connections chapter news

February 2016
Vol. 15, Number 1

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

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
SIG News
Member News

Eastern Canada Bids Adieu to 2015 with Fine Cuisine and Shared Learnings

Maryse Hudon,

On December 11, members of the Eastern Canada Chapter held their last meeting of 2015 at L’arrivage Restaurant located in the Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Museum of Archeology and History. Surrounded by artifacts dating back to the founding of Montreal, QRCA members enjoyed fine cuisine and shared research knowledge. In the spirit of the Holidays, members were asked to share with each other one key tip or resource they found particularly useful this year. Co-chairs Pascal Patenaude and Maryse Hudon shared their impressions and some of the conference highlights with fellow members Mark Lovell, Guylaine Ally and Kent Crutchfield (non-member).

Pascal and Maryse presented some key insights from Orlando’s conference Breakout session ‘What are you worth?’ with Abby Leafe and Laurie Tema-Lyn. A lively discussion on the pros and cons of using a spreadsheet for cost estimates while making adjustments depending on variables such as retail vs wholesale, methodology, travel required, new client vs repeat, how hungry we are, and allowing extra time for “difficult” clients. They also shared some key learnings from Tom Rich on “How Consumers Simplify.” Maryse provided a list of websites and resources collected throughout several conferences to help members improve their presentations and reports. Pascal presented the theme of the upcoming international QRCA conference in Vienna and encouraged members to attend.

All members left the meeting refreshed and looking forward to the holiday cheer!

Eastern Canada Chapter Meeting

(Starting from the left): Kent Crutchfield, Maryse Hudon, Guylaine Ally-Bakerdjian, Mark Lovell and Pascal Patenaude.

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International Chapter Webinar to Feature "Tips for Running Effective Workshops"

Ilka Kuhagen,

Please join the International Chapter on February 25 2016 for “The Magic of Prework – and other tips for running effective workshops”.

Workshops, co-creation, brainstorming and consumer days are becoming certainly more and more frequent – and respected – qualitative research methods. Let´s talk and see examples of how to jump-start workshops even before “D-day,” how to get to unexpected results via inviting “less-traditional” participants such as bloggers or global gurus from other categories, and share a couple of techniques which have proven to work effectively face-to-face, or even online.

Presenters are Hana Kloučková and Petra Víšková from Prague, both long-term and active members of the International Chapter. A little more about them below:

Hana Kloučková – Hana spent 8 years in marketing for Procter & Gamble covering the Central European and Southeast Asia regions. In 2002 she established her own research agency, CONFESS Research, focused on qualitative research and workshop facilitation. Since 2006, she has moderated qualitative studies and led workshops for clients including Pepsico, Danone, GE Money, Hipp, and Procter & Gamble.

Petra Víšková – After more than 10 years in marketing at the Danone Group, she utilizes her experience (hundreds of concepts written, tens of media campaigns and product innos launched…) on the “other side of the mirror.” Petra has been moderating since 2004. Currently she is among the most-requested qualitative facilitators working at CONFESS Research.

We are holding this session as a webinar so you can listen and meet other chapter members in real time. The session will be archived and made available for members from other time zones to join in later. To register, please sign up by emailing Ilka Kuhagen at

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Minnesota Chapter Enjoys Warm Italian Food on Cold, Snowy Evening

Elaine Gingold,

On January 11, 2016, the Minnesota Chapter held its annual Post-Holiday Dinner. True to form, it snowed and it was one of the coldest nights this winter; but neither of those meteorological truths could stop eleven members and their guests from joining together for a multi-course Italian dinner and celebratory evening.

Minnesota Chapter Meeting

Rear Left to Right: Jim Larkin, Paul Nordgren, Rebecca Carlson, Jeff Walkowski, Paul Tuchman, Tom Evers, Jeff Wyant.
Front Left to Right: Pam McCarthy, Elaine Gingold, Nancy Brown, Jean Nordgren

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Pacific Northwest Chapter Explores Personal Branding

Claire Booth,

What does personal branding have to do with moderating? A lot, we found out. The Pacific NW chapter of QRCA invited Katie Bennet, a personal branding expert, to help us better understand and define our personal brands and thus better differentiate ourselves as moderators.

The session started with spending a couple of hours exploring our personal brands. Katie led us through an exercise where we brainstormed all of the qualities an excellent moderator needs. Next, we voted on the top qualities, narrowing them down to the “must-haves.”

With this done we then had to take a hard look at ourselves and identify which attribute best fit with our authentic selves (and thus our personal brand). As the picture shows, we were amazed to see that almost all of us ended up owning different categories: empathy, strategy, leadership, synthesizer, multi-tasker, etc.

Pacific Northwest Chapter Meeting

Out of this we have a clear note to moderators and clients:

  • As a note to moderators: be loud and proud about your personal brand and what it means for you as a moderator. Odds are, you have a style all your own.
  • As a note to clients: remember you are working with a personal brand as much as a company brand when you are collaborating with a moderator. Ask your moderator where they excel!

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Marketing Gets Personal at the Philly Chapter’s Next Meeting

Abby Leafe,

In our January meeting, which was devoted to peer sharing of hot tips and cool tricks, member Caroline Volpe shared a hot tip with attendees: Read the email newsletter from Steve Henke at Harpeth Marketing. According to Caroline, although she deletes a lot of the newsletters she gets throughout the month, “I always get a good tip or tidbit from Steve, so I tend to set these aside to read later.” Given that endorsement, we figured who better to come talk to our chapter about the best way to market our services? Lucky for us, we asked Steve and he said yes. The meeting will be held at Focus Pointe Global’s Center City location on Friday, March 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (See below for a description of the session.)

But wait, there’s more! Steve wants to really customize his talk to our unique needs, so we encourage all members – whether or not you think you can attend the March session – to complete this quick survey about your most pressing needs and concerns about building your business.

Not in Philly? Attend by FocusVision instead. Email for details about how to join in virtually.

Session Description
One of the biggest challenges for independent consultants and business leaders in the market research industry is that we spend so much time working in our business, that we often don’t take the time to step back and work on our business. And one of these things that we seem to get to last is business development… that is, marketing and sales. In this session – customized for the QRCA Philadelphia group – we’ll discuss key elements for growing your business… both what to do and how to do them.

Steve Henke, founder of Harpeth Marketing, draws on a 30-year career in marketing, sales and corporate management. He started as a technical sales representative for the DuPont Company, his first position after graduating from college. Over time, he moved into progressively more responsible positions in marketing, marketing and sales management and various executive positions. In 2001, he founded Marketing Mentor, a marketing consultancy serving businesses in the mid-South, one of which was 20|20 Research. In 2005, he was brought in as President of 20|20 and led efforts that tripled annual revenues over the next six years. 20|20 was also named one of the ten most innovative firms in the industry in the 2011 GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report. He founded Harpeth Marketing in Spring 2012.

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San Francisco Chapter’s Day-Long Meeting Recaps Past, Explores Future

Vivianne Hiriart,

The San Francisco Chapter concluded the 2015 program year with a December 4 meeting at VuPoint Research. We were a large group of tenured, brand new, and some not-yet members who spent the day sharing experiences, learning, and discussing new trends.

During the morning we had an Annual QRCA Conference recap, which offered those who didn’t attend a chance to hear about some of the presentations. This recap also allowed the group to build on these ideas and put them in their personal everyday context, which made the content even richer for everyone.

As an “appetizer” before lunch, we had our first guest, Korbinian Riedhammer, a post-doc from UC Berkley, who was seeking some feedback about the utility of transcriptions on qualitative analysis. This is part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a tool that combines automatic speech recognition, automatic speaker identification and audio search in one searchable visual representation, a tool initially developed for the NSA.

Then, Mark Asher, Director of Corporate Strategy at Adobe Systems, took us on a stunning trip to explore new mobile trends. He presented new apps that are engaging people with brands in a new way and that are also an amazing source of data for marketing researchers; new ways of implementing big data; and
virtual reality content that is already being used for test drives, promoting travel destinations, or for taking a peek at adventure experiences. How can we embrace these new trends and take advantage of them to stay relevant? This was definitely food for thought.

To end the meeting we had an update of the QRCA website changes and resources we have available as members, and learned more about the work that is being done regarding the QRCA brand positioning. We welcomed new members, thanked Jen Berkley Jackson for serving as co-chair during the last three years, and welcomed Katrina Noelle as new co-chair starting in 2016.

It was a great day and we look forward to our 2016 programs for other opportunities to learn from one another!

San Francisco December Meeting

SF Chapter members and guests:
Front row (left to right): Milo Cho, Ellen Schaefer, Rachel Birenbaum, Theresa Schnabel, Rose Marie Garcia Fontana, Jen Berkley Jackson, Janet Standen, Korbinian Riedhammer
Back row (left to right): Bill Fanning, Patricia Sauerbrey Colton, Joanna Jones, Sally McLaughlin, Maria Hom, Maureen Ladley, Dorrie Paynter, Judith Wright, Michael Lachman

San Francisco December Meeting

Mark Asher, Director of Corporate Strategy at Adobe Systems, talking about key technology trends heading into 2016

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Southern California Chapter Goes "Old Hollywood"

Caryn Goldsmith,

On December 4, the So Cal Chapter convened at the Culver Hotel, a downtown Culver City landmark that is within steps of the Sony studios. This was our conference recap meeting, free for members; we shared lovely appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages in a gorgeous setting. Our meeting then moved to a popular gastropub across the street, where many of us had a glass of wine and food before heading home. Always great to see everyone – and everyone loved the change in venue!

SoCal Chapter Event

The meeting in progress

SoCal Chapter Event

Paula Kramer presenting to the group, with Susan Thornhill and Patrick O’Neal

SoCal Chapter Event

At the pub. From left: Monica Zinchiak, Holly O’Neill, George Sloan, Glenn Naphy. Foreground: Lauren McCluskey and Julie Smith

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