March Madness, Las Vegas Conference Style!
9 days in Vegas. 2 trade shows. 2 live music shows with 5 awesome artists. So many great parties and gatherings with talented marketers, product managers, new business leaders and friends that work in digital marketing and e-commerce. It was all a blur but here’s a recap of observations and fun events (with some pics!) the sales and marketing team at Wasserman Digital Design & Technology experienced from March 19-28.

adobe summit collage

Adobe Summit

From March 21-25, we attended Adobe Summit at the Venetian & Area 15. The major theme here was The Rise of Customer Experience Management (and the disappearance of Magento).
As a founder of what was originally a Magento Solution provider, it was odd and eery to see the word “Magento” gone / disappeared / vaporized from all Adobe communications around and at the show. For most us that came into the Adobe partnership ecosystem from Magento, our last global gathering was Magento Imagine 2019, so maybe that’s why there was this sense of “poof that brand is gone.” But given Adobe’s offering, scale and market focus, that disappearance is not a surprise. For Adobe Commerce partners and customers the writing has been on the wall for years: Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) is now part of potentially the most powerful suite of customer experience management tools that marketers and technologists can leverage…

…The Adobe Experience Cloud

While Adobe has been one of the most successful software suite purveyors for decades, this doesn’t mean e-commerce merchants won’t be able to commit to Adobe Commerce alone and have great success with it. They will. But Adobe Commerce clearly wants merchants (and solution partners) to grow into other parts of the stack in providing end-to-end customer experiences.

Adobe defines Experience Cloud as, “…the most comprehensive set of applications, capabilities, and services specifically designed to address today’s need for personalized customer experiences at scale…”

It officially consists of the Adobe Experience Platform, which includes the suite of all ~20 products below:

Note that Adobe Commerce is only one part of a massive product suite. Hence the disappearance of “Magento”. Even if you boil down Adobe Experience Cloud to the parts that are most relevant for an enterprise retail / e-commerce merchant, the suite includes a sizable list of systems to get to know and to understand how to use:

  • Experience Platform (CDP)
  • Journey Optimizer and Firefly (architect and create real time AI-powered omnichannel personalized journeys for customers)
  • Adobe Commerce (e-commerce platform)
  • Marketo Engage (marketing automation)
  • Sensei (AI and machine learning powering the experience parts of which are in Commerce and the “engage” Aspects of the suite

Adobe Summit sessions really had a theme of omnichannel experience orchestration because pulling it off is hard. There is a fantastic library of content available from Summit (Adobe sign in required), and the overall theme is customer journey orchestration, management, and enhancement…including how to do it, complete with case studies of who is doing it well.

Noteworthy Keynotes

Inspirational Keynotes were provided by Aaron Sorkin, Peyton Manning and Damar Hamlin. Despite his prowess and experience and reputation for telling stories Sorkin seemed unprepared and underwhelmed. Peyton and Damar took the stage together and provided the crowd with a badly needed lift and well-timed laughs. Hamlin really provided the connection to Adobe’s mission – that everyone has a unique story to tell and so as merchants it’s up to us to match consumer stories with relevant content, experiences, and memories whether it’s online, offline, in times of triumph and in times of challenge across a consumer’s life. Well done Damar!

And Let’s Not Forget The Really Fun Stuff

Adobe backed up its game with some fantastic experiences for both merchants and vendor ecosystems.

Partner Day provided clear direction and inspiration for adopting the suite and selling it in; and there was an awesome partner-focused party at Venetian’s Tao Beach Club to cap it off.

“The Bash” was hosted at an off campus, multi-activity venue called Area 15. It was an amazing party with plenty of activities, food and beverage for the 10,000 attendees. Adobe has curated and customized the entire venue for a choreographed Adobe experience with retail, virtual reality and live music experiences. This makes sense since Adobe is hoping to drive 360 degree customer experience management through its product set for all of its partners and customer companies.

The headliners of “The Bash” included two awesome musical acts; Rev Run and Macklemore. The crowd was really into it despite the area around the stage being a little tight for 10k attendees, but it felt like a club versus arena and the crowd acted that way too! It was so much fun!

Mackelmore performing at Adobe SummitBash Banner at Adobe Summit


ShopTalk – March 26-28 at Mandalay Bay

Parallel themes of customer experience and leveraging all the new marketing tools available to merchants were a nice follow up to Adobe Summit. There were a number of vendors and retailers that doubled up on both conferences, including the Wasserman Digital Design & Technology team!

As always there was a crowd of retail attendees at Shoptalk beyond the Targets and the Walmarts of the world. We met up with folks from General Mills, Koehler, Bausch & Lomb, Dyson, BodyShop and Free People among others.

The concerns and related objectives we heard from merchants in the sessions, meetups and parties we attended included:

  • Concerns over how to centralize and provide access to customer data for use across all channels
  • E-commerce evolution and the right way to integrate it with “in-store” experiences
  • Interest in “headless frameworks” for websites and e-commerce systems for use by global organizations that have vastly different budgets and resources in different locations around the world
  • The economy and optimizing technology spend in the post pandemic era
  • First Party data collection strategies for a post cookie world
  • Omnichannel Accessibility / handicapped accessibility for physical retail and online and how to merge the related priorities
  • Customer Data Platform strategy

Commerce After Dark

Along with Bloomreach, Quantum Metric and Google, we hosted the “Commerce After Dark” party at Manadaly’s Foundation Room on the 63rd floor.

Commerce After Dark sign


It was an awesome event with over 450 in attendance! Fantastic food, beverages, and conversation with a solid 50-50 ratio of merchants and fellow ecosystem vendors in attendance, including our close friends and partners from BigCommerce and Bloomreach. We followed that up with a cool After party gathering at Aria Casino’s Alibi nightclub.

Commerce After Dark Party

The Bottom Line

We can’t say enough about how great it was to catch up with our partners, clients, prospective merchants and friends over the last couple weeks! We’re excited about the rest of 2023 and look forward to seeing everyone again soon as we all work together to improve customer experiences using all of our collective capabilities!