With less than a week before I leave for Amsterdam, I wanted to update everyone on what the Neuromarketing World Forum is and what I’ve been doing for it.
The Forum is presented by the newly formed Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (NMSBA), and is the first industry-wide event they’ve done. We’ll have over 80 attendees representing 23 countries (!) in a 2-day conference on Consumer Insights and the Global Neuromarketing Industry. Some of the biggest players, most respected names, and earliest authors in Neuromarketing will be speaking, and it is sure to be a strong program.
I first learned about the Neuromarketing World Forum a couple months ago from a Google search. I first thought, “that’d be awesome to go, but the conference fees are a bit much.” Although I did save money before leaving my former career and I still had some residual checks still coming in, the registration alone would’ve been over $1,000, not including flights or hotels. After thinking it over, I realized that I was looking at the conference from a problem-based standpoint, and that I couldn’t continue with that type of attitude. A positive attitude always helps, so I started trying to figure out how I could get to this conference. I got in touch over Skype with Carla Nagel (Director of NMSBA) a couple weeks later and laid it all out. I told her that I’m looking for a job in Neuromarketing, went through a bit about my experience and how I’ve been networking, and said that I was willing to do anything to attend the conference. I reached out to every one of my Neuromarketing contacts to see if they would be able to make it, and I also kept in touch with Carla over the next few weeks. Since NMSBA is still a relatively small organization, and since this is the first conference of it’s kind, she (thankfully!) kept coming up with ways I could help. I don’t expect anything in life to come to me without work, and if it came down to scrubbing the convention center floors to get in – I would totally do it.
Thankfully, scrubbing the floors wasn’t the help she needed. Having me reach out to potential attendees and sponsors was the first thing she thought I could help with, and I was happy to do that. She then mentioned that she needed someone to help support the speakers and their presentations during the Forum. This requires me to be in contact with each of the presenters before and during the conference, and to troubleshoot and fix any technical issues that may come up with PowerPoint slides, audio, etc. When she mentioned this opportunity, she said, “this would require you to meet with all of the speakers before their presentations…” – fantastic! I am very excited to hear each of the talks, and this Forum will be a great opportunity to network in the Neuromarketing industry. I would also rather have responsibilities during the conference instead of just attending. If some of these people may be looking at me as a potential hire, I’d rather they see me doing actual work instead of just listening.
So far, working with NMSBA and the Neuromarketing World Forum has been an incredible learning opportunity. I’ve had the chance to talk with many of the speakers and learn about where their presentations are coming from. I’ve also heard about some of the challenges we’ve overcome both with the Forum and issues in the industry in general. This has been my first real exposure to doing business internationally, and it’s really exciting.
I’m also looking forward to getting back to Europe – I’ll travel (especially internationally) with any reasonable opportunity to do so, and this seemed like the perfect chance! Many of my friends (knowing my travel bug) told me that I needed to get abroad before I found my career, because it would be harder to plan travel around a job. I could never disagree with them, but until learning about the conference I didn’t feel right about any of the trips I could’ve taken. It is important to always keep learning and stretch your comfort level, especially while on the job hunt. Traveling has always done that for me, and the opportunity to combine travel with the chance to learn from tremendously smart people at this Forum is a perfect fit.