Getting to Know Your Board
Shaili Bhatt, firstname.lastname@example.org
When I joined QRCA in 2004, I was one of its youngest members at the time. I presented a session on video editing to the audience at the annual conference that year (a thrill!), although I had everything to gain from the more experienced qualitative researchers from every corner of our association.
The depth and breadth of content from VIEWS magazine, Chapter meetings, QCasts, Connections and some of the best sessions from our annual conference charge my internal qual batteries and trigger new ideas that have shaped my work. I’ve attended conferences in Phoenix (2004), Beverly Hills (2005), Atlanta (2006), Vancouver (2007), Fort Lauderdale (2008), Barcelona (2008), Palm Springs (2009), Philadelphia (2010), Prague (2010), Las Vegas (2011), Montreal (2012), San Diego (2013), New Orleans (2014), and this year—to my Disney-heart’s delight—we will be in Orlando!
I’m a big fan of QRCA conferences. I look forward to three jam-packed days of educational content. It’s fun to attend sessions and workshops with rooms full of curious researchers, plus the case studies and vendor demonstrations are qualitative-focused and highly relevant to what we do.
Paralleling this mix of helpful refresher sessions, technology and brilliant new ideas, QRCA is also an association of personal connections. Meeting new and long-time colleagues and discussing our qualitative specialties and experiences in person make it an educational and socializing paradise.
All of the hugs, smiles, pages of notes, dancing and cocktails…unlike other conferences, it remains non-profit and non-competitive, and I love it that way. I always feel like my work is even stronger after I return from our annual qual-pilgrimages.
We are more than a Facebook group, more than a LinkedIn group, and more than a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter. We are QRCA.
So many suppliers and organizations have come and gone since my first annual QRCA Conference, and our industry has encountered many new technologies and challenges. Still, it’s rare to find a group of people that instantly connects the way that we do.
Rounding out my 12th year in our association, I see QRCA Leadership to be even more about giving back, listening and supporting our members and your goals. What do you want to see from QRCA? What do you want to learn or teach? Do you want to write an article for VIEWS magazine? Do you want to present a client-facing Qcast next year? Let’s make it happen!
Qualitative research is about people’s lives and choices. Members like you, with above-average communication skills, dedication to the craft and your fun spontaneity, reflect our “excellence in qualitative research,” QRCA’s timeless tagline. I am so grateful that you found QRCA, and thank you for choosing to be a QRCA Member.
Whether or not you are currently (or were previously) volunteering in any of QRCA’s activities, I want you to know that the association appreciates your time and commitment to our community, and I hope that you will continue to identify as a QRCA Member for years to come!
I have one more year to serve on the QRCA Board of Directors, but I will always choose to be a QRCA Member. With some wishful thinking, we will continue to meet—for example, at my 20th QRCA conference in 2023 and perhaps my 30th conference in 2033... For now, from one QRCA Member to another, I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference in Orlando this October!
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