connections conference news

September 2015
Vol. 14, Number 7

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

QRCA Conference Deadline Is Quickly Approaching!

Steve Appel,

Early Bird Registration Deadline: September 18

Register for Conference | Choose a Hotel | Sponsors and Exhibitors

2015 qrca conference

QRCA Annual Conference
October 7-9, 2015
Hilton Bonnet Creek
Orlando, FL

register today

If you haven't yet registered for the QRCA Annual Conference, be sure to do so before September 18 to save $150 on your registration rate! The 2015 Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, October 7-9! If you go to ONE conference in 2015, it should be the annual QRCA conference — the one time all year when members come together from around the world to share, learn, and grow together.

Whether you’re a long-time Qualitative Researcher or you’re relatively new to the field, you’ll find useful and compelling presentations at the 2015 QRCA Conference — some cutting edge, others stressing fundamentals — to which you’ll repeatedly refer over the next few months, years, and even decades!

… And there’s no better place to keep up with what’s happening in the qualitative research industry than the QRCA Annual Conference — the trends, techniques, or key people, and the tools, platforms, and technology. QRCA has the best resources and access to the latest methods, ideas, and expert innovators, and you can find them all at one conference.

Hotel Information

The Hilton Bonnet Creek room block is sold out, but you can check the conference website for alternate hotels. Currently, several are listed:

Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort
1850 Hotel Plaza Blvd
Orlando, FL 32830

Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa
1900 Buena Vista Dr
Orlando, FL 32830

B Resort & Spa
1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

QRCA Thanks Our 2015 QRCA Annual Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors for Their Support! Please Visit Them in the Marketplace this October!

  • 20|20 Research
  • Adler-Weiner Research Company
  • Aha! The Next Generation Online Qual Platform
  • Amplify Research Partners
  • AOC Marketing Research
  • Better Decisions
  • Civicom Marketing Research Services
  • Consumer Opinion Services
  • Digsite
  • EurekaFacts, LLC
  • Fieldwork, Inc.
  • Focus Crossroads
  • Focus Forward
  • Focus Pointe Global
  • FocusVision Worldwide
  • Greenbook
  • Interactive Video Productions - IVP
  • itracks - Qualitative Software
  • Jackson Associates, Inc.
  • karmaCollage by Good Karma Consulting
  • M3 Global Research
  • Market - Ease Multicultural Qualitative Quantitative Connections
  • Marketing Systems Group
  • Mercuri Conferencing
  • MFour Mobile Research
  • Optimal Workshop
  • Paramount Market Publishing
  • Peters Marketing
  • Protobrand Inc.
  • QRCA
  • Schlesinger Associates
  • Shugoll Research
  • SIRS (Strategic Intelligence Research Services)
  • Survey Center Focus
  • watchLAB

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The QRCA Conference Marketplace is the Place to Be!

Katrina Noelle,

The 2015 QRCA Marketplace is the place to be at this year’s Annual Conference.  Joining our long list of loyal Sponsors and Exhibitors are a few new faces:

  • M3 Global Research (
  • SIRS (Strategic Intelligence Research Services) (
  • Protobrand (
  • watchLAB (
  • Mercuri Conferencing (
  • EurekaFacts (
  • Survey Center Focus (

Remember to fly in early this year! Our second annual programming segment “Demo Connections” starts bight and early Wednesday morning. Pick up your name badge at registration and join us for four demonstrations of new products and services that will improve and enhance your research offerings:

Thank you also to all of our Sponsors participating in prize drawings!  Friday is Prize Day; all door prizes will be given out during the Friday morning Marketplace break and all Scavenger Hunt prizes will be given out during Friday’s Award Lunch.

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2015 QRCA Conference Featured Speaker – Dynamic Creativity Expert Gert Garman

Chris Kann,

gert garmanThis year’s conference is inspired by our Orlando location, a seat of imagination and creativity. The breakout sessions and speakers will take you deeper into your own understanding of your creative potential, and we’ll help you get there with the assistance of our dynamic keynote speaker, Gert Garman, Director of the Collaborative Design Center at Valencia College in Orlando. 

“Absolutely everyone is creative; they just need to be properly inspired.” – Gert Garman

Attitude is key when it comes to creativity, according to Gert. You don’t have to be great at improvisation or especially flamboyant to be creative. It’s more important to demonstrate freshness, curiosity and playfulness — some key characteristics that help to create fertile soil for the seeds of creativity. Try integrating these characteristics into your daily life, and you’ll see the improvement in your own creative thinking and problem-solving process.

As both a student and teacher of the creative process, Gert will help redefine people’s perceptions about creativity, or “disruptive thinking.” While many consider arts and crafts the pinnacle of creativity, Gert reminds clients regularly that putting together a well-executed brand strategy, research project, spreadsheet or legal brief also requires a type of creativity that brings value and competitive advantage to companies every day! A regular speaker and attendee on the Florida Creativity Conference circuit, Gert likes nothing more than to be with others who enjoy pushing the creativity envelope to new heights.

“Working for Disney was an amazing experience” – Gert Garman

In working for Disney Destinations as a creativity and innovation catalyst, Gert had the opportunity to be trained and travel with the Cast Members all over the world to spread the Disney magic. Considered one of the most innovative companies in the world, she will share some of the details of her experiences and takeaways from her time working with Mickey.

“You will be infused in the magical vibe…let it inspire you!” – Gert Garman

Central Florida is known for its entertainment venues and many opportunities for play…a key component in creativity. Gert is known for her engaging, audience-involved presentations, and we look forward to seeing you all in Orlando to be inspired, to play, to be creative, and to bring new energy to your work long after the conference ends. 

The “Whole New World of Research” takes place in this setting, as we learn new approaches to tap into our inherent creativity. The result: expanding, exciting, and market-changing insights to bring to your clients. 

Gert Garman, a graduate of the University of Central Florida, will bring her extensive experience working with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; Disney; Valencia College; and other thought-leading clients to her presentation “Creativity Tips for the Deep Dive: Techniques and Strategies for Uncovering Research Insights.” Gert is a certified facilitator in Creative Problem Solving and regularly attends the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), Mind Camp, and Florida Creativity Conferences. She knows the challenges and joys of qualitative research, and will no doubt inspire QRCA members when she shares her creative perspective as this year’s Keynote Speaker.
See you in Orlando!

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Mark Your Calendars!

Hopefully by now you have registered for the QRCA Annual Conference, October 7-9, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. This will be another stellar event showcasing the latest methods, ideas, and insights in the field of qualitative research. Highlights include a triple feature plenary session featuring Jennifer Dale, Ricardo Lopez, and Claire Booth; double feature sessions that offer two presenters on related topics; and a creativity-focused keynote by Gert Garman. 

September 18 is the deadline for the conference’s early registration rates, so register now if you haven’t already! You will leave Orlando reinvigorated and full of knowledge that will keep your qualitative practice at peak performance.

Be sure to plan ahead for the next QRCA conferences!

  • Co-chairs Susan Abbott and Kendall Nash are hard at work planning the next Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research to be held April 13-15, 2016 in Vienna, Austria. This international conference is known for its high-level thought leadership, beautiful venues, and wonderful camaraderie. Mark your calendar now and look for more information soon.
  • Kate Wagenlander and Jeff Walkowski will lead the next QRCA Annual Conference, January 18-20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. This will be our first January conference and will draw researchers from around the world.

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Variety Is the Spice of the 2015 QRCA Annual Conference

Kate Wagenlander,
Jeff Walkowski,
2015 Conference Speaker Subcommittee Co-Chairs

Have you registered yet for this year’s QRCA annual conference? If yes, whoo hoo!! We are so looking forward to seeing you! Not registered yet? Be sure to do it now to make sure you take advantage of the early bird registration discount!

There is a lot of variety in this year’s conference programming. What sort of variety, you ask? So glad you did! Well, there is variety in terms of session length (30 to 90 minutes) and in presenters: with new and “veteran” presenters, QRCA members as well as non-members, and speakers from across the globe including North America, Japan, and the UK.

And let’s not forget the variety in terms of the subject matter. There’s certainly something for everyone at this year’s conference. There are presentations geared toward those who are newer to the profession, and ones that will appeal more to those who are established in the industry. We created some tracks to help bring the content to life a bit more for you as well, as you work to determine which presentation to attend. There will be at least one presentation in each of the following eight categories (or “tracks”):

  1. Frameworks for Research – Considerations that impact study design and process
  2. How Do We Get Who We Talk to? – Issues related to recruitment
  3. Interviewing Skills/Approaches – Tools and techniques for gathering data
  4. Dealing with and Presenting Data – Tips for analysis and report-writing
  5. Client Management – How to more effectively work with clients
  6. Strengthening Your Business – Marketing tactics and ways to protect your practice
  7. All Things Digital – Technological tools in qualitative research
  8. Provocative Food for Thought – Other issues important in our profession

Do not fret; we will include these tracks in the conference program in a grid illustrating the track under which each presentation falls. So, if you see some tracks that pique your interest, you will be able to easily find out which presentations fit within that space. Basically, this is another way to help you determine the way you can, personally, get the most out of the conference.

We are also trying something new this year. A block of sessions on Friday will be known as “Double Features.” Attendees will choose one of three of these. Each Double Feature will consist of two presentations (two different presenters) on a related topic. Thus, attendees will get two points of view. The presentations are meant to support/complement each other. Rather than having to choose one session on the topic, attendees get to watch two presentations at once. One Double Feature is about gamification in qualitative research, one is about cognitive interviewing approaches, and the third is about mobile technologies that enable us to get closer to our respondents.

The entire conference program (descriptions of each session and presenter bios) is available online. A quick review of the info will show that the program certainly fits the theme of this year’s conference: “Whole New World of Research.” We look forward to sharing it with you. See you in October in Orlando!!

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Arriving Early? Join Your Fellow QRCA Members for Dinner!

Anne Hooper,

On Tuesday, October 6, we’ll continue the tradition of the Early Arrivals dinner… with a twist. Yes, you heard that right… we’re changing things up a bit this year! The Early Arrivals dinner has become wildly popular and is growing each year, so instead of one (very) large group of attendees gathering in one restaurant (with literally hundreds of separate checks), we’ll have a few small(er) group reservations set up at several different restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Please note that there is no need to “sign up” for a specific restaurant ahead of time (we wouldn’t dare compete with the famous Dine-Arounds!). You’ll just need to show up at the designated meeting place, grab a couple friends, choose a restaurant and enjoy your dining experience. Yes, there will still be separate checks (just not hundreds of them) so you can pay for your own meal.

Whether you are a first-time attendee or a conference veteran, our goal is to encourage connections in a more intimate setting (unless, of course, you feel dinner with 100 others is “intimate”). So please join us at Hilton’s Myth Bar at 6:30 p.m. and get ready to have some fun with old and new friends alike.

If you are interested in joining us, you can indicate so within the registration process. Alternatively, you can email Anne Hooper at

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Get Your Glow on at the Conference!

Kelly Heatly,
Chris Kann,
Conference Co-Chairs

2015 qrca conference

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in Orlando, October 7-9, where we will all experience a “Whole New World of Research.”   

If you haven’t registered yet, then jump on it now to take advantage of the early-bird discount which ends September 18Register here:

What happens Thursday night?
Amidst the incredible sessions, marketplace, and networking at the conference is the always-fun, ever-exciting Thursday night soiree. This year’s “A Glow New World” party will be celebrated in the beautiful party pavilion overlooking the golf course and waterways. 

Will it be fun for both hams and wallflowers?
There will be something for everyone: dancing, karaoke, games, quiet conversation on the patio, and, of course, good food and cocktails! 

What should I wear?
Dress code is fun-casual. All attendees are encouraged to wear your best “glow” — you can use your imagination there; we’re in the land of Disney, after all. Neon, brights, glow-wear, bring it! 

Who is the party sponsor?
“A Glow New World” is brought to you by Digsite. Thank you, Digsite, for sponsoring our party this year!

See you in Orlando!

thursday night event 2015
“A Glow New World” happens at the Party Pavilion at Hilton Bonnet Creek on Thursday night!

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Healthy Connections at the Conference: Fun Walk and Lazy River Adventure

Alicia Menanteau

Here is a summary of the Healthy Connections that have been planned for the Conference in Orlando:

THURSDAY, October 8, 7:30 am: Fun Walk and Pilates Cool-down
Come make progress on your 10,000 steps by walking the 1-mile loop of the Hilton’s property. Mouse ears or other creative hats are welcome! A post-walk cool-down will consist of a Pilates routine QRCAers can easily learn and apply anywhere, anytime during their future travels. Meet at the trail near the edge of the Hilton pool and conference center (see map below). Gear: walking shoes and sunglasses. Water and sunscreen will be provided.

FRIDAY, October 9, 7:30 am: A Lazy River Adventure
For a refreshing start to your day, come join us as we walk against the current in the Hilton’s Lazy River. Meet at the entrance of the Hilton pool (see map below) at 7:30 am. After 30-45 minutes of walking, for our victory lap we will cruise down the river on inner tubes*. Tubes and towels will be provided. Wear water-appropriate clothing. Fun tip: one round against the current in the Lazy River is like walking 4 miles on land!

healthy connections

inner tubes
*inner tube (noun): a doughnut-shaped, flexible tube inflated (typically inside a tire) to bear the weight of a vehicle

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QRCA Members: Get the ESOMAR Event Group Rate

Ilka Kuhagen,

ESOMAR is offering a group rate for QRCA members who want to attend ESOMAR events. This special pricing is dependent on the number of QRCA members who would like to attend.

Please note that if QRCA sends 10+ members to the ESOMAR Congress in Dublin this year (September 27-30) or the ESOMAR Qual in Paris (November 15-17), the fee per delegate is €1000 (which saves between €120 and €1,000).

Please let Ilka Kuhagen know if you are planning to attend so she can organize this group rate. If we have enough members, we will provide you with a specific code for the group.

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Upcoming U.S. and International Conferences and Events

Karin Curran,

The QRCA International Chapter wants to encourage all members to get out and meet up, but knows that members may be aware of events and conferences in their own countries but not of those held elsewhere. For this reason, the International Committee will attempt to scour the Web and our resources to create a list of upcoming events that may be of interest to QRCA members. This list can help you extend your network, expand your skills, or just provide a great reason to avoid the weather in your home town.

We will be running sections in the QRCA Forum and on LinkedIn for people who are attending (or thinking of attending) any of these. Hopefully, knowing that other QRCA members will be there will prompt meet-ups and increased attendance. If you are going to an event, log on to the Forum or LinkedIn and let everyone know. To get started, here is the list of conferences from mid-September through the end of 2015.




September 15-17

MRMW Europe: Breaking the Barriers - Impacting the Future

London, UK

September 16

Luxury Research 2015

London, UK

September 17

AQR Conference

London, UK

September 27-29

AMA Annual Conference: Inspired Marketing

Austin, TX

September 27-30

ESOMAR Congress


October 4-6

Partner Event: Pharmaceutical Market Research Group

Philadelphia, PA

October 5-7

Corporate Researchers Conference

St. Louis, MO

October 6

Research with Children and Young People

London, UK

October 12-14

European Pharma Market Research Conference

Antwerp, Belgium

October 13-15

CXE3 The Customer Experience Conference

Los Angeles, LA

October 15-16

Maghreb and Africa Market Research Summit

Casablanca, Morocco

October 15-16

Shopper Brain Conference

Amsterdam, Netherlands

October 21-22

Qualitative 360

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

October 21-23

CASRO Annual Conference

Miami, FL

October 25-26

Research Analytics: Digital Advanced Research

New York, NY

October 25-27

LIMRA Annual Conference

Boston, MA

October 28-29

International Trade Show for Market Research

Munich, Germany

November 2-4

TMRE: The Market Research Event

Orlando, FL

November 3-5

MRMW Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

November 4-5


New York, NY

November 5

NEMRA Fall Conference

Waltham, MA

November 15-17

Global Qualitative Event

Paris, France

November 16-18

The MSPA Asia Pacific 11th Annual Conference

Sydney, Australia

November 18

Sensory Forum

Paris, France

We compiled this list through our best efforts, but it may not include all events that might be relevant and inclusion is not a QRCA endorsement of quality. If you know of anything we missed from this list or want to make sure an event is included in a future list, please email Karin Curran at

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