The London Art House is a great venue for a market research training day — unassuming from the outside but delightfully warm and inviting when you step inside. Thinking about what makes a venue inviting was a continuing theme of the day.

With the plethora of day-to-day project tasks, logistics and analysis involved in qualitative research it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the respondent experience has already begun before you start the timer on the research session. So our focus was directed by the course organisers to be mindful of this.

Other hands on exercises, such as listening and response games, further helped re-focus attention on how it feels to both ask and respond to styles of questioning and conversation. This, along with a more purist (but demystified) intro to Discourse Analysis gave the day a great balance between the theory and practice behind what we do. All this helped me see how and where I could develop and improve my skills as a moderator.

The day was nicely rounded off with a look from the client’s perspective. This was particularly illuminating as we heard exactly what was top of mind on the night for those ‘behind the mirror’.

So all in all, bringing us full circle; from thinking about when and how the experience begins for a respondent and back to the client, the overarching project aims and objectives, to ultimately deliver a valued experience all round.