The sign said MWL left and Insight Show right, a little like the equivalent of ‘Hippies go around the back door’. But once inside the whole show was in one large room with the presentation arenas among the stands, plus lots of areas to sit and chat giving a nice festival feel. Here are my highlights:

The future of video

We were given an interesting glimpse into the world of the video participant by Voxpopme on the Showcase stage. Our digital world is very much our waking world today and therefore capturing participant feedback via video feels like a true and honest reflection of 21st century life. Platforms like Voxpopme are making this rich kind of insight more accessible to all.

I was left pondering the merits of these professional video feedback mechanisms over the more traditional IDI and anonymous online community approaches and feeling very strongly that us ‘quallies’ must continue to champion a blend of new and established techniques. One size does not fit all. We must remind our clients who we are and why, choose our methods according to study type and objectives, while also delivering efficiently.

Plan, track and act

Next, I caught some of YouGov and HSBC’s presentation on the Marketing Transformation stage — ‘An overview of the power of dynamic segmentation and how it can help your brand’.

It was great to see insight work taking centre stage here, literally, and the reason? The insight provided by YouGov and the related HSBC marketing strategy were working in absolute harmony, in "real time". It was fantastic demonstration of the commercial success applied market research brings.

Meeting AQR members: old and new

I spent the afternoon manning the AQR stand, meeting a fascinating mix interested in the association. They ranged from recruiters to young qual researchers looking to develop their skills/careers, to long-term members, and industry leaders, reflecting just how vibrant and diverse is the world of qual.

The day was rounded off for me with a little socialising, courtesy of Research Now. I left feeling that the event’s overall atmosphere was much more relaxed that it has been in previous years, far more conducive to sharing, learning, and friendly debate.