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2017 Conference - Friday Full Schedule
2017 Friday agenda

Return to Schedule-at-a-Glance

This page provides details on each scheduled session and other program highlights for Friday, January 20. To see detailed information for the other days of the conference, please use the navigation links to the right.

ICON KEY: Select a track icon for description

Exploring the complex nature of consumers, including recall vs. actual behavior, generational differences, and their impact on research.

Learning from other professions who listen to identify ‘truth’ – doing what we do but in a different way.

Investigating change in global conditions and/or audiences and the impact on research.

Strengthening our expertise with both core and emerging methods

Knowing and acknowledging our full self and biases that can impact the research process, analysis, and reporting.

Sharing new perspectives and/or techniques for leveraging technology in qualitative research.

Friday, January 20

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Registration Open

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Healthy Connections: Getting Healthy in Hollywood
Join us for a scavenger hunt in downtown Los Angeles featuring famous filming locations. Use this opportunity to see the sights of Los Angeles, and get some exercise and fresh air before the sessions begin. Thursday and Friday will feature different routes so each day you can see something new and exciting!

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast and Optional Chapter Meetings

9:00 – 9:50 a.m.

Roundtable Discussions #1

Lifehacks 2.0: Tips, Tricks and Hacks to Make Life Easier, Better and More Efficient as a Business Person and Researcher
Presenter: Anya Zadrozny

Come learn and share tips, tricks and "lifehacks". Our goal is to leave knowing more ways in which to make our lives as researchers and business people better and more efficient.

Post-election, what can political researchers and traditional market researchers learn from each other?
Presenter: Brian Gottlieb

The 2016 elections are over. If we viewed candidates’ brands as products, what should political researchers learn from traditional market researchers? And what can traditional market researchers learn from political researchers and this election cycle? 

2050: A Qual Odyssey
Presenter: Jennifer Dale

Interested in attending Jen's presentation Friday afternoon about the changing global population? Then you won't want to miss this preliminary discussion! Your input will help kick start the brainstorming portion of the session later that day.

Tackling Tough Recruiting
Presenter: Kelly Heatly

For some studies, finding a specific niche of participants makes recruiting difficult, like looking for a needle-in-a-haystack. What do you do? There are many ways to find qualified participants in addition to working with professional recruiters, such as snowball recruiting, referral systems, social media, and more. Learn about strategies used by your peers to handle difficult recruiting and brainstorm about new approaches going forward.

No graphics department? No problem! Creating reports that look as good as they read.
Presenter: Maria Virobik

Participants will share their tips and strategies for creating the visually appealing reports clients demand, without the need for a degree in design.

Stylin' & Profilin'-- further discussion
Presenter: Michelle Finzel

Continuing the conversation from the Stylin' & Profilin' speaker session, roundtable attendees will further discuss how communication-based habits affect audience perception and what we can all do to improve upon our interpersonal, small group, and public speaking skills.

Yes Way vs. Oy Vey: Differentiating Between Good and Bad Opportunities
Presenter: Pam Goldfarb Liss

When clients have ‘caviar dreams, and a Burger King budget,’ how do you determine whether you should come up with a creative approach to their research needs or just walk away? It all comes down to understanding your professional interests and knowing how to grow with each opportunity. Join us for a provocative discussion on this important issue.

Crushing It with kids qualitative: How to conduct effective research with Gen Z.
Presenter: Paula Rosecky

As marketers’ attention transitions from Millenials to Gen Z, qualitative researchers need to understand how to talk to the younger people who pull at the purse strings of those who pay the bills. Qualitative researchers today should be prepared to include kids’ perspectives in their arsenal of insights, and increase their revenue. We will discuss a kid’s context, instructing recruiters and facility partners, and designing guides and stimulus to be effective and fun.

Supercharge Your Workshops!
Presenter: Petra Viskova

Join us to discuss your own experience, tips and tricks with others, all aimed at stimulating out-of-box thinking.

The Path to Impactful Insight through Storytelling
Presenter: Mike Kuehne

Storytelling. It’s on everyone’s lips, with calls for researchers to deliver insights in a meaningful, story-driven way. This roundtable discussion will tackle this issue.

Quallies and Quant Jockeys – Combining Qualitative and Big Data for Powerful Results
Presenter: Melanie Bernstein

Big data has been a buzz word in the marketing industry for a while now, and sometimes it seems that the promise of number crunching can drown out the power of good qualitative inquiry. We’ll be discussing how these techniques can work together to drive meaningful insights that wouldn’t be found just using one or the other. Bring your case examples and questions for an interactive discussion.

It's Raining Cats and Dogs
Presenter: Maryse Hudon

Are you currently doing health care research? You can easily transfer those skills into the large and rapidly growing field of veterinary pet care! Come discuss tactics to grow your business in a new direction.

Professionalizing our profession
Presenter: Tom Rich

As qualitative research evolves, the need for qualitative research professionals to be seen as that-- professionals-- continues to grow. This roundtable will focus on the issue of professionalism in qualitative research, and how QRCA can set and emphasize professional standards in the industry.

Beyond the basic PowerPoint: Pros, cons & ideas for workshops
Presenter: Julie Francis

Are your clients pushing for faster and faster insights? Are your clients making important decisions before you’ve finished the topline? Are great research insights in your PowerPoints being ignored? Maybe there’s a better way. Many in-house and independent researchers are moving towards a workshop format in-lieu of (or in addition to) formal reports. In this roundtable, we’ll discuss a range of workshop formats, with insights on what works & what doesn’t.

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

Delaying Objectivity for Deeper Empathy
Presenters: Susan Sweet and Jay Picard

We always attempt to get a more holistic view of our clients’ challenges and our participants’ real-life issues… but how do we actually do that? We’ve found that employing deep empathy, delaying objectivity until it’s needed, and thinking like curators can create outcomes with profound impact. This session will debunk some traditional research beliefs, such as maintaining objectivity by the removal of self, and shift our thinking about the power of the researcher’s own perspective and an empathetic mindset at all stages of a project. We’ll share examples from multiple categories and build organic case studies with attendees, as well as provide a step-by-step take-away tool for QRCs to use with their own clients.

Target Audience: Experienced QRCs who want something new, something that challenges typical research thinking and moves toward strategic consulting.

Susan SweetBio: Susan Sweet is a passionate qualitative research consultant focused on illuminating insights and making the process fun for both clients and participants. She founded Sweet Insight Group in 2012, and has worked alongside some of the best in research and strategy for the past 20 years. She has served two terms on QRCA’s Board of Directors and currently serves as co-chair of the Industry Relations Committee. Susan loves hiking with her dog, dancing like no one’s watching, eating and drinking in foreign countries, and hugging her kids.

Jay PicardBio: Jay Picard is a human-centric brand strategist who seeks global culture and creativity in all its forms. He founded Think Say Feel after almost 20 years in strategic planning roles. Jay’s work is rooted in human behavior, going beyond the stats to create bonds between people and brands. He is an active member of the Pacific Northwest chapter of QRCA, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Symphony. Jay loves coffee, dogs, hockey, travel, the outdoors and Maine.

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Shoestring Global: A Guide to Conquering Global Research with more Flair and Less Dinero
Presenter: Stacy Elsbury

We all dream of growing up and crossing the pond into global research, but for many of us, the challenges and financial requirements seem too overwhelming to even dip a toe in. While it’s true that global research presents a set of unique challenges, it’s also true that they can be cracked with a little creativity, and a lot of help from our QRCA friends. In this presentation, we’ll share a unique approach for going global without going crazy, all on a shoestring budget.

Target Audience: Those who dabble or dream of dabbling in global research, but fear the logistics and price tag attached.

Stacy ElsburyBio: Stacy Elsbury is President and Founder of Good Run Research & Recreation, a tiny and mighty global research firm based in the rising capital of market research: Richmond, Virginia (wait for it, y’all). She and her team have Big Plans for the industry and for sunny Richmond, where they are prepping to open The Rec Room—every Quailie’s dream research (non) facility. Call her a rebel or what you will (she’s been called worse), Stacy lives for a challenge and gets her kicks from indulging wild hairs and trying new approaches. Let’s face it, y’all: Research is just a fancy name for figuring stuff out. Sometimes the way to do that is tried and true, but often the challenge is new and tricky, and the just-right solution isn't something that can be pulled from a box. Stacy and her team thrive on these challenges, and have become (in)famous for methodological solutions that perfectly balance “what-the-what?!” and “ah-ha!”

Off the Clock: You’ll find Stacy on the clock. But on the clock, she’s been known to eat her body weight in sushi and wash it down with a martini, dirty. Occasionally she’ll run it off, but more often she’ll think about running it off, and opt for another martini instead.

Research Blind Spots: Understanding the Impact of Culture and Literacy Levels
Corette Haf

The gap between the have’s and have not’s is widening in many countries, both in the developed world and in emerging markets. Lower income, less educated people form the mass market in many economies. Understanding their needs and habits, or improving their access to products and services, can uplift these consumers and offer new growth opportunities to marketers.

Cultural differences and low literacy skills can negatively impact the quality of market research data collected by inappropriate questioning or complex projective techniques.

The session will highlight the dangers of researcher pitfalls and offer examples of activities that can reveal these misunderstandings and allow you to unlock deeper insights. The presentation will share the outcome of research with fellow QRCs in major emerging economies as well as developed countries with multi-cultural markets. Colleagues from these markets will share examples of instances where they needed to adapt discussion guides and questioning approaches to allow the voices of their customers to be heard. They will provide examples of projective techniques that work well for the particular culture or for less educated consumers with low literacy skills and how they created or adapted existing projective techniques or other activities to enable more meaningful understanding and insights.

Target Audience: QRCs who conduct research in multi-cultural and emerging markets

Corette HafBio: Corette Haf has been involved in marketing research for more than 30 years. She holds a BA (Honors) degree in Industrial Psychology and Psychology. Since 1993 she has managed her own specialist qualitative research consultancy. She is passionate about all aspects of qualitative research but has a special interest in digital and online qualitative methodology. In 2006 she pioneered online qualitative research in South Africa and is one of the country’s leading experts in the field. Corette is an active member of QRCA since 2004 and served on the board of directors from 2012 to 2016.

Signature Phrases: A Good Moderator Should Never Say "Moderating through the Lens of Language"
Presenter: Naomi Henderson

When talking to respondents, there are some phrases that inspire respondents to lower their shields and truly deliver below top-of-mind answers. As well, there are words/phrases that can cause respondents to raise their shields. Some of these terms — on both sides — have been around for 70 years.

Discover the deadly ones and the dynamic ones and expand not only your skill set but also your probing repertoire. Words and phrases are the “coin of the realm” for moderators. This session will explore the impact moderator “words/phrases” have on respondents and provide specific examples of what works and what doesn’t. The presentation will be a blend of information, interactive exercises and demonstrations. Participants should be prepared to share effective words, probes, phrases from their experience and challenge the speaker!

Target Audience: If space is limited, the session would be ideal for “emerging or novice moderators” (i.e., led less than 200 groups). If there are no limits on space, a moderator at any level will find something of value in this presentation — either to cause them to revisit some of their current practices or learn new ways to expand their abilities to get below top-of-mind answers from respondents.

Naomi HendersonBio: Naomi Henderson is the founder and owner of RIVA Market Research and co-founder of the RIVA Training Institute since 1981. She has 50 years of experience in research, with 35 years specializing in qualitative market research. She has conducted more than 6,000 qualitative research sessions and spoken to over 55,000 respondents both nationally and internationally. She holds a BA and MEd in Education & Psychology and is a licensed NeuroLinguistic Programming [NLP] Practitioner.

Naomi speaks at various colleges, seminars, and qualitative research associations. She is a blogger at and tweets at She is a member of QRCA, IWWG, NAFE and Who’s Who of American Women.

11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Roundtable Discussions #2

Checklist for Running a Successful Qualitative Business
Presenter: Chelle Precht

Offering a review of important details in operating a qualitative business, including a checklist for project management, field management and accounting.

Rethinking the Question
Presenter: Chris Kann

Further discussion of the presentation on Rethinking the Question

UX and Design Research: new and different from Qualitative Research, or not?
Presenter: Janet Standen

'Has the tech world found new ways to understand the needs and experiences of users or is it just qualitative under a new name? Do UX and Design Researchers think of themselves as qualitative researchers? These are the questions we will be exploring and discussing at this round table!

The Power of using Agile Market Research to drive Innovation
Presenter: Joy Steinberg

Further discussion of the presentation on The Power of using Agile Market Research to drive Innovation

Revealing the soul in B2B - driving behaviour change by engaging customers on a deeper level
Presenter: Kate Dennis

B2B brands and relationships today have come to mean as much about beliefs and values as they are about functional benefits. Join us to discuss ways to overcome challenges and identify opportunities for differentiation by uncovering deep emotional connections in the B2B space. 

User Experience and Qualitative Research: trends, challenges, tools and opportunities.
Presenter: Kathleen McNiff

A roundtable to discuss how tech companies are using qualitative research to inform product development.

Rising from the Ashes: What to do when your email and/or identity gets stolen
Presenter: Lorie Poe

Session will include discussion of hacker capabilities in invading your internet security and how to respond if an attack is underway. New tools to shut down vulnerabilities immediately and plan for long-term safety will be discussed. Social media, email, video streaming, or any other online activity involve risk and the pain can be quite hurtful in taking up your time, and in more difficult situations, damaging your pocketbook.

Ideation for 2018 Conference
Presenter: Kendall Nash & Mark Sumpter

Come share your thoughts and ideas for QRCA's next conference.

Qual on a Shoestring
Presenter: Barry Davis

  • Is your client worried that your methodology is too costly?
  • Are your travel costs too high?
  • Does your vision for a project not fit within a client’s tight budget constraints?

Let’s share and discuss our best strategies and ideas on these very pertinent topics!

The (im)mortality of focus groups
Presenter: Stacy Elsbury

Some say focus groups are on the way out--an antiquated, irrelevant format for today's dynamic market research.  Others argue focus groups are here to stay.  In this roundtable, we'll discuss both sides of the argument as well as a third: could it be that focus groups ARE immortal as a format, if we can bring their content, flow, and setting up to date?

War Games for Fun and Profit
Presenter: Susan Abbott

You helped create the product and messaging, now help plan the launch! If you have facilitation skills, you can help your clients anticipate competitor response and improve their launch strategy with a day of war games. 

Listening as an Act of Love
Presenter: Laurie Tema-Lyn

Further discussion of the presentation on Listening as an Act of Love

B2B Market Research - You are Not Alone
Presenter: Sean Campbell

During this roundtable discussion, we'll cover how to handle tough B2B recruiting challenges, best practices for conducting B2B market research studies, and great questions to ask during B2B studies.

Making Mobile Moments Matter
Presenter: Mike Carlon

Mike Carlon has been experimenting with online qualitative tools since the mid 90s when he worked at Modem Media, one of the world’s first digital agencies. In this roundtable, he will lead a discussion around the how, what, where, when, and why (and why not) to use mobile in your qualitative research projects. Come prepared to provide your own tips and tricks in the mobile qualitative space and learn from Mike as he shares his own.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.


1:30 – 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...

Breakout Sessions

2050: A Qual Odyssey
Jennifer Dale

Get in and buckle up, we’re heading into the future! Change can be challenging to see when you’re in it, so we’re blasting through time to get a different perspective. Peer into what populations around the world will look like in the year 2050. Our future forecast is a multicultural extravaganza and the party is just getting started. Did you know that in just 3 decades, there will be 400% more people over age 60? Or that 1/3 of US residents will be Hispanic? Take in these amazing facts and dozens more while you engage in this eye-opening and thought-provoking presentation. Learn how qualitative research will be affected and brainstorm solutions as a group. Attendees will leave with a newfound perspective of a future that’s not so far away.

Target Audience: QRCs who conduct consumer research

Jennifer DaleBio: 25 years in market research, I conduct quantitative & qualitative studies for clients in a variety of industries across the globe. QRCA member since 2006. Co-wrote Qual-Online: The Essential Guide with Susan Abbott in 2015.

The Canary in the Political Coalmine
Brian Gottlieb

Brian Gottlieb, former political pollster and Republican campaign strategist, joined Purple Strategies in 2012. Since then, he’s applied the lessons learned from political campaigns to some of the largest Fortune 500 brands in the world, spanning the energy, health care, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, defense and entertainment industries. In addition to providing relevant political qualitative research examples from his career, Brian will walk through the 2016 election season, and the insights he gained from focus groups about the candidates, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (Jeb and Bernie, too). He will dive into examples of either problems or opportunities that arose in the qualitative research long before quantitative polls, and long before the national news media picked the stories up. He’ll draw from three campaigns he’s worked on, using footage and quotes from focus groups to show how qualitative research is the canary in the political coal mine — and what campaigns can do when the canary sings. Attendees will have a better understanding of how surprising qualitative research findings can inform a quantitative methodology. They will also leave with an understanding of how applying a political-style research protocol to a brand and market approach can lead to a desirable campaign strategy and better insights.

Target Audience: The intended audience for this presentation is individuals who are curious or interested in politics, but do not necessarily have campaign experience. We’d like for the audience to walk away with a unique perspective — so they do not need to have extensive political experience (or any). We believe that those with either a brand, consumer or marketing background would be most interested in this presentation.

Brian GottliebBio: Brian brings a balance of research, corporate and political experience to Purple Insights. With nearly 20 years of experience working in public policy and politics, Brian has been an integral part of many successful ballot initiatives and political campaigns across the nation. He has conducted research for the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, Republican Party of Kentucky, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Senator Richard Shelby, Congressman Brett Guthrie, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anheuser-Busch, Altria, Reynolds America, The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, Gorton’s, and the National Fisheries Institute, in addition to the 2008 Romney Campaign. Brian began his career on Capitol Hill with former U.S. Representative Peter Torkildsen (R-MA). Since then, he has held positions in Federal Government Relations for both the American Society for Microbiology and the American Chemistry Council. In 2002, he joined Voter/Consumer Research (the firm that conducted research for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004) as a Vice President. From 2008 until joining Purple Strategies, Brian ran his own research firm, Got-Focus LLC.

Listening Between the Lines
Amanda Dunn

Our company brings brand stories to life by designing three-dimensional, experiential spaces for our clients. To create smart and emotionally compelling brand experiences, our team undertakes a discovery process to uncover the depth of a brand’s story, because it’s not enough to simply ask questions of the most obvious people. Led by our creative team, we use a range of tools to develop the richest possible picture. We interview everyone from a line worker to the CEO, immerse ourselves in the world of their customers, spend time with stakeholders, and read everything we can get our hands on about our clients. The result is an immersive experience that brings a story to life. This session will cover a detailed approach to our discovery process as inspiration for others, as well as guide you in translating learning to those who are responsible for implementation based on our learning — including designers, writers, and architects.

Target Audience: Anyone seeking a fresh perspective on listening and those interested in hearing how others outside the research industry approach discovery.

Amanda DunnBio: Amanda has over a decade of experience working with the top brands in the world. She’s worked with people in the Chaco Region of Paraguay, the Dolomite Mountains in Italy and across the Middle East. Her global travels have taught her that a good story can be found anywhere — as long as you are listening. This helps in her role at The Brand Experience as she listens, learns and organizes all of the elements of clients’ stories. Amanda lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two tiny humans who call her mom and a carnival goldfish who may outlive us all.

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.


3:00 – 4:45 p.m.

Plenary Sessions

Liquor Stores, Cardboard Signs, and Actors: Why Radical Listening Matters
Presenter: Benjamin Mathes

Urban Confessional founder Benjamin Mathes will detail how the Free Listening Project started a worldwide movement that can impact the way you listen, ask questions, and gather data. And, who knows, it may just help you change the world! Qualitative Research Consultants are some of the most practiced listeners in the world. Whether you’re moderating a focus group, speaking with clients, or just communicating with colleagues, the art of listening is paramount. This presentation will include insights from conference attendees who participated in the Free Listening Workshop, and will finish off with exercises that heighten everyone’s sensitivity to the importance and power of listening.

Benjamin MathesBio: Benjamin is an award winning actor, producer, teacher, author, and founder of Urban Confessional: A Free Listening Project, a worldwide movement that spans 50 countries and 40 US states. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, and in over 20 international publications, and continues to inspire a message of non-judgmental, active, and radical listening.

Now What? Ready, Set…Plan of Action!
Presenter: Anya Zadrozny

It’s day three of the conference and your head is full of great new techniques and perspectives that are very pertinent to your business. You’re also feeling inspired and motivated by your fellow conference attendees. However, finding the time, resources and motivation to implement your new learning can feel like a daunting and impractical task — especially once you are back to your normal routine.

You’ll leave Los Angeles with an action plan and proven methods and tools to implement these new learnings — and maintain your motivation now and throughout the year. Anya will also guide us through an exercise to share the pieces of gold we’ve picked up during our time in LA. This presentation is built upon information from research findings, books, articles and interviews from motivated, driven, goal-oriented people in a variety of industries. You'll make the most of your conference experience and improve your business.

Anya ZadroznyBio: Anya Zadrozny is the founder of, a qualitative market research and video production company. Before starting her own business, she worked as a producer and on-air host for MTV and Vh1 Radio. While there, she interviewed some of the most goal-orientated and motivated individuals in the music and entertainment industry. She’s conducted over 1,000 interviews with celebrities, musicians and cultural innovators at MTV’s headquarters in Times Square, as well as at the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards. She was a 2014 QRCA Young Professional Grant Winner and currently serves on the QRCA Marketing Committee, the Qcast committee and the LA Conference Committee.

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks



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