“Let me know if anyone is interested in the AQR quiz!” Well, in all honesty I wasn’t. I expected one too many industry jokes, a tortuous set of questions and some rather insular company. After some rallying from my colleagues I was convinced, with a few others, to try something different and ‘get out of my box’.

As we descended into Soho I still was unsure but the sight of a pub raised my spirits. Once inside I’m pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Greeted by the lovely Tom and Kat, we were encouraged to grab a (free) drink, have a bite to eat and enjoy the evening.

We sat down and formed a formidable team with TBA. Two rounds, 40 questions and several bottles later we emerged all the wiser, making it to the podium with a silver medal (in the form of a luxurious collection of biscuits). I won’t say how many teams got joint first, but it’s not about the winning. It is, however, all about the taking part.

I’m happy to say we met a bunch of wonderful people all there to have a great night, who just happened to be qual researchers in the infancy of their careers. It was a really great opportunity to meet a diverse bunch with various backgrounds in the industry — we shared similar stories of tricky clients, late nights and fascinating consumer experiences as well as finding lots in common beyond the realms of qualitative research. Fuelled with wisdom, mini burgers, wine and happiness we then hit the ‘dance floor’ for a boogie.

By the end of the night all my fears had been dispelled and I found myself at work the next day (with a terrible headache) wondering when the next event would be. Hats off to The Young Unfocused Group for organising the night and a special mention to Jono the Quiz Master who dealt expertly with the heckles (sorry, Jono). Finally a huge thank you to the kind sponsors, Firefish and Criteria, who helped make the evening that bit more special.

If you couldn’t make it, you missed a treat.