The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Three stars from ESOMAR

For an ESOMAR conference first timer (AQR was an association partner), Sam Nunn was impressed. Here she picks out her standout moments from Amsterdam.

This conference’s storytelling theme was apt and, across the two days, there were reflections on who we cast as our characters, how we capture our insights and then how we represent these insights to ensure that they are acted upon.

Edward Appleton has written a fantastic review which you can see online here:

rwconnect.esomar.org/esomar-global-qualitative-2016-a-review

To add to this I’ve written about some of my own standout moments:

Casting

Felicity Mould’s (The Sound) presentation about FringeStream’ and Gaby Siera’s (Beautiful Lives) presentation on ‘How Research can help to give everyone a voice’ left a lasting impression on me. The focus of each was very different, but they both challenged us to be more inclusive in our research, and consider how much more we can learn if we ‘zoom out before we zoom in’. Further, Oana Popa Rengle (MAPPERS) made us all think about whether we need to go through this process at all, or whether there are additional stories and interpretations in the data we already hold.

Production

A number of presenters, including my colleagues from Join the Dots, focused on the role of video, and the difference between video for data capture and video for communicating insight. I particularly enjoyed the fly on the wall video of Rhiannon Price (Northstar Research) and Steve Hill (Jaguar and Land Rover) excitedly discussing their insights as they drove away from their participant’s house. This was one example that managed to offer the authenticity needed to do the fieldwork justice without losing the articulation needed to communicate insights.

Post-production

Finally, the conference was a great reminder that it isn’t just what we say but also how we say it that matters. All of the presentations were fantastic, but there were two beautifully crafted stories that stood-out: the inventive 8-bit presentation from Sebastian Prassek (Happy Thinking People) and Anne Strauss (Zalando), and the dramatic bedtime story from Anke Bergmans (SPRINT), Arjen Van Ulden (Blauw Research) and Edith Nijenhuis (Dutch Tax and Customs Administration).

Overall

Overall, the conference gave me lots to consider and I am sure I will keep learning as I read through the many papers over the coming weeks!

 

Samantha Nunn
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2017