The Los Angeles Adobe User Group began in early 2006 although it actually has roots that go back to November 2004 when LAdobe’s User Group Manager, Adam Bell, was living in New Orleans, LA and Adobe’s MAX conference was held that year at the Ernest P. Morial Convention Center. At the time, Adam was on the board of the New Orleans Macintosh User Group and had developed a strong relationship with Macromedia over the years. So much so he was admitted that year to be a part of their Team Macromedia program. An exclusive program for top Macromedia designers and developers. With MAX approaching, Adam created an event for the local New Orleans design community called MiniMAX. MiniMAX was a one night only version of the MAX conference featuring six speakers doing 15 minute mini-presentations of their normal one hour MAX presentations. The event went so well that Adam inquired about started New Orleans’ own Macromedia User Group that spring. In Februrary 2005, the New Orleans Macromedia User Group was launched at a local hotel in the Central Business District. In six short months, NOMMUG was getting lots of attention and credibility as a top flight user group.
Then everything changed as Hurricane Katrina literally blew people all over the Gulf South all over the US. In Adam’s case, that meant Los Angeles as he relocated there after the hurricane. Once settling in, Bell wanted to create a new version of NOMMUG for Southern California. And thus LAdobe was born. While user groups already existed for certain Adobe applications, LAdobe would revolve around the majority of Adobe applications. Especially those not featured prominently at other area user group meetings.
The first meeting was held on May 31, 2006 at Aquent’s offices in West LA. To everyone’s shock, over 50 people attended the first meeting in a room meant for 20-25 people. Many attendees had to be turned away and others watched the presentations from the office lobby. LAdobe was an instant hit.
Then Aquent didn’t want us anymore due to too many people attending the meeting.
This led to LAdobe moving it’s meeting space all over LA from USC to Hollywood and currently at the Art Institute California-Hollywood. Meetings occur once every month on the fourth Thursday at 7pm and have featured top speakers including Colin Smith, Stephen Burns, Joshua Adams, Daniel Sorenson, Lon Levin, Jacob Rosenberg and many more.
One mantra of the group is to have it’s member share it’s knowledge of Adobe apps and to always admit all members free to all events. Unlike some user groups, LAdobe never has and never will charge an admission fee to its’ meetings or special events.
To celebrate its’ 1st anniversary, LAdobe created ‘Photoshop Idol’ as a way to find the next great Photoshop Superstar designer in Los Angeles. Using a tight 15 minute time limit, contestants must design a composition using just a web browser (to obtain photos) and a copy of Photoshop using three keyword related to the Los Angeles area, past and present. Our Idol’s to date have been Sunil Rampersad, Andrew Kavanaugh and Martin Bruinsma.
In December 2008, we expanded on this concept by creating ‘Website Nightmares’, a website redesign competition where three contestants show off comps of what they imagine a website redesign might be for a non-profit organization. In fact, the website you are looking at currently was designed by our first Website Nightmares winner, Sunil Rampersad.
In the Summer of 2008, LAdobe expanded by adding a Co-Manager to the group in the form on Michele Weisbart who runs her own studio in the West Los Angeles area. Michele has presented to our group as well as to the LAFlash group and has contributed countless time and effort in the promotion of LAdobe to the LA creative community.
In 2015, LAdobe was dropped as a member inn the Adobe User Group community. Despite the setback, LAdobe continues to prosper and now provides events for all facets of what we call the LA Creative Tech scene,
LAdobe continues to strive to present the best speakers and events for the Los Angeles tech, creative and development communities and will be presenting many special events, launch parties and even a MiniMAX or two over the next few years.
If it’s Adobe….It’s here.