One marketer’s experience as a newcomer in the Eugene area, and how joining the Emerald Marketing Association made his journey both easy and rewarding.
Are you new to the Southern Willamette Valley? Are you starting a new business in the area? Have you just taken on a job in a marketing-related field? If you nodded to yourself for any of those questions, we have stories in common.
Joining the Emerald Marketing Association has given me a place to grow, network, and volunteer while feeling more connected to the local marketing world. The EMA is where I go to be with like-minded people. These are people who are open and interested, and happy to share their stories with me. I’ve met people I’ve later collaborated with — service providers like printers, designers, writers and photographers. I’ve volunteered alongside peers as a volunteer — fun, capable people who are leaders in their companies, business owners, marketing directors and executives. I’d never have met these people otherwise, or at least not quickly. And though I’ve been in this field a long time, I still learn new things about marketing. It helps me stay fresh and connected to the state of this changing field.
Before joining EMA, I lived and worked in marketing in the Corvallis area for many years. I then took a job in Eugene, commuting. Predictably, the commute grew old. So I moved here, and not long after I started my own business as a marketing service provider.
I knew at most a half dozen people, mainly former co-workers. One of those co-workers suggested I attend the meetings of the then WVAMA (Willamette Valley Chapter of the American Marketing Association.) He had attended and knew I’d meet local marketers — people like myself.
This was great advice, as I quickly met and formed a network of marketers and other service providers, in a way I wouldn’t have done by attending a general business group.
I continued my connection after the WVAMA became the Emerald Marketing Association – joining as a member and volunteering. Putting time and energy into the EMA, I continued to notice benefits. Things I lacked because I was a newcomer — local friends, people that understood what I did, who used my lingo, connections with skilled providers of other services — came much more quickly.
The EMA provided me with fertile ground to help me grow roots here. This wasn’t about selling my services to other EMA members. That’s not how this works, like some types of business networking groups where people join to do business with each other.
Instead, the time I’ve spent volunteering with the EMA has rewarded me with connections, referrals, friends, and colleagues. It’s helped make self-employment more successful — and way more fun.
If you’re new to this area or new to the diverse and fascinating world of marketing, you will find the EMA a welcoming place to get started. Join us – attend an event and introduce yourself. Open yourself to joining and volunteering. It’s worked for me, and many others, just like you.
Jay Thompson is the President of the EMA.
You can reach him through his website.