By Natalia Bukhalova

“Ukrainians are awesome! I want to show it to the (research) world and bring the (research) world to them! And I’ll start with students!”

That was my thought after reading the article by my colleague – national ESOMAR representative in Georgia, Nino Gogoladze  about a meeting between Georgian research stars and students. So, I cancelled some business meetings and met marketing students from one of the leading Universities of Ukraine – Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics.

I am a regular speaker and I do like it. But when you enter the auditorium with 75+ students in their last 2 years of university, believe me, you are excited and a bit scared at the same time… They have Internet, they read, they know everything! What can I give them if they skip even professors’ lectures from time to time 🙂 ?!? But all my worries went away in a few minutes. I did it! I was lucky to attract their attention and to hold it for more than an hour.

Of course, it helped that I told them about something I personally believe in. I tried to show ESOMAR and YES “alive”, through my eyes. So I showed a YES video and explained all the very practical benefits that every one of them can use in real life. I spoke about ANA, RW Connect and the free-of-charge webinars, so everybody started making pictures of my slides 🙂 I even told them how I was the speaker at ESOMAR Best of Russia in 2014.

Then I gave them my impressions of ESOMAR itself. Every year, after ESOMAR congress, I create small presentation for my colleagues and clients. And so I shared my files with the students. I told them about the fantastic woman Debra Searle and her “CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE” slogan we saw at Congress 2015. I showed them several “FAILURE to SUCCESS stories”, from Michael Jordan to incredibly young genius Jordan Cacey and a “priceless” case study from MasterCard. I even showed them the ice bucket challenge from the ESOMAR team in Nice, 2014 🙂 And how could I speak about ESOMAR without mentioning the beautiful and strong Panti Bliss, charming Doctor Dance and absolutely admirable Sir Ranulph Phines in Dublin 2015!

And you know what? When you watch old photos, you have a very nice smile on your face. I caught myself smiling while preparing the presentation for the students. It was such a joy remembering something exciting and interesting, and a joy of anticipation its continuation!

YES – market research is interesting! YES, it’s exciting! And #YES, it is ESOMAR! 🙂

Natalia Bukhalova is General Director, Ukrainian Marketing Group and ESOMAR Representative for Ukraine