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Supporting The Adaptavist Group at Atlassian Team 23 (in Vegas baby!)

Interview with Trudy Turner, Graphic Designer and Illustrator, Debbie Gacutan-Jardim De Oliveira, Social Media Manager & Brendan Purchase, Principal Designer

The annual Atlassian Team conference took place in Las Vegas in April. The Adaptavist Group (TAG) were there in style, presenting 11 brands to a hybrid audience. This required deep co-ordination between different teams, and fostered new ways of collaborating across TAG.

Thinking back, what did you know going into your ideation process?

BP We knew it was going to be different from the previous year, and so originally we were thinking maybe an installation with more interactivity. This was refined as more of the detail emerged…the size and style of the stand…dimensions…stand positioning in the space…even which walls of the stand the screens will be. And of course we had to think about all 11 brands at the same time!

Debbie, at what point did you get involved in the process?

DG So it’s never too early to bring in the Social Media Manager! I was much better at anticipating and preparing what we needed this year, because I was involved in Team last year. My priority was generating more brand awareness of our presence in Team 23.

...we had to think about all 11 brands at the same time!

Were there any challenges you encountered?

TT: Yeah, there were some things that only got picked up at the deadline – very last minute requests like “We need one of those...oh, we actually need 50!” That was quite challenging, especially when you had to ensure everything remained cohesive, but everyone pulled together to get everything done in time. 

DG The challenge we faced in Team 23 from a social media point of view was the information coming out of the event, like the agenda…it would change (like a speaker slot). So that's also another factor to take into account. But we can still prepare a skeleton plan. 

Was there a particular reason for these challenges? 

BP I think it was mostly about resourcing, and that's a challenge everywhere. It's really important to work together, because a lot of the time - especially with the pressure of the deadline - people feel challenged. Teams is such an important event that consumes so much, and everyone wants to do their bit really well…we’ve since grown the design team, we’re more able to ‘flex’ to deal with changes in workload – like the new brands!

TT Yeah, TAG launched 2 new brands at the event, and so that had to be accounted for. We had Kolekti and the Scriptrunner rebrand on top of the usual event stuff.

What considerations do you make from a social media perspective? For instance, how do you capture and convey that sense of energy and excitement when you or your audience aren't physically in the room?

DG Yeah...for example the videos look great! It really showed the booth. And I think that's so important, because it's not just about being physically there. At the same time it's good for the team that work behind the scenes – that don’t go to Las Vegas – because they can see their work in real life, and it looks so good on camera!

Also, to mention resources again, we definitely relied a lot on the team on the ground, and that team might actually be stretched – we don't know what’s happening. You’re relying on them to try and reach the goals of each brand. 

BP It’s important that there are brand guardians on the ground…people who understand it and that can manage it.

Was there anything in particular you were experimenting with this year, and did you find anything useful that you’d look to build upon in '24 and beyond?

DG Something that we tested this year were influencers. Several of the team who are Atlassian Community leaders, you know, industry experts in the field who helped us promote our presence. For next year we could give more support to the rest of the team for social…just giving them lots of tools to shout out that they're going to Team. 

What do you think worked well for Team 23?

TT I think the idea stages worked really well…using decision sprints to come up with some exciting ways of using a booth was really good. (We came up with loads of ideas that we can use in the future too). Regarding designs, I think collaborating to find a way of complimenting the Atlassian theme while still creating something uniquely TAG was quite invigorating.  Personally, by working with Brendan, I now feel able to take on more responsibility, knowing more about it now. And what I learned was how much I can do in a day! 

DG I think that in terms of just preparing, it was a real advantage that I'd done Team last year. I knew I needed to prepare for ‘XYZ…’ And now going on to next year it's going to be like I need to prepare for ‘XYZ - ABCDE!’ There are more things that I’m realising we can prepare for in advance next year.

I also worked very well with Trudy! Working more closely with the designers really helped, and I had some good lessons in Illustrator! I can step in to take a chunk of work from a designer in order to turn things around. There's a lot of their process that I've taken on board.

So collaboration with the design team worked brilliantly…

DG And being able to have a more influence of the assets that we put out. I took ownership of the video briefing too. And we gathered all of the social media managers as a group, and then worked together to approach this as one strategy, as a group.

BP You’re kind of prepared when you’ve worked on it before. We had a lot of new people start before the event so I think more preparation is definitely worth it. And collaboration with the social team worked well. I think it turned out really great – the assets looked great, everyone really worked to their best and pushed the boat out – there was a really nice buzz about it. And, we also have a lot of great learnings for 2024.

...the assets looked great, everyone worked to their best...there was a really nice buzz about it. And, we also have a lot of great learnings for 2024!

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