The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Reviews of AQR Events

Thinking up vs Thinking down
As an ever-inquisitive qualitative researcher, Hazel Haskayne was both excited and intrigued at the Spark invite to a session titled 'The Cultural Revolution'.
Sorting quant quandaries
The Linney team's quallies hared down from Mansfield for AQR's Breakfast Bites, and were pleasantly surprised not to find themselves drowning in numbers, graphs and statistics
Who's a cognitive dissident?
Andy Dexter reprised his award-winning Brexit presentation from the AQR Conference at the recent Facebook Live session – and it didn't disappoint second time round.
First steps towards creativity
Infographics – design, data and story. That's it. Simple. As AQR's Breakfast Bites took a trip up North it managed to demystify the process of creating visuals from a debrief.
Creativity key to [R]evolution
Hannah Mills won the Qualitative Apprentice Award at this year's AQR Conference, but she also explored whether the day lived up to its title.
Day of [R]evolution
If you have attendees lining up at the door an hour or more before they're due to open…then you know that there's a good conference in the offing. So it was at AQR's [R]evolution this summer, held at the Wellcome Collection in Euston.
Wedding cake hosts AGM
This year's AGM was a tense affair with eight slots on the Board up for grabs, but it also proved an informal opportunity for networking in salubrious surroundings.
Hope is not a strategy
The beverage market isn't a key focus for Sapio, says Jane Hales, but she was intrigued as the focus of this Spark was on the innovation process and building a brand.
Insight Show 2017
This year's Insight Show/Marketing Week Live event (my fifth) was a case of all change: new location within Olympia, and much experimentation with layout and set-up.
Survival tips from the masters
March was a crowded month for conferences this year, and smack bang in the middle came the MRS's 'Are you future fit?', demanding an element of fitness to survive it.
Everyone's a semiotician
You think not? Then maybe you should have been at the last Spark event, when Alex Gordon used the Royal Family, Mr Kipling and Labour's 'rose' to bring semiotics to life.
Talent finds new outlet
February saw AQR flying the flag at IIeX, its latest association partner, in Amsterdam. It proved a refreshing change in terms of speakers, exhibitors and audiences.
Not the Christmas Party 2017
AQR's annual "Not the Christmas Party" was once again in February, and once again back at The Ivy.
Eyes Wide Opened
Research conferences this autumn have been a tad more exciting than normal, and though this session at the RSA lacked a gorilla the panel debate more than made up for it.
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.
Laugh-a-minute at YUG quiz
What do you call a French man in sandals? Phillippe Phillope!
Making mobile unobtrusive
The Peter Dann webinar, in which he talked 'mobile ethnography', prompted the audience to debate whether we need to tighten up how we label the methods we use.
Bringing a "Day in the Life" to life
The latest in AQR's Spark events was billed as lifting the cloak of invisibility to show how Behavioural Economics is all around – nudging and steering our behavior 24/7.
Ideas that make a difference
Lindsay Bell and colleagues trekked off to the recent Spark on creativity with little idea of what awaited them. Would the 'No Wrong Answers' quiz challenge their thinking?
Experience of universality
Nicky Forsythe explored the strong links between qual and psychotherapy at the April Spark when she looked at how to apply 'empathetic listening' to our work.
Visualising running barriers
The successful Breakfast Bites series this time focused on creating infographics. The first message: try staying away from PowerPoint and get creative on paper.
Forum on form
The MRS's Impact 2016 was a cornucopia of new thinking, entertaining speakers and storytelling, but if Day two was this good, what have I missed?
Thoughts become things
Two days out at a conference overseas is always a risk, but Qual360 in Berlin delivered, offering new and creative ways to get under the skin of consumers.
Nutritious playing day
An intensive day 'workshopping' that leaves you burning to practice on everyone you encounter, in a playful way, for the rest of the day has to be a hit.
Power of visual thinking
Simplicity was key to Kevin Duncan's talk at the latest Spark: how simple diagrams can help not just focus a pitch and win business, but help at the analysis and debrief stage, too.
How to boss a briefing
AQR's first Breakfast Bites kicked off in style, acting not just as a reminder of best practice, but also highlighting some important behavioural tips and techniques.
Hands-on Moderating
The opportunity to hone your moderating skills can be viewed with trepidation, but AQR offers a non-threatening environment and tutors who've been there and done it all.
Not The Xmas Party step-by-step guide
AQR's parties are noteworthy, but this year's was a right cracker as our first-timer, Tamsin, is happy to report – and the piano player had a major part to play, too.
Not the Christmas Party 2016
AQR's annual "Not the Christmas Party" was definitely not the "Christmas" party this year, taking place in February.
Cool Collaboration
Paris hosted one of last year's hot tickets, ESOMAR's Global Qualitative 2015 Conference, but it was the topic of Millennials which keep rearing its head, in all kinds of guises, across the three days.
One quiz to rule them all
As a newcomer to the research industry I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Journeying into the unknown (well, the Warwick pub in Piccadilly) made it exciting and then daunting as I considered the possibility of small talk and endless industry in-jokes.
Stop, Breathe, and Be
The latest Spark was a workshop in mindfulness for moderators, and as Graham Brown reports, it can be a startlingly effective tool.