by Ian Doescher

Pivot Forward 2015Another Pivot Forward is behind us, and in some ways this may have been the best yet. Putting on the Forward conference is always a lot of work for the Pivot staff, but it’s also very rewarding. I would say the moment that tide shifts is the Tuesday evening of the conference, right around 6 p.m., when the reception starts. It’s at that moment, with the bulk of the work behind us and the conference actually beginning, that we get to start enjoying time with our clients. This year, our reception was held at the Hotel Vintage, a hip (and loud) venue downtown. Our clients began arriving, the food and drinks were served, and at last this year’s Forward had officially begun.

On Wednesday morning, we were up bright and early for the first morning of sessions, now at Portland’s Benson Hotel. The Tuesday reception always sets a good tone for the conference, so that by the time we’re together on Wednesday morning it’s a friendly, fun atmosphere. Wednesday brought us a mix of creative and informative sessions, sprinkled in with more than a bit of fun, including our Telco Office videos (See episodes one, two, three and four at their respective links).

Wednesday evening, we all headed to the Pivot office for dinner. It was exciting for all of us who work in the Portland office to welcome our clients into our new space. We are proud of the work that has gone into it, and couldn’t wait for everyone else to see the efforts of our labor. Along with dinner, we had what has become my favorite part of the Forward conference every year: the Pivot Forward barbershop quartet. You see, I like to imagine that my life is a musical, and in those rare moments when my imagination becomes reality, it’s a beautiful thing. Here is the second annual Pivot Forward barbershop quartet, made up of Tom, Aldo, Ron and me:

Wednesday night, after dinner, the gang headed back downtown for a Portland Timbers game. Although the final score was 0-0, everyone enjoy experiencing the excitement and spirit of a Timbers match. (Sidenote: as a person who is not a soccer fan, I dislike the idea of ties. My brother Erik and I were discussing this, and realized that in any sport anywhere you have to score at least one point or run or goal to win. Shouldn’t a 0-0 game be a loss for both teams?!)

On Thursday, we were back at the Benson Hotel for the last morning and afternoon sessions. This included a guest visit from Ryan Wilmot, a former Pivoteer, who graced us with his presence and wisdom. Another Forward tradition is the doughnut wars — this started when we first ordered VooDoo Donuts a few years back, then added Blue Star Donuts in the last couple of years, and this year we added a third option: Pip’s Original Donuts. Needless to say, a good and sugary time was had by all.

Before we knew it, the conference had come to an end. This is the way it always is with Forward: all the hard work and preparation, and then it’s over in a flash. Jeremy Graves said it well when he closed the Pivot Forward conference by reminding our clients that they are also people we like and respect. Pivot Forward is a wonderful time to reconnect with wonderful people, meet new people, and make professional connections that serve all of us. Thank you to all who attended, and if you’re considering coming next year, I highly recommend it!

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Well said Ian. A good time seemed to be had by all and I agree the quartet always steals the show. Thanks to all our friends who came. Hope to see everyone again next year.

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