2016 QRCA Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research
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Jay Zaltzman on Customer Experience

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 3, 2016
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Check out what Jay Zaltzman has to say about his upcoming session in Vienna at the QRCA Worldwide Conference:

Jay Zaltzman is president and Bureau West Marketing & Research, based in Palm Springs, California, USA and will be presenting on How Qual Can Take Back Customer Experience at the Worldwide Conference.


Tags:  #WWQual  2016 worldwide conference  jay zaltzman  qrca 

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Make a Change

Posted By Ilka Kuhagen, Wednesday, February 17, 2016
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Transformation in qualitative research is happening right now – let’s lead the symphony!

New media and communication channels as well as Big Data not only challenge, but offer new tools and methods. Qualitative researchers need to find out how to leverage these tools. Let’s embrace the new technologies!

worldwide conference

I am looking forward to the conference in Vienna to hear from my colleagues from around the world on the latest developments and how they use these tools to do better qualitative research.

Every year IKM gets involved in a volunteer project with self-funded research allowing us to test promising new tools and provide insights to non-for-profit organizations. The research undertaken here supports a project on Climate Change, identifying individual effects, looking at what is happening in different parts of the world, and what if anything can be done to Make a Change?

We brought together a group of young professionals, highly engaged and very smart, raising their voices around the globe and compared it with the background noise in Social Media.

These are the kinds of questions we sought to answer:

  • What is the difference in analyzing social media and listening to opinion leaders and key users?
  • How can we get thoughtful answers from global thought leaders in 5 different continents, within a few days?
  • And how can image projectives be used in an online survey and add to deeper understandings?
  • Can we make a change?

The short answer is Yes. Yes we can make a change, in the world of qualitative research and in the world that faces climate change.

I hope to see you in Vienna, a city of big ideas.

Ilka Kuhagen is CEO of IKM GmbH based in Munich, Germany and will be presenting on Make a Change Worldwide at the Worldwide Conference for Qualitative Research



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QRCA Worldwide Conference History

Posted By Pat Sabena, Friday, February 5, 2016

On January 10, 1997 in the last year of my three-year QRCA presidency, a group of QRCA members (Judy Langer, Maryanne Pflug, Bill Weylock, Irv Merson, etc. and I) hosted a one-day conference at the Dorchester Hotel in London, England on the subject of “Differences Between North American & European Qualitative Research: What Can We Learn From Each Other?” This one-day event was very well received and well attended, as well as friendly and enlightening for us Americans as well as for our British colleagues.

During the next two years, in developing QRCA international chapters by conducting personal qualitative workshops in South Africa, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina, I realized how important it was for QRCA to be global rather than merely national. We qualies have more in common than we did differences, and we could certainly learn from each other!

In 1999, Kevin McLean of Britain and AQR (The Association for Qualitative Research) invited me to dinner in New York City to discuss “how our associations might work together.” When he posed this question, I suggested that we do a joint conference in Paris in April of 2001, and he readily agreed. Thus our Worldwide Qualitative Conference was birthed.

Paris was a huge success in content and attendance beyond expectations, and we followed this with joint conferences in Lisbon (2003), Dublin (2005), Barcelona (2008), Prague (2010), Rome (2012), and Budapest (2014).

Although AQR withdrew for 2016, several of our British colleagues hold committee positions for 2016 in Vienna, including Sarah Davies on the Program Speaker Committee, as well as a good number of speakers from the British Isles. Our speakers in Vienna come from 13 countries around the globe. They have lots of exciting experiences and viewpoints to share.

This conference is unusual in that the speakers do not pay to speak, but rather compete with qualitative researchers around the world to present the most interesting and forward-thinking papers. Out of more than 70 submissions, there will be more than 30 papers as well as poster topics, a panel, and a dynamite keynote from the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies. Most of all, as anyone who has ever attended a QRCA event knows, this will be fun, lively, friendly, insightful, practical, and collegial with no selling (except from our sponsors) but plenty of sharing.

2001: AQR/QRCA Conference Co-Chair - Paris
2003: AQR/QRCA Conference Committee - Lisbon
2005: AQR/QRCA Conference Committee - Dublin
2008: AQR/QRCA Conference Program Co-Chair- Prague
2012: AQR/QRCA Rome Conference Speaker Co-Chair - Rome
2014: AQR/QRCA Budapest Conference Speaker Co-Chair

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The Magic of this Worldwide Event

Posted By Kendall Nash, Friday, January 22, 2016

To me, the Worldwide Conference is an adventure – one that I go into knowing will, in the end, make me a different practitioner.  One that will make me a different person. 


When asked to co-chair this international event, I was honored.  Having attended the conference in years past in inspiring cities like Prague, Rome, and Budapest, I was excited dreaming of the possibilities with my co-chair, Susan Abbott.  When we first began planning for Vienna we honed in on the magic that has made this event so meaningful to each of us.  I leave every QRCA conference with exciting ideas to bring back to clients, ready to launch forward with my expanded toolkit.  And the international conference is no different.  In fact, what makes the worldwide event so special is the way it expands my thinking.  I meet people who have tried methods in unique ways.  I hear theories in a new lexicon. I create special memories with others who have the flare and passion for qualitative.  I contribute in shaping the direction of our industry through dialogue as we process what we learn together over meals and during breaks.  I create a network of global colleagues to bounce ideas with throughout the years that follow.  It makes the world that much smaller.  I leave this conference changed, inspired, and ready to tackle new challenges.  Keeping that magic front and center, we believe we have curated an event that will leave you a different person.  Adventure seekers welcome.


Kendall Nash

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Curating a Conference

Posted By Susan Abbott, Friday, January 15, 2016
I confess I have never fully appreciated the contributions of those who have organized the many conferences I have attended. Let me just make a total mea culpa right now, because I had no idea of the agony and the ecstasy, so to speak! Thankfully, our program committee of Susan Sweet, Pat Sabena, and Sarah Davies had a strategy to get the job done brilliantly. Having listened carefully to our vision, they crafted a call for presenters, and sent out quite a few personal notes to the best and the brightest in the industry inviting them to submit a proposal. And did we get riches in those submissions! Wow! If you submitted something and are not on the program, I can only tell you that the competition was stiff indeed, with more than 70 proposals. The committee calls were lively and vocal, as everyone made their case. The Google Docs engine was put through its paces as we ranked, rated, debated, lobbied for our favorites content. To get on stage at this event, you must sound interesting to your peers. Susan, Pat and Sarah may seem like sweet souls, and they are, but they are uncompromising when it comes to building a program to delight the attendees. All speakers at this event are main stage or poster presenters (more on that in a future post!) Most get only 20 minutes, so have to distill down to the essential nuggets of their message. Presentations are organized into groups that run back to back, so you get a full dose of ideas in between your tea breaks. It’s a heady mix, and we are absolutely thrilled with the program. We’ll be telling you more about it over the next few weeks.

Tags:  #WWQual 

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Vienna Café Culture

Posted By Susan Abbott, Friday, January 15, 2016
When Rebecca Bryant offered to get involved on our volunteer team, we said yes, and asked her for some creative thinking on making the event more interactive and immersive. As a southern woman, she’ll probably hate that I’m saying this, but she is an amazingly creative thinker, and we are thrilled with what she proposed. Vienna, we learned, is the home of a rather unique cultural phenomenon, known as the café conversation. A central part of the intellectual life of this city, these are not conversations about the weather or about sports, they are conversations about the meaning of life and other weighty topics. It turns out that this tradition is so unique it has been recognized by UNESCO as an important part of humanity’s cultural heritage. Rebecca proposed that we arrange for conference attendees to experience this kind of conversation. There are actually TWO ways to experience a Vienna café conversation at this conference. The first is by signing up for the Tuesday evening event that will put you (or you and your guest) in conversation with a local Viennese over dinner. We know many of the international travelers will arrive early to adjust to the time change, and this is a great way to spend that pre-conference evening! This is a limited enrollment event, however, and only available to 50 attendees. So we are also bringing the Vienna conversation into the conference and you will experience this during one of the lunches. Lunchtime conversation is already a rich tradition for this event, and we give you lots of time to talk, to meet people and get to know them. This new twist will just make it even better, we hope. Join us and see.

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Giving Birth to a Conference

Posted By Susan Abbott, Friday, January 15, 2016
When QRCA President Mark Sumpter first asked me if I would chair the international conference, you could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather! What an honor and a responsibility! So how could I not say yes? But honestly, I did not stop panicking until Past President Kendall Nash agreed to link arms and co-chair with me. We had some amazing brainstorms over the phone – because this whole event is organized long-distance. We talked about the many challenges we face in our industry, with the pace of change. But it’s also a time of amazing opportunities for personal growth, and exciting new ways to deliver insights to our clients. As co-chairs, we had some say in the location of the conference, and are relieved that our chosen city has not been a headline item in a horrific news story. Vienna was truly inspiring for us when we started talking about our goals for the conference. As marketing folk, naturally we created a mood board to capture the feel and the vision for the event. We envisioned a symphony that brings many different instruments together – the many ways of thinking that inform qualitative insight. We wanted to celebrate the adventure we are all on, the path of discovery, even while we acknowledge that the pace of change, and the constant need to upgrade our learning can be overwhelming at times. We talked a lot about the most transformative experiences we have had, attending other events. We wanted to push our presenters to give us their edgiest content, to really take us on a ride into the future, to challenge our thinking, to help us all see the way forward. And wow, did they ever deliver! More about that in a future post!

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