2014 Conference - Friday Full Schedule
2014 Friday agenda

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This page provides details on each scheduled session and other program highlights for Friday, October 17. To see detailed information for the other days of the conference, please use the navigation links to the right.

Friday, October 17

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Healthy Connections

Take in the flavor of New Orleans by joining your fellow QRCs for a riverfront walk past Woldenberg Park and up to the famous Café du Monde. We’ll stop in for chicory coffee and beignets (ok, maybe not the healthiest fare, but delicious!) before hopping on the Riverfront streetcar back to the hotel. Meet downstairs in the main lobby entrance. Cost: FREE

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast in Marketplace / Optional Chapter Meetings
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Educational Sessions

#MRX Disruption! Google Glass in Qualitative Market Research: What You Need to Know
Presenters: Shaili Bhatt and Kat Figatner

In this highly engaging session, we will share case studies & best practices to help you get in front of Google Glass and other wearable devices to address new problems as well as promising opportunities for qualitative research.

Together, we will highlight the features and current applications of Google Glass, dispel the myths, and brainstorm even more uses for this innovative device. In addition, you will learn how to position yourself as a Glass-wearing moderator.

Using two pairs of Glass, we will provide a real-time demonstration of its capabilities. We will also discuss competitive wearable devices on the market that are more easily available and affordable, with side-by-side comparisons to show how they stack up with Google Glass (and in some cases, outperform)!

Attendees will walk away with not only a current understanding of Google Glass but also concrete tips on how to manage clients' expectations and jumpstart your utilization of new wearable devices.

Target Audience: Any qualitative researcher interested in staying on the cutting edge by applying breakthroughs in technology to their research practice.

Shaili BhattBios: Shaili Bhatt, Research Director at C+R Research, has conducted both online and in-person qualitative since 2004 for clients in CPG, travel, entertainment, health/personal care and retail. She is known for sharing her enthusiasm for technology, exploring new designs at the forefront of digital qualitative research.

Shaili is an active member of QRCA, proud to serve on the QRCA Board of Directors (2012-2014). She has presented her ideas at nearly a dozen global conferences, including QRCA and IIeX, and she is the “Trends” Feature Editor for VIEWS magazine. Shaili was the first recipient of the QRCA Rising Star Award.

Kat FigatnerAs Vice President at C+R Research, Kat Figatner uses the latest technology to connect with consumers. Starting in 2005 at Research International, she has used disposable video cameras with consumers and conducted mobile-only studies. Her breadth of methodologies also comes from a focus on ethnography while at Conifer Research and online discussions and mobile video journals while at MarketVision Research. 

Kat holds a Master’s degree in the social sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Haverford College. She was an early adopter of smartphones while living in Japan in the early 2000s. 

EQ Is the New IQ: Why Improving it Unlocks the Irrational Behavior You've Been Looking for
Presenter: Nikki Lavoie

As the importance of understanding how emotions affect decision-making grows, so, too, does our need to harness that knowledge. Through an understanding of emotional intelligence, we can begin to understand the emotional processes that are not only happening within ourselves, but within the participants and clients we interact with.

This session explores the foundations of emotional intelligence, highlighting how they intertwine with our existing qualitative skillsets. We will discover the importance of recognizing our own emotional impulses — not just to maintain control or composure as researchers — and how EI overlaps with learning from behavioral economics.

Specifically, you will:

  • Uncover where your current EI skills lie;
  • Learn why self-awareness is key to uncovering irrational insights from your participants;
  • Walk away with tips on how to manage your emotional impulses, how to recognize them in others, and what they may mean in the decision-making process.

Target Audience: QRCs interested in exploring the impact of emotion on interaction and decision-making.

Bio: Nikki Lavoie worked in market research in the United States for several years before relocating to France in 2011 to continue working internationally. She is a trained moderator with a certificate in projective techniques, behavioral economics and emotional intelligence, and has numerous online and offline studies under her belt. She specializes in cross-cultural research, having presented her first paper at the 2013 annual ESOMAR Congress on the importance of language in multi-country studies. Nikki looks to continue being an active member of the research community, and enjoys learning from and sharing with her colleagues and peers.

Leveraging Qualitative Research for Breakthrough Innovation
Presenter: Len Ferman

The frantic pace of 21st century business life requires us all to become jugglers.  We must constantly keep many balls in the air in order to manage our projects, delight our clients and stay abreast of new developments.  World champion juggler and innovation expert Len Ferman will teach you how to juggle (literally!), while also demonstrating how you can help your clients innovate better via qualitative research.
Qualitative research is essential to successful innovation.  Len will share his innovation techniques, including:

  • How to partner with your clients innovation teams to ensure qualitative research is a part of           their process;
  • How to prepare stimulus for brainstorming sessions based on qualitative research;
  • How to test, refine and cultivate winning concepts after a brainstorming session

Len will reinforce each key point in the presentation via his unique style in which everyone is on their feet learning to juggle. Session attendees will receive their own free set of juggling scarves to learn with.  And learning to juggle is easier than you think, really!

This session will offer something for every qualitative researcher.  Come learn valuable and actionable skills for the front room, back room and parties, all in 60 minutes!

Target Audience: All qualitative researchers

Len FermanBio: Len Ferman is Managing Director of Ferman Innovation.  Len is a certified ideation facilitator and helps companies generate and evaluate breakthrough ideas.  Len developed the Idea TournamentTM process to select the optimal ideas for development. Prior to founding Ferman Innovation, Len spent 26 years with Fortune 100 companies. The last 18 years Len worked for Bank of America where he led the front end of innovation.

Len is also an adjunct professor of marketing at the University of North Florida where he teaches a course he created in innovation. And Len is also a world champion joggler (running while juggling).

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Break in Marketplace
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Skill-Building Workshops

Producing Stunning Presentations Using Adobe Creativity Tools
Presenter: Ricardo A. Lopez

The new Adobe Creative Cloud licensing model allows small businesses and independent consultants to have access to the complete Adobe suite of creative tools at an affordable cost. This opens the door to small businesses and independents using the same tools used by professional designers, video producers, and photographers. Learning these tools will help you achieve the ultimate in visual presentations. In this session Ricardo will explain how software applications like Acrobat, Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, and Audition can help enhance the delivery of qualitative research findings. He will demonstrate how each application can be used in qualitative research and how it is worth it to spend some time learning the basics. While most of these tools are considered professional high end software, there are many simple applications that are easy to learn. This will be a hands on workshop. The session includes a demonstration on how to use Adobe Premiere to edit clips for use in PowerPoint or for creating a standalone video report. All of the Adobe tools are available for both Mac and Windows and this presentation applies to both platforms. For more information on this presentation point your browser to: http://mypresentation.info

Target Audience: Anyone interested in enhancing their presentations with visuals- especially video.

Ricardo LopezBio: Ricardo is a frequent QRCA presenter and a leader in the organization. He has served on the board as Vice President and President and has also served as co-chair of the technology committee. He spearheaded new QRCA ventures like the Latino SIG- the very first QRCA SIG; and the LinkedIn group- QRCA’s first open forum. He is passionate about technology and has been at the forefront of new technology applications for qualitative research. He is also passionate about photography and video production and has worked in both fields at a professional level. Twitter: @RicardoALopez. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/hispanicresearch/.

Speak-Easy: Public Speaking Made Easy
Presenter: Michelle Finzel

Qualitative researchers do a lot of communicating — and not just around a conference table. Whether pitching a new project, drumming up business at a networking event, or presenting research results to clients, your poise and confidence as a speaker can be the difference that heightens your success. This fun and interactive workshop will help you analyze, improve upon, and enhance your public and interpersonal speaking skills. Participants will be able to walk directly into a public speaking situation and put the techniques learned to immediate use. 

Target Audience: This interactive workshop is for researchers who want to obtain new public and interpersonal speaking skills, as well as for those researchers who wish to polish the skills they already have.

Michelle FinzelBio: As President of Maryland Marketing Source, Inc., Michelle Finzel is responsible for overseeing all Full Service research projects as well as the day-to-day operations of the organization. Her overall goals are to blend theory with practice, emotions with insights, and numbers with words. She is a RIVA-trained focus group moderator and is experienced with qualitative and quantitative research methods, analysis, reporting, and presentation, including focus groups, telephone interviews, intercepts, mediation, and in-depth interviews. Michelle has been published several times, including within Quirk's Magazine, QRCA VIEWS, and in the Quirk’s E-newsletter, and is a guest lecturer at Towson University. She has also been called on to speak at several industry- and communications-focused conferences on topics concerning small group communication and qualitative recruitment practices.

Mrs. Finzel graduated from West Chester University with a Master of Arts degree and from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree. Both degrees are in Communication Studies. She currently serves as Chair of the Field Committee of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), has served on the board of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), and is a member of the Marketing Research Association (MRA).

Every QRC Needs a Great Website: Build One!
Presenter: Frankie Johnson

This is a hands-on workshop on how to build a great website cheaply and easily. A website is your most important sales and communications tool. Already have one? It may need to be updated and optimized for all devices.

In this session, we will cover the characteristics and benefits of a great website, the importance of your domain name, adding your logo and choosing a style to complement your brand. You will learn, step-by-step, how to build a professional, responsive website, add a blog, share your content on social media and keep it fresh. You will come away with the confidence to do it yourself rather than hire a designer. No coding required!

This is a very practical workshop with ample opportunity to ask questions.

Target Audience: Anyone interested in building their own website, cheaply and easily.

Frankie JohnsonBio: Frankie founded Research Arts in 1984, following senior research and marketing roles at Quaker and Sears. She has conducted thousands of focus groups and ethnographies, and trained several QRCs. She was among the first to do online research, both qualitative and quantitative, and keeps current on the new tools. She loves designing websites and knows just enough code to keep it fun. She curates @QRC on Twitter and QRC Flipboard magazine. Frankie joined QRCA in 1985 and is an emeritus member of the AMA.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Presenters: Chris Kann, Markus Kasunich

Creativity is a fundamental part of our true nature. It is an essential aspect in human expression, and it is especially necessary for qualitative researchers. This session will help attendees to cultivate a deeper understanding of the nature of creativity and how it works...

read more

Keynote Discussion
What Clients Want: Today and Tomorrow
Panelists: Mara Reimer, Marc Harwitz, Heather Randolph, Benny Thomas
Moderator: Ben Smithee

The qualitative research landscape continues to change and evolve, or so they tell us. The focus group is dead…or is it? Social media is #killingthefocusgroup, but is anyone really listening? Join us for a lively discussion with leading experts from a variety of industries, all of whom are actively engaged in the use of qualitative research and the hiring of qualitative research consultants. We will learn how qualitative research is driving their businesses, and what they need most from us, now and in the future. This panel discussion will be interactive, with attendees able to submit their questions in advance or live from the floor.

marc harwitzBio: Marc Harwitz is Senior Director, Marketing Research at the American Cancer Society, where he has worked since 2011. Marc leads the strategic market research function for the Society, including identification of organizational needs and opportunities relative to customer and market health, revenue generation, mission delivery and customer experience. Marc has 15+ years of marketing research and consulting experience across numerous industry categories. He spent six years with AT&T’s research team and also worked for research supplier KS&R, where he managed research and strategy engagements for brands such as IBM, FedEx, Microsoft and Autotrader.com. Marc has a BA and MPA from Syracuse University.

heather randolphHeather Randolph’s passion is helping people to translate knowledge about their markets and customers into meaningful brand strategies. She is adept at leveraging proven approaches for rapid fire innovation and building strong customer experience programs. Heather graduated with a Master of Marketing Research degree from The University of Georgia. She works in new product planning with Eli Lilly & Company, and leads the Think Tank – an internal group focused on trendspotting and the future of market research. In addition to her responsibilities at Lilly, Heather serves of the Board of Directors for a non-profit, crisis pregnancy center, and has served as Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

mara riemerMara Riemer has over 15 years of experience in market research across various industries including gaming, consumer packaged goods, retail and advertising. Her early experience was focused in psychology and social work. After receiving her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, she transitioned her interest in understanding human behavior to a career in understanding consumers. She is currently the Corporate Executive Director of Market Research & Brand Strategy for Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), where she manages the global market research discipline and is working toward enhancing the company’s capabilities in leveraging consumer insight for business and brand strategy decisions. Before joining LVS, she played a key role in building the market research function at IGT. In other past roles, she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse array of firms and brands such as Home Shopping Network, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and the iconic Marlboro brand.

benny thomasBenny Thomas has 25 years of leadership in creative development, brand strategy, innovation, consumer marketing and new business development around the world. He has been a creative director and head of strategic planning at some of the world’s leading agencies, working on brands like Sony, Electrolux, Unilever, Suzuki, Mars, Nissan/Infiniti, Bacardi, Chevron, LG, Microsoft, American Express, Charles Schwab, Netflix and Best Buy. He has led creative and strategy departments for TBWA\India as well as a diversified marketing department at Astro Malaysia.

He began as a writer in the days before the internet and went on to become a creative director at two of India’s leading agencies. He then headed marketing at one of Asia’s leading satellite broadcasters and helped set up two FM stations for them, before re-joining advertising as a strategic planner. In 2006, Benny was transferred to the lead office of the TBWA network, TBWA Chiat\Day in Los Angeles as global head of planning on Mars petfoods. Leadership roles since then have included global strategic planning leader on LG Electronics, Chevron and Bacardi at Y&R New York, VP/Executive Planning Director, at Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Santa Monica, and now President at Ignition, one of the country's leading entertainment agencies, where Benny is charged with developing a new kind of brand marketing discipline.

ben smitheeBen Smithee is the CEO of SPYCH and has continued to been seen as a thought-leader and innovator in the research industry. His team at SPYCH works with the leading brands around the world, with a focus on the future consumer and specifically the Gen-Y/Millennial segment. He was one of the first to educate the industry on the impact of social media and new technologies for consumer understanding, and he has presented around the world, over 100 engagements in the past 2 years, on various topics that continue to challenge the industry to grow and evolve - without losing its fundamental roots. Ben has been labeled one of the top 10 Youth Marketers, and "A true innovator" and "The Rosetta Stone for Millennials". The SPYCH team is known for its passion for new thinking and non-traditional methods, and is focused on putting research at the center of organizations - empowering them to act in more impactful, timely, and cost-effective ways.

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Educational Sessions

Mobile, Smobile: How to Get In-Context without In-Your-Face?
Presenter: Pam Goldfarb Liss

Case studies of qualitative research projects using mobile both exclusively and in the mix of total project that illustrates the variety of outcomes available with this new qualitative research tool. Mobile is a tool that is growing and still not fully formed for qualitative research with a variety new applications coming to the marketplace still. This session will showcase recent client case studies (as much as possible), provide an up-to-date overview of types of applications on mobile devices for qualitative research, but also open the discussion to attending members on concerns and ideals to help the attendees understand how creativity mixed with an intrinsic sensitivity to your consumer's right to share what is comfortable provides a unique opportunity to dive even deeper with consumers than ever before.

Target Audience: Those QRCs interested in learning best-practices and opportunities for mobile research

Pam Goldfarb LissBio: Enjoying the never-know-what's-coming-next thoughts of kids, teens, young adults and moms, Pam Goldfarb Liss is a 25-year veteran moderator who happily adapts to meet her often early-adopter consumer where they easily communicate.  She works with Fortune 100 brands and non-profits alike including 'all laundry detergent, AOL/Time Warner, Bayer, Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Borden Dairy, Burger King, Chex Mix, Fellowes, Frigidaire, Hadassah, Hillel, Jell-O, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Pillsbury, Totino's, and Others. Her evolution into mobile research is just the latest chapter in an ever-growing need to keep moving with the times to engage her consumer and capture life moments in-context that she'd love to share. Pam lives just outside New York City (but will always be a Minnesotan at heart) with her husband and two Gen-Z daughters (one of whom is totally mobile accessible and anti Facebook already).

Three Tigers to be Tamed: Problems & Solutions in Focus Groups
Presenter: Naomi R. Henderson

The world of qualitative research encompasses nearly twenty different methodologies. Regardless of the mode or the method of qualitative research, three classic problems seem to emerge again and again for researchers. The ability to manage these “tigers” improves the quality of research and can build long lasting relationships with clients.  

This presentation addresses this trio of classic themes and will provide both a forum for discussion from attendees and what a Master Moderator with over 6,000 groups has found as workable solutions.

Tiger #1: Client asks for too many things to be tested or stimuli to be reviewed in the QRE;
Tiger #2: Client wants too many varied activities to occur in the timeline for the QRE;
Tiger #3: There are too many vested interested parties, often with competing agendas, behind the one way mirror.

This session will ask for some compassion for the difficult role a client has to play in the QRE game and will provide an opportunity for an open forum.  

Target Audience: Coming soon.

Naomi HendersonBio: Coming soon.





Leave the Gun. Take the Cannoli. Using Tradeoff Analysis to Strengthen Qualitative Analysis and Reports
Presenter: Thomas Rich

This session will teach participants to employ tradeoff analysis — an underused tool — to organize and understand qualitative research findings, and to add actionable insights and implications to qualitative reports. Much of qualitative research is about the decision-making that drives consumer behavior. Tradeoffs are the substance of the mental process consumers undergo when making decisions. As such, this presentation will present a valuable framework within which to analyze and present to clients the consumer decision-making process. 

Subject areas will include:

  • Brief discussion of some the academic research that undergirds this tool;
  • Explanation of the various currencies among which individuals trade when making purchase and usage decisions;
  • Deeper dive into the role of self-image in decision making;
  • Segmenting your analysis;
  • How to optimize a discussion guide to facilitate tradeoff analysis;
  • Case studies to illustrate how the tool is applied to qualitative data;
  • Workshop — participants will apply the tool to a category with which they are familiar. 

Target Audience: This session should be appropriate for any qualitative research practitioner. 

Tom RichBio: Since establishing his firm in 1996, Tom Rich has conducted hundreds of research projects encompassing thousands of focus groups, one-on-one interviews, shop along interviews and online studies. Tom draws on his background in brand management to provide his clients with research that is simultaneously creative, strategic and pragmatic. He specializes in new product development, innovation, shopper and retail strategy, concept writing and brand positioning. Upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English, Tom began his career in advertising. After earning an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, he worked in brand management for such companies as Unilever and Nabisco. 

4:00 – 4:15 p.m. Break
4:15 – 5:15 p.m. Roundtable Discussions
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Farewell Cocktails
7:00 p.m. Dine-Arounds

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