2014 QRCA Annual Conference Call for Presenters
2014 qualitative research conference

Speaker Applications are no longer being accepted as of March 15, 2014.

October 15-17, 2014
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
New Orleans, LA

The 2014 QRCA Conference Speaker Committee is looking to make this year’s conference the best ever.  We invite you to submit your topic for consideration as a conference speaker.

Online application form available here

Questions? Need help? Just email conferenceproposals@qrca.org.

Proposal Deadline is March 15, 2014


Topic Areas

We encourage you to submit a presentation on ANY topic you think will be of compelling interest to QRCA members. To get you thinking, here are some topics we know our members are interested in:

  1. Advanced skills for experienced QRCs
  2. Expanding our horizons: input from related fields (e.g. psychology, behavioral science, usability, design) that are closely aligned with what QRCs do to improve our knowledge and skills
  3. "How-to's" and case studies
  4. Getting and selling work
  5. Topics related to running a research business
  6. Keeping up-to-date on the latest and greatest techniques, tools and methodologies
  7. Improving reports, debriefs, toplines, marketing implications, video reports, etc.

Important: What We Don’t Want

  1. Presentations about research approaches should provide specific practical application knowledge so that attendees can utilize the approach in their own research practice. Presentations that only provide theoretical background will not be acceptable.
  2. Also, if an attendee were to ask “how do I implement this approach in my own practice,” and the answer is “you have to hire the presenter,” that presentation would NOT be appropriate for this conference.
  3. Do not spend a significant amount of time on background information: attendees are looking for information that is of value to them.  Presentations that contain 50 minutes of background information and 10 minutes of new information are NOT appropriate for this conference.

Session Formats

Sessions will run for 60 or 90 minutes.

  1. 90-minute presentations are appropriate for hands-on sessions, where attendees will learn new skills.
  2. 60-minute presentations work well for conveying new ideas and concepts, as well as case studies.  Most presentations at this conference will last 60 minutes.

Other Submission Guidelines

  1. One or more individuals may present, so consider a partner if you feel it will enhance your content and delivery.
  2. If your application is approved, you will be assigned a liaison who will serve as a sounding board and guide you in the process leading up to the conference.  Liaisons are flexible and can offer help in a variety of ways, including working with you on your bio and the description of your session, helping you target your presentation to our members, and giving you candid feedback on your presentation as it evolves.
  3. To preserve the educational integrity of the conference, presenters must refrain from using their sessions to promote their products or services. The QRCA conference is a unique environment where qualitative research professionals engage in open dialogue and creative exchange of ideas without commercial content.

How to Submit a Proposal

We use a simple online form to gather submissions.  Please click here to submit your application..

All speaker application forms must be received by March 15, 2014. By submitting an application you confirm that you will meet the deadlines below.

March 15, 2014

Deadline for submitting speaker application forms to conferenceproposals@qrca.org

April 15, 2014

Notification of speaker selection

May 10, 2014

Materials due to speaker team:

  • Finalized description of your session for program (no more than 200 words)
  • Bio to be used for marketing purposes (no more than 100 words)
  • Headshot photo sent as an attachment, at least 200 x 200 pixels, hi-res JPEG preferred)
  • Outline of your session

June 30, 2014

Draft of presentation due to speaker team

July-August, 2014

Interactive work with speaker team

September 6, 2014

Full copy of final presentation due

Your bio and a description of your session will be included in materials promoting the conference, such as the conference website and brochure and given to attendees.

Speaker Compensation

  1. QRCA members and qualified non-members receive one complimentary conference registration per session and are responsible for their travel, hotel and any additional expenses.
  2. Partial reimbursement for travel expenses may be available to speakers from outside of the qualitative research industry who present at the conference. These speakers will also receive one complimentary conference registration per session, provided that they are not otherwise disqualified for membership.
  3. In an effort to enhance its recognition internationally and to attract speakers from outside North America, QRCA may offer some limited compensation to speakers traveling from outside the US and Canada.

What if I’m still not sure about submitting an idea?
Help is available -- if you have any questions while you are developing your submission, email them to conferenceproposals@qrca.org.

Can I suggest a topic or recommend a speaker?
If you do not wish to speak at the conference yourself, we encourage you to suggest a topic or recommend speakers, regardless of whether they are QRCA members or not. Please send your suggestions to conferenceproposals@qrca.org.

I am not a QRCA member, what information should I know about the organization and about the conference to ensure my topic would be a good fit?
QRCA, the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, is an international organization that promotes excellence in all aspects of qualitative research. Founded in 1983, QRCA is the largest professional organization of independent qualitative researchers, with nearly 1,000 members in 30 countries.

The mission of the QRCA Annual Conference is to provide superior educational opportunities for members and qualified non-members that will enhance their skills and improve the professionalism of the industry. Attendees at the Annual Conference are primarily qualitative research consultants, not research buyers.

Qualitative research is designed to explore the perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes of a target audience in relation to specific topics or issues. The results of qualitative research are descriptive, rather than predictive. Qualitative research methods include focus groups, executive & professional interviews, online methods and observational & ethnographic research.

QRCA members are professionals who provide these and additional consulting services to major corporations and organizations throughout the world. They assist these groups in launching new products & services, improving existing products & services, encouraging customer retention, and creating advertising campaigns, among other objectives.

More information can be obtained from our website, including videos of conference speakers, archived Qcast webinars, and our quarterly magazine, Views. Our LinkedIn group also has lively discussions on topics of interest to this professional community.

Thank you for your interest in the Qualitative Research Consultants Association and the 2014 Annual Conference. For additional information or to suggest a topic or speaker, please email conferenceproposals@qrca.org.

2014 QRCA Conference Speaker Committee
Ben Smithee, Susan Abbott, Jeff Walkowski

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