The theme of the 2018 QRCA Annual Conference is “Elevate & Cultivate.” The conference will be hosted January 24-26, 2018, in Phoenix, AZ, a city that has carefully cultivated itself and grown to the 5th largest US city. From high on the butte, we will overlook the city that’s been home to many masters of their disciplines.
Regardless of one’s tenure as a qualitative consultant, it is our duty to continuously push ourselves and be leaders for our clients. To get there, we need to focus on mastering the art and science of uncovering, and then sharing, insights. We need to cultivate our skills in analyzing unstructured data and identifying optimal methods and techniques for eliciting rich learning that helps our clients succeed. And, as more and more clients are leaning on qualitative, we need to equip professionals in our industry to elevate their game – from beginning to end.
This year, we will be seeking both Presentation and Round Table proposals that leverage the conference theme. Remember, you have experience to elevate and cultivate others.
We encourage you to submit for a presentation or round table on ANY topic you think will be of compelling interest to QRCA members and attendees. To get you thinking, here are some topics we know our members are interested in:
- "How-to" sessions and case studies
- Advanced skills for experienced QRCs
- Expanding our horizons: input from related fields (e.g. psychology, behavioral science, usability, design) that are closely aligned with what QRCs do
- Running a research business, including effective sales approaches
- Keeping up-to-date on the latest and greatest techniques, tools, and methods
- Improving reports, debriefs, top lines, marketing implications, video reports, etc.
- Incorporating social media, “big data,” and mobile qualitative into our practitioners’ toolbox
Important: What We’re Not Looking For
- Presentations about research approaches should include specific practical applications so that attendees can utilize the approach in their own research practices. Presentations that only provide theoretical background are not preferred.
- Also, if an attendee asks “how do I implement this approach in my own practice,” and the answer is “you have to hire the presenter,” that presentation would NOT be appropriate for this conference.
- Do not spend a significant amount of time on background information: Attendees are looking for information that is of value to them. Presentations that contain 50 minutes of background information and 10 minutes of new information are NOT appropriate for this conference.
This year, you may submit to present for one of our Breakout Sessions or lead a Round Table discussion.
Breakout sessions will primarily run for 60 minutes, with a few 90 minutes options.
- 60-minute presentations work well for conveying new ideas and concepts, as well as case studies. Again, most presentations at this conference will last 60 minutes.
- 90-minute presentations are more appropriate for hands-on sessions, where attendees will learn new skills.
Round Table sessions will run approximately 60 minutes. (PLEASE NOTE: Registration is NOT included for those leading a Round Table discussion.)
- Facilitate a 60-minute informal discussion of specific interest to QRCs and you!
- A great opportunity to gather different points of view and obtain valuable ideas and advice from colleagues.
- An opportunity to preview your presentation or continue a more depth discussion.
Other Submission Guidelines
- One or more individuals may present, so consider a partner if you feel it will enhance your content and delivery.
- If your application is approved, you will be assigned a liaison to serve as a sounding board and guide you in the process leading up to the conference. Liaisons are flexible and can offer help in a variety of ways, including working with you on your bio and the description of your session, helping you target your presentation to our members, and giving you candid feedback on your presentation as it evolves.
- To preserve the educational integrity of the conference, presenters must refrain from using their sessions to promote their products or services. The QRCA conference is a unique environment where qualitative research professionals engage in open dialogue and creative exchange of ideas without commercial content.
How to Submit a Proposal
We use a simple online form to gather submissions.
All speaker application forms must be received by May 5. By submitting an application you confirm that you will meet the deadlines below.
Deadline for submitting speaker application forms and headshots (at least 200x200 pixels, hi-res JPEG preferred) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Notification of speaker selection
Materials due to speaker team: Finalized description of your session for program (no more than 200 words); Bio to be used for marketing purposes (no more than 100 words); Outline of your session; One piece of marketing content to be used on LinkedIn and/or Facebook to publicize your session (150-200 words and a photo, or a short video)
Draft of presentation due to speaker team
Interactive work with speaker team
Full copy of final presentation due
Your bio and a description of your session will be included in materials promoting the conference, such as the conference website and brochure and given to attendees.
- QRCA members and qualified non-members receive one complimentary conference registration per presentation session (which can be shared if there are multiple presenters) and are responsible for their travel, hotel and any additional expenses. Complimentary registration is NOT offered for leading Round Table sessions.
- In an effort to enhance its recognition internationally and to attract speakers from outside North America, QRCA may offer some limited compensation to speakers traveling from outside the US and Canada.
What if I’m still not sure about submitting an idea?
Help is available -- if you have any questions while you are developing your submission, email them to email@example.com.
Can I suggest a topic or recommend a speaker?
If you do not wish to present at the conference yourself, we encourage you to facilitate a Round Table discussion, or you may suggest a topic or recommend speakers, regardless of whether they are QRCA members or not. Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am not a QRCA member. What information should I know about the organization and about the conference to ensure my topic would be a good fit?
QRCA, the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, is an international organization that promotes excellence in all aspects of qualitative research. Founded in 1983, QRCA is the largest professional organization of independent qualitative researchers, with nearly 1,000 members in 30 countries.
The mission of the QRCA Annual Conference is to provide superior educational opportunities for members and qualified non-members that will enhance their skills and improve the professionalism of the industry. Attendees at the Annual Conference are primarily qualitative research consultants, not research buyers.
Qualitative research is designed to explore the perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes of a target audience in relation to specific topics or issues. The results of qualitative research are descriptive, rather than predictive. Qualitative research methods include focus groups, executive & professional interviews, online methods and observational & ethnographic research.
QRCA members are professionals who provide these and additional consulting services to major corporations and organizations throughout the world. They assist these groups in launching new products & services, improving existing products & services, encouraging customer retention, and creating advertising campaigns, among other objectives.
More information can be obtained from our website, including videos of conference speakers, archived Qcast webinars, and our quarterly magazine, Views. Our LinkedIn group also has lively discussions on topics of interest to this professional community.
Thank you for your interest in the Qualitative Research Consultants Association and the 2018 Annual Conference. For additional information or to suggest a topic or speaker, please email email@example.com.
2018 QRCA Conference Speaker Committee Chairs
Sidney Clewe and Anya Zadrozny