connections committee news

March 2015
Vol. 14, Number 2

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

Wanted: Part-time Member Help for the Rejuvenated Marketing Committee!

Julie Medalis,

The Marketing Committee (MarCom) is making a fresh start in 2015, and we'll need help from smart, energetic members. Like you!

You might only have a few hours to give, or maybe you can pitch in a little more but don't want to commit to full participation on the committee. That's fine with us! We will keep our assignments short and sweet.  

We're especially eager for help from those with expertise and interest in our 2015 priorities:

  • Branding
  • Messaging 
  • Social media

Please reach out to Julie Medalis, the new MarCom chair, at if you would be willing to pinch hit for us in any way. Thanks!

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MemCom Happenings

Philip Smith,

It has been a busy start to the year for MemCom with several activities happening.

New Member Engagement
We all know the importance of engaging new members as soon as they join. To build new member engagement, we’re creating an Ambassador Program. This program will provide new members more opportunities to interact with the greater QRCA membership, as well as with Chapters and SIGs.

Yes, it’s back! Our successful membership drive was approved for another year. In 2014, fifty new members joined QRCA at the recommendation of an existing member.

How does it work?
For every new member you recruit for QRCA membership, you receive one ticket for a drawing to receive a free 2016 QRCA membership. 

There is no limit to the number of new members you can bring in, or the number of tickets you can have in the draw! The drawing will be held at the 2015 Annual Conference in Florida.

Think about who you know that may be interested in QRCA membership.
Send them a quick email, tell them about how beneficial QRCA has been for you, and encourage them to join. It’s that easy!

As many of you have seen, the QRCA LinkedIn site has passed 11,000 members — a great achievement! We’d love to convert some of these qualitative researchers to full QRCA membership. To do this, MemCom will engage more on this site, alerting members and non-members alike to the great benefits of QRCA. A wonderful way for members to help is by participating in the conversations to create further discussion and interest.

Member Benefits
The start of a new year is always a good time to provide a reminder of the great discounts on training offered through QRCA. Check out the Member Discounts Button on the QRCA website.

NewsBites is also a good source to check for discounts on partner conferences, thanks to the great work of the Industry Relations Committee.

MemCom Team
MemCom has grown! Say hello to Stacy Dye and Sharon Laukhuff, who joined our team. If you’d like to be part of this active committee, please don’t hesitate to contact either Philip Smith or Kendall

And a warm thank-you to Maria Cedillo. Unfortunately, her increased workload will not enable her to continue to be part of MemCom this year. We thank Maria for all her help! It was greatly appreciated!

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News from the Sponsorship Committee

Katrina Noelle,

This year, our supporters will have even more options to be involved with QRCA! We are announcing returning, expanding, and new features to the 2015 Sponsorship Program:

  1. Demo Connections Returns: This is a unique and exciting opportunity for exhibitors looking to expand their impact at the QRCA Conference. Four vendors will be selected to demonstrate their newest products or services that can help QRC professionals improve or enhance their offerings. All Platinum and Gold Sponsors and Exhibitors are invited to apply.

  2. The Young Professionals Grant Program Expands: In addition to the existing sponsorship levels, supporters will now be offered a chance to sponsor the attendance of young market research professionals at the 2015 QRCA Conference in Orlando. After a successful pilot year with 95 grant applications and 15 grant winners, QRCA expects to bring another group to the conference to learn about the best tools, services, techniques, and vendors to use in their research projects. This sponsorship level is open to all interested parties, and each organization can sponsor young professionals in groups of five.

  3. Announcing the Annual Partnership Program: QRCA is thrilled to announce a year-round partnership program to increase visibility to our sponsors. With the launch of this program, we invite our sponsors to get involved with the organization on an annual basis in a program of their choice. We hope this program will be a win-win, as we offer more opportunities for sponsors to get in front of our members on a year-round basis, and for QRCA to diversify our funding sources.

If you know of or have a relationship with a vendor who has not been involved in the past, please send them a link to our sponsorship information, or send their contact information to

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QRCA Committee/Task Force Reports — March 2015

Shannon Thompson,

Annual Conference

  • CFP email sent out on January 30.
  • Conference logo designed and approved.
  • On January 21 the Chairs met with Katrina Noelle and staff to discuss the schedule for 2015.
  • Committee Chairs will be updating processes for 2015 Committee members.
  • The 2017 site visit took place and staff is negotiating space, rates and concessions.
  • Staff is working through checklist of needs to recommend which property to contract.


Staff: There was no January issue of Connections. February Connections is scheduled to go out on February 10.
  • Laurie Bredenfoerder took over as Editor.
  • Material for the February issue was due by January 30 and is scheduled to go out on February 10.



The committee met on January 16 to do strategic planning for the upcoming year.

Other: The next meeting will be on February 6.

Industry Relations

Staff: Shannon met with Jennifer Dale, Jane Mount and Caroline Volpe on February 4 to determine marketing materials for upcoming conferences.
  • The committee met on January 13 to discuss their strategic partnerships with organizations and how best to evaluate these partnerships.
  • We are partnering with Quirk's, MRA and PMRG at their upcoming conferences to share qualitative content via sessions and information about QRCA.
Other: The next meeting is on March 10.


Staff: Nicki drafted a Global Scholarship ad for the next issue of VIEWS.
Committee: Ilka and Corette worked with staff on the VIEWS ad and to update Scholarship materials.
Other: The next meeting is on February 11.

International Conference

Staff: Julie has sent an RFP out to find possible locations for the 2016 conference.

Susan Abbott met with Julie and Shannon on January 19 to begin planning for the conference.

Other: The next meeting is on February 19.

Investment Advisory Group


No update.

Marketing Committee

  • The committee met on January 23. Julie Medalis (new Chair) and Diane Harris (new Vice Chair) led the meeting to begin strategizing the committee’s work for 2015.
  • Committee members are reviewing material and reaching out to other committees to help gather information about how MarCom can work to increase synergy. Julie has started a few threads on the committee’s Forum.

The next meetings are scheduled for February 26, March 23, April 27, May 18 and June 22.


  • Staff continued work on the renewal plan, including email reminders, News Bites copy, sending info to LinkedIn and Twitter teams and processing dues.
  • Renewal emails and a mailing went out at the end of January.
  • The committee met on January 22 to discuss the committee goals: increasing membership (through attraction and retention) and leveraging chapters in building member engagement.
  • The Board asked MemCom to expand the Ambassador program to help onboard new members as they join QRCA. The committee discussed how to implement this.
  • Leveraging LinkedIn was discussed as a way to recruit members.
  • Member discounts were discussed as they relate to the new annual sponsorship program and how to promote on the website.
Other: The next meeting is TBD.


  • The speaker for the February session had to cancel a few weeks prior to the date due to a family emergency.
  • Committee members have identified ideas for speakers/topics for the remaining sessions and are contacting potential speakers. Material for the March Qcast should be finalized soon so that promotion can begin.
Other: The January Qcast had 124 registrations and 82 attendees.



Nicki is drafting both the Annual Conference and Annual Partnership program prospectuses.

  • Staff and the Sponsorship Committee have met to determine offerings for 2015.
  • The Annual Partnership program was approved by the Board in January and the committee discussed a roll-out plan.
  • Manny, Katrina and Shannon met on January 28 to discuss feedback from the Chapter and SIG leaders on the new annual program.
Other: The next meeting is on February 16.


  • The Forum Digest continues to go out every Wednesday.
  • The Member Resources area is getting a facelift.
  • Staff is working with the committee to update the Member Features page, so non-members can preview the benefits but need to login to access them.
  • Items from the Usability Study are being reviewed and will be implemented.

The next meeting is on February 19.


  • Laurie Pumper prepared a draft email to send to QRCA members, research buyers and other digital-only subscribers with links to specific articles. This will be disseminated once we receive ads and/or advertiser logos from NEBM.
  • The VIEWS webpage has been updated with the Winter issue.
  • House ads have been sent to NEBM.
  • The committee met on January 16. Material for the Spring issue is set, and most feature editors have a strong start on material for the Summer issue.
  • Suzanne Klein would like to identify a co-editor for the Schools of Thought section; volunteers are welcome.
  • The committee wants to add a Digital/Social Media Editor to assist in raising the profile of our digital edition; committee members are considering how to structure this role.
  • The next committee meeting is scheduled for March 27.
  • Kay is working with NEBM and with Laurie on a survey of advertisers.

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