Day 319

When I first arrived at Y&R Group Seattle, I was excited to discover that I’d be tagging along to this year’s Seattle Interactive Conference. Now, I haven’t attended many professional conferences in my career. So, I’d say there was an equal part curiosity mixed in there too. What would I be doing? Where would I stand? What would I wear? The sheer stress of it all!

Once I snapped back to reality, I looked into the conference and found out this year’s event was all about highlighting the ‘makers’ of the world. Now, if you’ve been following along from the very beginning, you might remember my interview with professional maker, Steve Thompson, of Red Tettemer. He immediately came to mind when I discovered this new information. It’s really too bad they didn’t ask him to be a keynote speaker. I think he would’ve nailed it.

So, yesterday was day one of the conference and it was more exciting than I ever could’ve imagined. First off, YRG really outdid themselves with their awesome booth. It trumped every other company there. The morning featured artisan coffee from a local purveyor, while the afternoon brought a delicious blend of cheese, fruit and popcorn. To cap off the evening, the team even shared some area brews and small bites with the remaining attendees. Oh yeah… and these were all presented in front of a lush backdrop of freshly carved wooden bears, enormous pine trees and well-placed mood lighting—all to help push the booth’s theme of celebrating all things Seattle.

The Work of Cey Adams

Of course, such things don’t come to fruition without a lot of hard work. That's why I spent most of Wednesday helping load in the trees and furniture (Yes, I offered to help). It was a great opportunity to chat with team members and see the vast amount of planning that went into designing and building the space. I wish all of the conference goers could get a sense of how massive the project truly was, because I think it would help them appreciate it’s grandeur that much more. Although I will say, I think everyone was thoroughly impressed with it as is.

Following the last seminar of the day, I ended up at the official conference after party to chat up the diverse group of creatives, tech folk and local makers. It was very interesting indeed and I had a great time learning about Seattle's small industries and wares. But, alas, that brings us to this very moment. I’m actually gearing up for Day Two of SIC and greatly looking forward to seeing what inspirational speakers I get to hear today.

On top of all that, we’re nearing the arrival of my two best friends! I can’t recall if I mentioned it before, but they’re flying in from Cleveland to help celebrate my 30th birthday on Sunday. It's actually a pretty momentous occasion, because my one friend has never stepped foot on an airplane before. Eventful week? I’d certainly say so.

-Steve-

Day 312

I have to say that my first week here at Y&R Group Seattle is going rather swimmingly. I’m already immersed in a variety of projects and the people in the office have been absolutely wonderful to me. Everyone seems to be genuinely interested in the project and there’s more than a handful, who have been following along from the very beginning. It’s pretty weird to have conversations with people I just met about things that happened to me months ago. Sometimes I forget that I blog about this stuff.

The Y&R office, itself, is a rather large departure from the cozy, home-like atmosphere of 97 Degrees West. The space offers a lot of modern accents that focus on clean lines, collaborative areas and amazing views of the city. They even have a roof deck that allows you to take in miles and miles of Seattle’s skyline. Of course, they’re also all about celebrating Seattle’s culture, which is why every conference room is named after a Seattle-based band. It is rather funny to say, “Hey, let’s meet in Pearl Jam. Oh, it’s booked? Let’s head to Nirvana then.”

Another great element of the office is their kitchen. To say it’s fully stocked would be an understatement. Not that I’m going to try, but I’m pretty sure I could live off the morsels they offer here—from tabletops loaded with fruit, chips and crackers to cabinets filled with cereal, peanut butter, yogurt and loaves of bread. Clearly, this is one agency that knows health and happiness begins with the stomach.

Aside from the delicious snacks and colorful décor, Y&R is populated by a very diverse and lively group of creatives and agency folk. Just peeking at the desks around the office, you’ll find evidence of gamers, sports fans, cooks, runners, hikers, artists, musicians—people from all walks of life. They’re from all over the country too. I’ve already met two people from Cleveland and my desk neighbor just moved here from Philadelphia a few weeks ago.

One thing I’m really looking forward to next week is attending the Seattle Interactive Conference. Y&R is putting a really awesome booth together and they’ve invited me along for the ride. This year’s theme is all about celebrating the “makers” of the world—a group I’ve become rather close with over the past 10 months. I haven’t been to many ‘professional’ conferences, so I’m excited to see what they’re like. And after hearing what the agency has in store for their area, I can’t wait to see it brought to life. Of course that rings true for just about everything they have me working on.

It’s going to be a fun month, indeed.

-Steve-