February 2014
Vol. 13, Number 1


QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News
kendall nash
Kendall Nash

From the President

Kendall Nash, Kendall.Nash@burke.com

Every other year we get to take an adventure to an amazing place, with amazing people, and stretch our minds as we hear from researchers all around the globe.  Right around the corner is the 7th Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research – and this year in Budapest, Hungary!  Straddling the Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west and the Great Plain to the east, Budapest is a gem of a city. 

This conference, put on jointly by QRCA and AQR, is always an incredibly powerful experience for those who attend.  Something about being in a new place, with people who come from a wide range of perspectives, creates an environment where researchers can pause, reflect, and think differently.  The sessions are always top-notch, and this year marked a record number of submissions on a host of relevant topics, so the presentations are certain to be high-caliber, making this an event you can’t miss.

I’ve had the opportunity to attend the last two Worldwide Conferences – in Prague followed by Rome – and they were both experiences that I continue to draw from on a regular basis.  I grew personally and professionally at each.  Both cities offered such a unique experience that allowed my mind out of the normal “hub-bub” of my daily grind, so that I could think creatively and listen with such intensity only possible in a space designated for personal development.

Many thanks to the team working tirelessly to make this an incredible conference.  Find a way to get there because you will not want to miss it.  See you in Budapest!

For specifics about this year’s content, you can view the newly-released schedule here.

For more information about the conference content, location, and a number of other fine details, visit www.aqrqrca-budapest2014.com.

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Monica Zinchiak
Monica Zinchiak

Action! From the Board

Monica Zinchiak, QRCA Secretary, Monica@zresearchservices.com

The Board of Directors met for their annual planning meeting, January 12-13, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.  The annual face-to-face meeting is an intensive, highly productive event that focuses on refining the Strategic Plan for the organization and formalizing the annual budget.  A 2014 budget was approved with the understanding further discussion will take place to revisit and refine some of the larger expenses of the organization.  We also finished up with a streamlined 2014 Strategic Plan; with renewed focus on the core mission of the organization and goals to fulfill that mission.  Board members agreed that the focused goals to guide their business this year will be (1) Enhancing member value, (2) Increasing the stature of QRCA, and (3) Sustaining a relevant organization.       

Other highlights from the meeting:

  • The organization is ending the year at a small loss after investing in an updated website and marketing efforts.

  • QRCA membership is down from the previous year, finishing the year at 890 members, which was down 29 members from the previous year. The retention rate is also lower than 2012.

  • The organization signed a partnership agreement with Merlien to cross-promote each other’s events and for QRCA members to receive discounts at all of their 2014 events.

  • Annual Conference logo and sponsorship program were approved.

  • Chapter concerns and feedback were shared and discussion took place on how to better meet the needs of chapter members.

  • Updates from the Revenue Task Force were provided.  This TF held an ideation session in December to brainstorm revenue generation ideas for QRCA.  Final recommendations for the Board will come in 2014 Q1.

  • The Membership Expansion Task Force reported making good headway in their internal-quant and external and internal focus groups.

  • Seven Annual Conference educational videos are in process and will be shared with members throughout the coming year.

  • Ewald staff are setting up a process to better integrate new content into the QRCA.org website.  TechCom is investigating optimization of the website to be more user friendly on tablet devices.

  • The qualitative excellence award program is being redeveloped to better promote excellent qualitative research worldwide.

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Liz Van Patten

Getting to Know Your Board

Liz Van Patten, vanpatten.liz@gmail.com

Editor’s Note: Each month, one Board member contributes an article to Connections on a topic of his/her choice.  In this way, members get to know their Board of Directors a bit better.

Many people think of a valedictory address as the graduation speech given by the kid who got the highest grades in school — and often it is — but valedictory words don't have to have anything to do with schools or grades or throwing your cap in the air. They're all about taking one's leave or saying farewell, whether it's the president leaving office or a worker reaching retirement or a friend at a going-away party.
~ from vocabulary.com

Well, this valedictory note is a bit premature, since my second term on your Board of Directors will not end until September, but it is my last chance to share my thoughts in this column.

It’s been thrilling to learn how all the parts of our very special organization fit together, and to work with an outstanding group of leaders throughout the board, committees, task forces, and chapters. As in any group, our perceptions tend to be influenced by the tasks we perform and the people we interact with. So it has been with QRCA, and I am delighted to have had the chance to work with so many members and staff over the past few years as we have guided the organization.

Personally, I’m most excited about the progress we have made in building partnerships with other organizations in the market research industry, such as GreenBook, ESOMAR, Advertising Research Foundation and more. In this networked and interconnected world we live in, it’s vital to nurture these kinds of cooperative, knowledge sharing connections. These partnerships also shine a brighter light on the expertise QRCA members bring to the table, helping strengthen our reputation as the “go-to” pros for anything qualitative.

Qualitative research has expanded to include so many new methods in addition to focus groups and depth interviews, and I believe it’s our responsibility to stay current with the changes so we can better serve our clients’ needs.

I think all the new developments make it an exciting time to be a qualitative researcher. Yes, we are in a challenging time of transition, but I believe the key is to stay flexible, adapting and learning with the changes. Years ago, radio was THE medium for information and entertainment. Then came TV and the Internet, and despite all the hand-wringing, radio is still alive and thriving. Radio even lives on the Internet! Qualitative research is THE medium for deep consumer understanding. How we execute it and how we share it are changing, but it’s not going away.

So as I prepare to leave the Board, I thank you for the chance to spend time so close to the heart of QRCA.

To all who devote time and energy to committees, chapters, task forces, and our wonderful conference, thank you for sharing the ride and thank you for all you do for this unique organization.

To members who are perhaps not as involved, thank you for joining and thank you for renewing. I hope this year, or the year after, you will volunteer to write an article in VIEWS, or to serve on a committee, or to take a different first step toward a leadership role; I promise you won’t regret it.

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Jeff Walkowski

Special Matchmaker Report: Seeking Two Dynamic Volunteers!

Jeff Walkowski, Matchmaker, jeff.walkowski@qualcore.com

There are two volunteer “jobs” available to QRCA members now.  Both require only an hour or two of time each month, and both operate with a fair amount of autonomy.   In both cases, volunteers would be assured of receiving proper coaching to understand how the job should be done.

Qcast Committee: Analyst/Report Writer
One opening is with the Qcast team.  At the end of every Qcast, attendees are invited to complete a short survey – which is generally the same each month.  This position requires the individual to summarize the findings into a short summary report at least quarterly.  The information is used by Qcast Co-Chairs to monitor the success of the Qcasts and plan for future programs.  There are typically 10 Qcasts each year.  At first, it may require 2-4 hours of the volunteer’s time to complete each report.  Over time, however, expect to spend no more than 1-2 hours per report.  This position requires basic quantitative research analysis skills and an enjoyment of report-writing.  The current person has been doing this for nearly four years (that’s dedication!) and would like to move on to a different volunteer opportunity.

Connections Committee: “Personal Connections” Editor
The Connections Committee has an opening, too.  It needs an Editor of the newsletter’s Personal Connections column.  Basically, the role is to solicit news of a personal nature that members want to share with other members.  Sometimes this requires “beating the bushes” to find members with interesting stories to tell.  Most of the writing is done by the members themselves, so most of the effort goes into gathering content.  That said, some light editing is required, as well as coming up with fun captions and headlines!  Jay Zaltzman has been doing this, but since he’s taken on co-chair responsibilities for the annual conference in New Orleans this October, he needs to give up this position.  Jay says that this takes “two pleasurable hours” of time for each issue, and there are 10 issues per year.

If you’re undecided about these positions, here’s a quick summary of the key differences between them.  Might one of these work for you?  If so, contact your friendly Matchmaker at jeff.walkowski@qualcore.com.

 

Analyst/Report Writer
(Qcast Committee)

“Personal Connections” Editor
(Connections Committee)

How Long it Lasts Indefinitely Indefinitely
When it Starts Flexible Flexible
Hours Per Month

2-4 in the beginning
1-2 when it becomes routine

2-4 in the beginning
1-2 when it becomes routine

Frequency

At least quarterly
No more than ten times per year

Ten months each year
Involvement with Others Minimal Moderate (reaching out to members to generate content)
Committee Meetings Attendance is optional Typically there are no meetings
Skills Required

Quantitative analysis
Quantitative reporting

Comfort level in reaching out to members to generate content.
Light editing

If you know of another member who’d be great for any of these positions, please mention these opportunities to them and recommend that they consider it.

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