Philadelphia/Del Valley Chapter: Holiday Luncheon and Presentations on Doing Qual Differently
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When: December 7, 2018
10am - 3pm
230 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19106
United States
Contact: Karen Zimmerman

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Alterna-Day is all about doing things differently. As is our chapter tradition, we will be celebrating the upcoming Holidays, but also sharing great content in a great venue with great food and beverages. Our speakers will inspire you to shake up how you do things by sharing their success stories of fun, engaging, andunique methodological approaches.

You can download the flyer for this event HERE.

The Dinner Party – Have Your Focus Group and Being Able to Eat Too

Don’t the best conversations always occur over dinner?  Why is that?  Perhaps it’s because when we break bread, we share more than just a meal.  The food helps take the “edge” off.  We’re not focused solely on the conversation.  With our guards down, our taste buds engaged, and our minds allowed to wander, we’re better able to share and the conversation just seems more natural.   

A few years ago, Jonathan Schneider and Liz Moore of The Candor Company realized this was the missing link for their work.  At traditional focus groups, participants were not only hungry but also too focused on the discussion.  Plus Jonathan and Liz were hungry!  Their gut instincts told them that simply providing a nicer dinner would be a huge step in the right direction.  And from there, they just kept going – moving the conversation from facilities to participants’ homes, serving wine (!), and giving their clients seats at the table.  They did everything with the intent to make their research feel less like research.

They have learned a lot about how to pull off a dinner party that is not only fun for participants but insightful for clients.  Some of the topics Jonathan will share with us include:

  • How to convince your client to do it – the critical first step!
  • Who to invite and how to recruit.
  • The logistics – from the timing to the food to the cleanup.
  • How to incorporate traditional research techniques into the conversation without making it feel like a focus group.
  • How to create a compelling deliverable.

Jonathan SchneiderJonathan Schneider of The Candor Company has been an independent qualitative research since 2001.  He was drawn to the profession during his days in the advertising industry and by his desire to never have to create a real resume again.  While Jonathan began his career doing traditional in-person and online focus groups and IDIs, much of Jonathan’s work now involves creating documentary style films for clients that bring their consumers to life.

Jonathan has been a member of QRCA since 2002.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.  He and his wife have two children and live in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  In his spare time, he is an avid road cyclist and golfer.

10 Tinder Dates in a Week!? In a World of Social, Recruiting and New Methodologies go Hand in Hand

Come and hear Tory Gentes much-requested, much-enjoyed presentation from 2018 QRCA Conference. Tory will speak about her ‘creative thinking’ and ‘open mind’ using tools like Tinder, UBER,, Instagram, Facebook, Craigslist, Reddit,, and to access HIGH quality and authentic recruits. Tory shares case studies ranging from using Instagram to recruit autologous stem cell transplant patients to using to streamline discussions about beer. She deviates from traditional recruitment methods successful to yield surprising and rewarding results. In her presentation, Tory will take us on a journey where she explains the delicate attention that is required to foster your own recruits with effective strategies for not only tapping into various communities but also leaving with qualified respondents. Her presentation will leave you with tangible and specific tips you can implement TODAY with a workshop following her presentation to help you hack your tough recruits. 

Tory GentesTory has been throughout North America, Africa, and Asia collecting ground-level insights from individuals, CEOs, founders, NGOs, and community members that she leverages to solve business problems. With a background in entrepreneurship, leadership, and business, Tory has also managed numerous initiatives for Academic Institutions, NGOs, businesses and international organizations. Specializing in immersive methodologies, Tory has conducted focus groups, in-depth interviews, ethnographies, ideation sessions, surveys, and workshops. 

 Tory has completed a multitude of cutting-edge, award winning domestic and international projects including several dynamic pieces for Cirque du Soleil. Her projects have literally brought her all over the world including work in Shanghai and Punta Cana.  Tory was the 2017 recipient of QRCA’s Qualitative Excellence Award, as well as a past Young Professionals Grant winner. She is an expert at utilizing an unobtrusive and unassuming approach during interviews and has unparalleled expertise in working with a variety of audiences.

Hosting FGs in AirBnBs: A Case Study in Using an Alternative Location

What happens when you bring the sharing economy to the world of qualitative research?  Earlier this year, Laurie Tema-Lyn and Abby Leafe had the opportunity to find out.  One of Laurie’s clients came to her for the creative ideation that is her trademark.  The client was in the snacking category and, being a start-up in the southern CA region, they wanted something a little different.  They needed a creative space to work that would be large and comfortable for both consumers and the client team, but (being a start-up) they didn’t have a massive budget.  Laurie partnered with Abby and together they came up with a new solution to the question of, ‘how do we find a creative space to do creative work on a minimal budget?’  They rented a house in Los Angeles via AirBnB and used the space for three days of innovation work, including focus groups and client creativity sessions.  Along the way, they learned a lot; this presentation will share that knowledge with attendees, so that you can feel confident about trying this approach with your future projects.

Abby Leafe

Abby Leafe has been a qualitative researcher for 19 years, having started her career in advertising.  In fact, a brief stint in graduate school was enough to make her run screaming from academia and she is forever grateful to the helpful headhunter who told her that, in fact, people will pay her to do research.  She interviewed for a job in qualitative research shortly after finishing her M.A. and the rest, as they say, is history.  Abby is a past president of QRCA and frequent presenter at industry events.

Laurie has been a creative catalyst and qualitative researcher for decades, also having started her career in advertising. She began doing qually when a client asked if she could apply the creative approaches she used with client teams for product innovation to their consumer learning. Hence, she began designing co-creation programs that “violated” many traditional rules of market research. Today her practice reflects a great diversity of research methods and clients. Laurie is a member of QRCA’s Board of Directors and the author of Stir It Up! Recipes for Robust Insights & Red Hot Ideas.

DATE: Friday, December 7
TIME:  10:00 to 3:00
230 N. 2nd Street | Philadelphia PA 19106

Parking is available across the street at the Old City Parkominium.

 COST for meeting and lunch

$75 members, $100 non-members.  Either pay in person at the door, or use a PayPal below.


QRCA Member ($75):

Non-Member ($100):

RSVP to Karen Zimmerman at or Elizabeth McKinley at


10:00  Registration/Networking
10:30  Welcome, Chapter News, Introductions
11:00  Session 1 – Hosting FGs in AirBnBs: A Case Study in Using an Alternative Location
11:45  Lunch & Mingle - Catered Mediterannean lunch with wine & beer
12:45:  Session 2 – The Dinner Party – Have Your Focus Group and Being Able to Eat Too
1:45:  Session 3 – 10 Tinder Dates in a Week!? In a World of Social, Recruiting and New Methodologies go Hand in Hand
2:45:  Wrap-up


  • Organic Mixed Field Greens, Dijon & Shallots French Vinaigrette (gluten free)
  • Organic Quinoa Salad with Tomato and Cucumber, Lemon & Cilantro Dressing (gluten free)
  • Watermelon, Feta (optional) & Fresh Mint Salad with Aged Balsamic Glaze (gluten free)
  • Moroccan Chicken with Lemon & 21 Spices or Grilled Norwegian Salmon (gluten free)
  • Middle Eastern Falafel & Tahini Sauce (gluten free)
  • Fresh grilled Vegetables with Tzatziki (gluten free)
  • Homemade Hummus  (gluten free) & Pita Bread
  • Marinated Olives (gluten free)
  • Bananes Flambées (gluten free)

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