This year was my first time attending Adobe Max, and by all accounts, I picked a great year to be my first.
It seems all anyone wants to talk about is free stuff -- and yes, there were some nice giveaways -- but there was so much more to it than that. I think I averaged somewhere around 4 hours of sleep per night, from Saturday night through Wednesday night, because there was so much going on. All day every day I was forced to make tough decisions between sessions that I really wanted to attend, and every evening seemed to include both an officially sanctioned social activity (like bowling at Lucky Strike) and something more or less spontaneous with a gathering of other friends (like 1am pancakes!). I made new friends every day. I tasted homebrew, and went to an expensive restaurant on Melrose. (My god the taxi ride over was hot!)
But more importantly I sharpened my saw, I learned new skills (apparently I'm a mobile developer (or at least I will be once the new versions of Flex and Flash Builder are released)), and came back invigorated and inspired to push my own boundaries. I probably have half a dozen ideas for applications I want to develop, all of which involve something I've never done before: at least one for AIR for TV app, one or two for AIR for Android, and one combination Flex / HTML5 app all immediately spring to mind.
Previously I had a view of Max as more of a sales pitch and less of a place where I could learn, and I'm happy to report that this view has changed.
I'm excited for what the future holds. I hope to be back at MAX next year. And I hope to see you there.