Embarking on a research project is an exciting journey that often requires support and funding. Today, I’m thrilled to share my experience of presenting my research project titled “Regional Food Destination Attractiveness: An Exploration of Food Day-Tripper Preferences” at the International Food Marketing Research Symposium (IFMRS) 2023 in Prague, Czech Republic. And guess what? This incredible opportunity was made possible thanks to the funding I received from Bournemouth University’s ACORN scheme. In this blog post, I’ll take you behind the scenes of the conference and explain why securing internal research funds is so crucial for early career researchers (ECRs) like me.
Let’s dive into the ACORN funding scheme. Shortly after joining the university in September 2021, I submitted my research proposal to the ACORN Fund Round 4. To me, ACORN is like a superhero for ECRs, providing the financial support we need to delve deep into our projects. With ACORN backing my research, I conducted an in-depth study on what makes regional food destinations attractive to food day-trippers. The findings have practical implications for local food establishments and offer theoretical insights for further research in spatial food destination design. Findings highlight that there is a need to understand how destination attributes align with the preferences of food day-trippers. Personal values play a significant role in destination branding, as they encompass a wide range of attributes.
Now, let’s fast forward to the IFMRS 2023 in the picturesque city, Prague. This conference is like the Olympics of food marketing research, where top scholars and industry experts gather to exchange ideas and push the boundaries of knowledge. As an ECR, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a workshop on “Enabling Future-Proof Food Consumer Science: The Role of BIG(ger) Data in Interlinking Our Efforts” organised by the Community on Food Consumer Science’s (COMFOCUS) the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This workshop was held before the opening reception of the IFMRS, allowing ECRs to engage in interactive discussions and gain a deeper understanding of the harmonisation of measures and data sharing in the field.
Moving on to the actual conference, guess who got the golden ticket to present the research findings? Yes, it was me!
Stepping onto the stage at IFMRS, I felt a rush of excitement and nerves. But you know what? The audience was on fire! They genuinely showed interest in my research and asked thought-provoking questions that pushed me to delve even deeper. It was like being part of a big brainstorming session with the brightest minds in the field. A link to view the presentation snapshots can be found here. After the conference, we had the chance to explore the beautiful town of Prague, taking advantage of the late summer sunset. The city’s incredible foodscape was so inspiring and sparked new research ideas for us!
Let’s not forget the real heroes behind my journey – Bournemouth University’s ACORN funding scheme and Professor Juliet Memery, my ACORN mentor. With her guidance and support, Juliet has played a pivotal role in shaping my research journey. Her expertise and insights in the field of food marketing have been invaluable, enhancing the quality of my work and boosting my confidence as an ECR – thank you Juliet!
Securing internal research funding like ACORN is a game-changer. It provides financial freedom and opens doors for us to transform our ideas into international conferences like IFMRS. It’s not just about the money, but the opportunities it creates for connecting with experts, exchanging knowledge, and sparking collaborations that shape the future of our field.
Oh, and did I mention that another paper of ours, based on the ACORN funding, has been accepted for presentation at the 7th Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association (IPBA) in Sweden? The conference will be held from 18th to 20th October 2023 at Lund University Campus in Helsingborg. Sounds like another post is coming in October!
Hello, my name is Dr Guljira Manimont, an ECR based in the Department of Marketing, Strategy, and Innovation (MSI) at BUBS. I joined the university in September 2021 after completing my PhD in Marketing from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia. With a background in graphic design, marketing communications, and food photography, my passion lies in visually captivating research in food (tourism) marketing and visual attention. Currently, I am working on exciting projects focused on designing interventions to promote aesthetically imperfect produce, developing optimal assortment layouts for imperfect produce, and exploring food-related lifestyles. Recently, I have submitted one of these projects to the British Academy Small Research Grants scheme, with the support of my mentor, Professor Juliet Memery. Please wish us luck!
Hi there! I’m Juliet, a Professor in Marketing (MSI), and I’m passionate about understanding how people shop for food. It’s like solving a puzzle, unravelling what influences our decisions and how ethics play a role. My research revolves around sustainable food practices, combating food waste, and addressing issues of food access and ‘food security.’
Stay tuned for more updates on our research journey, and feel free to reach out for collaborations on exciting research that addresses societal challenges!