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QRCA 2021 Annual Conference – Call for Proposals

QRCA 2021 Annual Conference

2021 QRCA Annual Conference Call for Speaker Session Proposals


Deadline for Submissions: July 29, 2020 

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) invites you to submit your proposal to present a session at our 2021 Annual Conference, February 3-5 (Please note: This CFP is for speaker sessions only.  Submissions for round table leaders will be solicited at a later date.) 

This year has brought about more change to how we live and interact with others than we ever could have imagined.  The 2021 QRCA Annual Conference will focus on how we are evolving to embrace the new reality of constant adaptation.  

Our theme, Diversify. Discover. Design the Vision. is a call for sharing new points of view, unique solutions and approaches for solving today’s challenges and seizing opportunities that make qualitative research more relevant and future-focused than ever.

The majority of presentations will be 60 minutes (45 minute presentation with 15 minutes for Q&A). Additionally, a smaller number presentations will be selected for a slightly different 30-minute format (:30 minute 'Power Talks without Q & A). Please indicate on the entry form whether you would like to be considered for the :30 minute power talk opportunity in addition to the :60 minute format. 

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, QRCA wants to ensure that all of our attendees have an option to experience the amazing QRCA conference culture, even if they are unable to travel. Therefore, in 2021, QRCA has decided to host a virtual conference that will run in tandem with our in-person event in San Diego. This gives our presenters the choice to present in-person and/or virtually. 

Conference programming will be built around our conference theme, with the following three tracks:

Qualitative research is one of the few careers that people tend to land on from very diverse fields of study.  We have qualitative researchers whose education and/or experience come from law, history, nursing, marketing, and many others. It is one of the characteristics that makes our field so dynamic and interesting.

For this track, we are looking for presentations that highlight a diversity of thought to help us get beyond our existing challenges and into rich new territories. Examples of topics that might fit this track:

  • Organizational Behavior 
  • Sociology  
  • Psychology  
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Industry-specific insight

Technological advancements are enabling qualitative researchers to adapt and take advantage of our rapidly changing environment.  Harnessing these new tools in unique ways and approaching issues in new ways can help us get to better insights.  

For this track, we are looking to hear about new approaches, frameworks, solutions and use-cases that prove that it’s not just business as usual. Examples of topics that might fit this track:

  • Case studies showcasing new tools 
  • New takes on research design 
  • Creative uses of technology

Thriving in this ever-changing environment requires a unique vision. For this track, we want to hear from all those who are seizing the challenges and coming out on top.

Tell us the ways you have overcome obstacles, maintained a positive mindset or formed new partnerships to realize your vision. Examples of topics that might fit this track:

  • Success stories
  • Collaboration case studies
  • Business development

What we will be looking for:

  • Dynamic speakers who can engage an audience in person and/or on camera and will inspire new thinking about best practices and challenge current ways of thinking about qualitative research  
    • Speakers can be either from QRCA or outside the association 
      • Within QRCA, we are looking to include a range of tenure

  • Thought provoking ideas from inside and outside the market research industry that will:
    • Be relevant to the conference audience (we are looking for a mix of presentations that will appeal to audiences who are either new to qualitative research or who are more experienced professionals) 
      • Incorporate the conference theme through one of the three tracks 
      • Educate, inform and inspire qualitative researchers 
      • Highlight new approaches 

What you will receive if you are selected as a speaker:  

  • An amazing audience of research professionals who are excited to hear what you have to say! 
  • Free conference registration for one speaker for the full three-day event. If there are more than one presenter, the discount will be split. 
  • Publicity and marketing campaign– with individualized focus for each presentation 
  • A dedicated speaker mentor to help to make the most of your presentation 
  • In-person: Free in-person conference registration for one speaker for the full three-day event. If there are more than one presenter, the discount will be split.  
  • Virtual conferenceFree virtual conference registration for one speaker for the full event. 

Health and Safety 

QRCA remains diligent in ensuring that the safety and security of our attendees remains the top priority. As we move ahead with planning and implementing the programming, we will continue to place high importance on facilitating measures that will ensure optimal health and sanitary conditions for everyone onsite during the event. In order to remain informed about the ongoing situation at both the global and local levels, we are monitoring and in constant communication with area Convention Visitors Bureaus (CVBs), particularly our partners at the San Diego CVB, and national authorities. Ongoing updates on our plans related to the Annual Conference will continue to be available on our website. 

Important Dates 

May 27: Speaker Zoom Session

June 1: Call for Presentation Opens

July 29: Deadline for Submitting Presentation Proposals

September 9: Speakers Notified of Selection

September 18: Speaker Acceptance and Materials Due (outline of session, bio/headshot, marketing content piece, etc.)

November 13: Draft of Presentation Due to Speaker Mentor

January 15: Full Copy of Final Presentation Due to Google Drive


Watch the video from our Q&A session on May 27. You can also download the powerpoint slides from the session here. More FAQs are listed below.

According to the 2020 conference survey:

  • 68% report their title is CEO/President/Owner/Founder
  • 48% are solo practitioners, 33% work in firms with 2-10 employees and another 19% work in a firm with 11 or more employee
  • 94% view themselves as either the decision maker (72%) or decision influencer (22%) when it comes to the purchase of the market-research related services for their firm
  • 30% have attended 10 or more QRCA conferences, 29% have been to 4-9 conferences and 42% have been to 1-3 conferences

QRCA members are highly collaborative and generous in their sharing of ideas and knowledge. Attendees are eager for new tools, techniques, technology, and thinking about qualitative research and the role it plays in our clients’ business decisions.

Presentations about research approaches should include specific practical applications so that attendees can utilize the approach in their own research practices. Presentations that only provide theoretical background are not preferred.

Also, if an attendee asks “how do I implement this approach in my own practice,” and the answer is “you have to hire the presenter,” that presentation would NOT be appropriate for this conference.

Background information should be minimal and no more than ten minutes of the hour to ensure new, impactful information is delivered to attendees for the vast majority of the hour.

One or more individuals may present, so consider a partner if you feel it will enhance your content and delivery.

If your session is selected for the conference, you will be assigned a liaison to serve as a sounding board and guide you in the process leading up to the conference. Liaisons are flexible and can offer help in a variety of ways, including working with you on your bio and the description of your session, helping you target your presentation to our members, and giving you candid feedback on your presentation as it evolves. 

You will be provided with a timeline, and all deadlines must be met. Please note: your complete presentation deck will be available to all conference attendees online in advance of the conference.

To preserve the educational integrity of the conference, presenters must refrain from using their sessions to promote their products or services. The QRCA conference is a unique environment where qualitative research professionals engage in open dialogue and creative exchange of ideas without commercial content.

QRCA members and qualified non-members receive one complimentary conference registration per presentation session (which can be shared if there are multiple presenters) and are responsible for their travel, hotel and any additional expenses. Complimentary registration is NOT offered for leading Round Table sessions.

In an effort to enhance its recognition internationally and to attract speakers from outside North America, QRCA may offer some limited compensation to speakers traveling from outside the US and Canada.

Help is available -- if you have any questions while you are developing your submission, email them to

No, you must provide a link to your 90 second video pitch with your proposal submission. Submissions that do not have a link to your video pitch will be considered incomplete submissions. Information on how to upload to different video platforms is available here: 

 YouTubeVimeoGoogle Drive  

If you do not wish to present at the conference yourself, we encourage you to facilitate a Round Table discussion, or you may suggest a topic or recommend speakers, regardless of whether they are QRCA members or not. Please send your suggestions to

QRCA, the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, is an international organization that promotes excellence in all aspects of qualitative research. Founded in 1983, QRCA is the largest professional organization of qualitative researchers, with nearly 1,000 members in 30 countries. 

The mission of the QRCA Annual Conference is to provide superior educational opportunities for members and qualified non-members that will enhance their skills and improve the professionalism of the industry.

More information can be obtained from our website, including videos of conference speakers, archived Qcast webinars, and our quarterly magazine, Views. Our LinkedIn group also has lively discussions on topics of interest to this professional community.

Deadline for Submissions: July 29, 2020


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