can’t remember, doesn’t matter. What matters is I’ve pretty much done everything. I’ve stayed in AirBNBs, other strip hotels, gone without a pass, been to pretty much every restaurant at the Venetian, walked through every booth, been to the Bash. The point is: this might be your first Adobe Summit and I want to help you navigate it. Maybe it’s not your first and you just want to see if I share your sentiment. Either way, it’s a lot… way more than when we were squatting at places like The Copper Onion in SLC back in the day. I miss that city.

This year I’m lucky enough to have been selected for the Analytics Rockstar session! I’ll be there with my other Blue Acorn iCi colleagues showing off some pretty incredible AEP stuff. Be sure to stop by our booth and say hi. Enough about me – let’s talk about what you need to know going into Summit.


Best Western Plus Location

I’ve stayed outside of the Venetian and Palazzo more than I’ve stayed at those hotels. If you can stay there, great. You don’t need to read any more of this section. If those 2 don’t work for you, your other (realistic) walkable options are either Treasure Island or the Best Western Plus next door (but bring comfortable Sneaks). Anywhere else and you’re making some serious commuting decisions. If you’re on a tight budget, just look outside the strip. I stayed at a few AirBNBs 15 minutes outside the strip and just took an Uber to/from the Venetian. You just have to be prepared to carry around a backpack all day. These are great options – just don’t pretend you’re going to take a quick trip back to your hotel room unless you’re staying in the Venetian or the Palazzo.

Meetup Spots

The Venetian Starbucks

If you’re going to Summit with other people, there’s a good chance you’ll want to congregate somewhere at some point (crazy, right?). The DJ booth in the main atrium is distinctive, but large, loud, and crowded. You could meet in the expo area with all of the booths – but if you’re anywhere past the entrance, someone will get lost. In my experience, there are 2 de facto meeting spots:


This is usually crowded and loud, but it’s small and super easy to find people. It’s right at the entrance to Summit – and if you’re meeting with someone who has been to Summit before, they’ll know exactly where you’re talking about. This is the place I use 95% of the time.

“That Other Coffee Shop Downstairs”

“No, not THAT downstairs. I mean downstairs downstairs. Like the basement place down the escalators across from the DJ.”

There’s a small café downstairs from the main atrium. It’s at the bottom of the escalators you take when you’re herded into the lunch hangar. When there’s no lunch, it’s pretty empty, quiet, and a great place to meet up.

Summit Bash (Area15)

Birdly Area15

Okay, it’s looking like Area15 is going to be the location of Summit Bash (according to the website). It was there last year. Really fun venue. This is where you need to get your priorities straight. Are you interested in the experiences? Networking? Food? Music? If you want to do the cool stuff like Birdly (VR where you’re a bird), you’ve gotta get there early. Like… one of the first 2 buses there. The other big attraction is the Omega Mart which is incredible and does have a capacity limit (though MUCH higher than Birdly). A lot of the other spaces are rented out by vendors, so you may need to “know somebody” to get into like the golfing experience upstairs; but honestly the place gets SO crowded you’ll probably give up.

Speaking of crowded, do not arrive hangry. You’ll notice I said “hangry” and not “hungry”. There are plenty of food tables, but they’re absolutely slammed for the first hour or so. You’ll get your food, but you’re going to have to be patient.

As far as the music goes – there’s always a cohort of people who get right up next to the stage and just lose it. I admire those people. I am not one of those people. I’m the type that likes to be present, but not “in it”, if you will. If you’re one of those people, you probably won’t have too much trouble working your way to the stage; but it’s crowded out there. A note to the hungry people: food is also served outside.

Last bit is on networking. Maybe you want to go to Bash to network. Some people like to go to a grocery store to find a date. I mean, I’m not saying it’s impossible; but there are better venues.


Yardbird Las Vegas

As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a ton of food in Vegas. I’m not going to tell you what food is good and what is bad. Unless the restaurant is critically acclaimed, it’s all fine. Instead, think of the restaurants as… props. They exist to represent a stage in someone’s day, their per diem, or how much vendors want to impress clients. Here’s a curated & categorized list of these places:

The “Yet Another Happy Hour” Spots

Sugarcane & Yardbird. There will be back-to-back-to-back-to-back events being hosted at these 2 places situated just outside of the Summit entrance. If you were curious about their food – just dig around SaaS vendors with Adobe partnerships and sign up for their happy hour.

The “Oh crap, is the sun coming up?” Spots

The Grand Lux Café and the Food Court. No one will judge you if you’re ordering breakfast at 4:30AM at the Grand Lux because you haven’t yet gone to bed. You’re just a very early riser with a discriminating palate. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a nap.

The Upstairs Scramble Spots

You didn’t plan ahead and you need somewhere to take a client? Look no further than all of the restaurants on level 2. Admire the gondolas. Tune out the singing. Try to not stare at the tourists. What could be better?

The $$$$ Collection

Wakuda and Delmonico. Mott 32 would fit in this category if people used it for more than a happy hour spot. These are the places where I am usually on the outside looking in.

The Summit Buffet

Unless you’re in sales, you’ll be hitting up the buffet downstairs. I recommend either getting there first or getting there 15 minutes late. The first 15 minutes are just a stampede of people. If you want to sit with someone, meet up with them BEFORE going in. The staff is exceptionally efficient at serving crowds – but the space is so big, you’ll never find anyone you’re looking for unless you go in WITH that person.

Also – food’s decent. You could do way worse.

Final Thoughts

Everyone gets something different out of Summit. Personally, I attend only a small handful of sessions because I burn out pretty quickly. On the other hand, I could spend literally all day meeting new people and catching up with old friends/colleagues. That’s Summit for me, though. That’s the value – the people. Unless you’re trying to meet a quota, do what makes sense for you (not what you think someone expects from you). I hope to meet some of you there. Reach out if you want to grab a coffee. We can meet up at that downstairs café. Not the Starbucks, I mean downstairs downstairs. Like the basement place down the escalators across from the DJ. Yeah, that one.

1 thought on “Adobe Summit Guide for Newbies”

  1. I absolutely LOVE this, Jim. I think any “newb” would definitely benefit from this < 5 minute read. Hope all is well on your end! :-)


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