connections chapter news

April 2017
Vol. 16, Number 3

Management News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

Remember to check out the QRCA calendar of events
for upcoming Chapter events

Meet the New International Chapter Co-chairs!

Nadja Mueller Schmid,

Please meet Hana Kloučková from Prague, CZ and Nadja Mueller Schmid from Zurich, CH, the new International Chapter Co-chairs:

Hana Kloučková — Prague

Hello from Prague. My name is Hana Kloučková.

I joined in 2010 when QRCA held its conference in Prague; the organizing committee asked me to help; and I learned how special QRCs were, based on their willingness to share their learnings in ways I had never seen before.

Before entering the research world, I spent eight years with Procter & Gamble as a brand manager in Central Europe, South East Asia, Australia, and India.

When I returned to Prague, I set up CONFESS Research, a qualitative research agency, with a friend. Over the past 14 years, we have grown into a full-service research provider. Our areas of focus are communication testing, along with new product and innovation development.

In my spare time I love diving, currently I hold PADI Rescue Diver license.

Nadja Mueller Schmid — Zurich

Hi! We may have met at a past QRCA conference. I am Nadja Mueller Schmid from Zurich, Switzerland.

I fell in love with qualitative research 15 years ago, and remain in love today. I lead my own qualitative research firm focusing on Swiss German moderation, project planning and execution for Swiss firms, and consulting for international partners. I also founded “IG Quali” — an interest group for Swiss qualitative researchers.

I think people would call me creative, curious, fast and probably a bit impatient. You might often see me running or cycling, because I find being outdoors energizing.

Dorrie Paynter — Japan

And, we welcome Dorrie Paynter to the International Chapter.

Dorrie was originally from the U.S. but now lives in Japan. She was one of the International Chapter founders, and has offered to be a regional Co-chair in charge of our Japanese and Asian members, to help spread the benefits of QRCA in this area of the world.

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Minnesota Chapter Learns “A Treasure Trove of Techniques for Transformational Insights" at February Meeting

Jean Nordgren,

“I don’t ask names. I care about what’s in the heart,” explained Pam McCarthy, a long-time member of the Minnesota Chapter. Pam’s passion is uncovering emotional drivers in a way that feels safe for focus group respondents to share their deepest feelings. Pam often works with lower-income mothers and avoids introductions that include sharing names and ages of kids. Instead, she jumps right in and asks these moms to share their greatest joy, their biggest failure, or what keeps them up at night.

Pam brought her passion to life at the Minnesota Chapter’s meeting on February 13 by presenting “A Treasure Trove of Techniques for Transformational Insights,” based on her experiences and the book The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless.

Pam demonstrated three techniques:

  1. Mad Tea Open Sentences
    An icebreaker that gets respondents (even introverts) to quickly jump into a discussion at a deeper level, this technique is something like speed dating. When debriefing this technique, probes include “Who heard something they’ll never forget?” or “What’s the opportunity for you? What do you need to do to get yourself ready for this opportunity?”

  2. Nine Whys
    This technique is used for ideation. Despite the name, Pam never uses the word “why” because it leads the group away from emotion-based conversations. Instead, probes like “Tell me more,” “What’s in it for you?” and “How would that make a difference in your life?” focus on understanding emotional drivers.

  3. Marry, Date or Ditch
    Respondents vote on ideas by holding up one of three signs. “Marry” means respondents love the idea, message, or concept and want to try it ASAP. “Date” signals that the idea may be promising, but might need some adjustments. “Ditch” means no way! Naturally a discussion with respondents follows to share what needs to change to move from “Ditch” or “Date” to "Marry."

Pam McCarthy, speaker

Some attendees participating in one of the techniques demonstrated: L to R. Katrina McGhee, Gregg Hietpas, Jeff Walkowski, Rebecca Carlson, Riva Kupritz, Scarlett Ferguson, Jen Hinton. Attendees not pictured: Kara Lazarus, Jean Nordgren, Pam McCarthy, Elaine Gingold

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NYC Chapter Holds a Three-Part, Dual-Purpose Event

Roben Allong,

The NY Metro Chapter hosted a three-part presentation on March 24 at the Time Warner Media Lab in midtown Manhattan.

The event focused on raising QRCA awareness along with exploring emerging trends in qualitative, best practices for recruiting C-suite execs, and DIY mobile ethnography.

The three modules were:

  • Is Your Research in Style?
  • Casting the A-Listers: Conquering C-Suite and Other Recruiting Challenges
  • Peeping Behind the Curtain with the Mobile Camera

Session learnings included:

  • Clients are requesting shorter, faster studies requiring tech platforms with analytics tools, and are seeking small, agile qualitative firms that can go global.
  • Capturing unfiltered experiences with mobile in the field for self-directed ethnographies can reduce moderator bias, as well as increase study speed and efficiency.
  • Understanding the organizational structures to find the right decision maker and weaving relevant topics into the discussion can generate more in-depth reveals from C-suite respondents.

The wine-and-cheese networking after-event gave everyone the opportunity to get in some one-on-one time with colleagues, friends and presenters.

Special thanks to our presenters who graciously shared knowledge and their time: Rebecca West, Global Vice President, Civicom; Alex Baranpuria, VP and Founding Member and Zach Rhodes, Senior Manager, Ivy Exec; and Dr. Ben Wiedmaier, Research Consultant at dscout mobile research and professor at DePaul University.

The Chapter also thanks Colin Lateano, who provided dscout’s GotoWebinar Platform to host all three presentations, along with Liz Bloom, Kevin Weng and the wonderful team at the Time Warner Media Lab who donated their time and expertise to ensure the event occurred without a hitch.

The speakers L to R: Roben Allong (Chair QRCA NY Metro Chapter), Alex Baranpuria (Co-founder and VP Ivy Exec), Rebecca West (Global VP Civicom) and Dr. Ben Weidmaier (Research Consultant, dscout)

L to R: Janina Weigl, Ilka Kuhagen, Roben Allong

L to R: Alissa Gardenhire, Civicom rep, Kathryn Alexander

Enjoying wine and cheese: L to R: Chapter members Beth Pessen and Joan Bogin

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Philadelphia Chapter to Present Four-Session Day of Learning on April 21!

Abby Leafe,

Since it’s been a few years since our last Summit, the chapter leaders organized another great day of learning designed to energize, inform, and guide us to be at the top of our game in 2017!

The day begins at M3 in Center City with networking and a light breakfast, followed by chapter and national QRCA news. Then, Ms. Energy herself, Missy Carvin, will explore how to transfer our skills as moderators to workshop facilitation. Missy and Karen Lynch presented this topic at the 2015 Annual Conference.

Next, Abby Leafe and Caroline Volpe share their 2017 Annual Conference presentation, “In Their Eyes." This dynamic duo conducted qualitative and quantitative research with participants in multiple countries to understand how a respondent’s perceptions shape the research process. They will teach us how to ensure that respondents have the best possible experience and capture the deepest insights, which will provide the maximum value for our clients.

After lunch, veteran researcher Chris Kann presents “Rethinking the Question,” which she delivered at this year’s Annual Conference. Chris provides a fresh approach to analyzing the probing questions we ask in research, why we ask them, and suggestions for an updated approach.

Laurie Tema-Lyn delivers our last session of the day, “Listening as an Act of Love,” originally presented at the 2017 Annual Conference. This session will explore listening and observing from the perspectives of a variety of professionals to uncover ways that we might listen and observe better in our market research practices.

For those interested, the day will close with Happy Hour and maybe dinner at a nearby venue to further discuss the day’s events or just hang out over good food and good drink with good people!

For more information, including full session descriptions and RSVP info, please visit:

NOTE: For those who can’t attend in person, we will have remote viewing via Focusvision.

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SF QRCA March Chapter Meeting Highlights Annual Conference Themes

Katrina Noelle,

At its annual recap session, the San Francisco Chapter discussed common themes that Chapter participants saw and heard at the 2017 QRCA Conference in Los Angeles.

Chapter members had a full day of content, in which the following members presented their take on some of the key conference themes:

  • Jane Pepe: Listening
  • Allison Rak: Tech Tools
  • Patricia Sauerbrey Colton: Psychology
  • Janet Standen: Design-Thinking
  • Ellen Schaefer: Visualization and Quant vs. Qual
  • Bill Fanning: Neuroscience

A consistent thread through all the themes: the importance of being caring and curious insights professionals. And many conference participants reported the spirit of the annual conference this year reflected an empathic, understanding and supportive community that members needed during inauguration week.

As a result, the San Francisco chapter decided to ensure this year’s remaining meetings will feature a collaborative, interactive component to further the discipline of qualitative research as well as chapter member strengths and skills.

New San Francisco Chapter Co-Chair Patricia Sauerbrey Colton leads the Psychology Recap

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SE Chapter and Friends Ride Online Wave to Build Community and Knowledge

Linda Travis,

What do you get when you mix:

  • 1 crazy fun group of moderators-turned-participants,
  • 2 days of immersion in a robust online platform, and
  • 3 co-facilitators with a passion for the QRCA community?

Answer: A rich, deep-dive experience into Online Bulletin Board research. During the week of March 21-24, QRCA members and friends of 20|20 joined together for learnings about QualBoard while getting to know each other a bit better. Using QRCA membership as the topic of common interest, 20|20 Sr. Project manager Katie White, along with SE Chapter Co-Chairs Laurie Butler and Janelle Nelems, co-moderated a two-day 20|20 QualBoard experience that took the rest of us professional moderators out of the captain’s chair, giving us first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a respondent in an online community.

Learnings from Days 1-2
The deep dive underscored the importance of establishing personal connection and community at the kick-off of a board, as well as how much time is reasonable to expect from participants across a broad range of insightful activities—from collaging to quick survey questions to concept mark-ups—all the while showcasing the variety of 20|20 QualBoard capabilities. Gaining experience with and offering feedback about the wide range of reporting tools wrapped up the two-day online extravaganza.

Linda T
March 24, 2017, 2:10 PM

I think the more time we spend around these platforms, in webinars, trial/test-driving different platforms, we naturally develop more of a comfort level with and understanding of how best to apply online to help our clients. Starting with a soup-to-nuts provider for lots of hand-holding is probably a good starting place for the un-initiated.

Kate W
March 21, 2017, 11:07 AM

good morn! i have already had the pleasure of using this platform so i am excited to maybe learn some new features and to do it while getting to know some other QRCA members a bit better! thanks all for making this a reality!

Day 3 Doesn’t Disappoint
But it didn’t end there. On Day 3, we moved from being 20|20 QualBoard participants to taking a seat at the QRCA Pharma SIG Qcast featuring Over the Shoulder (OTS), a mobile research platform that boasts unparalleled ease. Fresh off of our QualBoard journey, we reviewed capabilities and case studies, learning that:

  • OTS pioneered smartphone qualitative research and can work with many other online platforms when necessary.
  • The OTS app is created by qualitative researchers for qualitative researchers, including unique audio-only recording as well as video-response capabilities.
  • While not limited to healthcare research, the app boasts levels of security and anonymity features that are critical to heightened privacy concerns in this niche.

Coming away from this total immersion experience, it’s clear that Online Qualitative is here to stay and becoming increasingly user-friendly and robust in terms of both data collection and reporting. So if you’re new to online qual, it’s high time you stuck your toe in the water! Better yet, ride the wave!

Shout Outs
Thank you to 20|20’s Katie White, Heather Ball, Jake O’Brien, and, of course, our 20|20 QRCA member and friend, Jim Bryson! A big thanks to Ross McLean of Over the Shoulder and to the Co-chairs of the Pharma/Healthcare SIG—Colleen Welsh-Allen, one of our fellow SE Chapter Members, and Caroline Volpe—for hosting a fabulous Qcast! And last but not least, thanks to SE co-chairs Laurie and Janelle for taking us along for this weeklong ride on a radical wave of awesome online!

Many thanks to Kate Wagenlander Watson for allowing us to share her cool collage [below] created with the 20|20 QualLage tool.

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