The 2019 Quirk’s Event conferences have come and gone. While the excitement of these illustrious market research industry events begins to settle, the impact that the event made on the MR community will carry on through the rest of the year.
Every researcher that attended this year’s event (or any of the Quirk’s Events of the past) will tell you the same – the environment that is created by Quirk’s is undeniably important to the industry.
The ideas discussed, networking opportunities, and learning experiences that the event provides help to drive the growth and development of our industry and allows us to stay connected in the busy world of MR.
In this blog, we will discuss the Quirk’s Event as a whole, as well as highlight some of this year’s key discussion points, to keep you in the know and (hopefully) influence you to attend one of the conferences next season.
The Importance of Attending Industry Events
These days, it’s hard to get an in-person meeting with just about anyone, let alone in an industry like market research where everything is moving at such a rapid pace.
Thanks to technology, you no longer have to physically meet with someone to have a meeting. Visual meeting apps such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Slack have bridged the gap, allowing us to meet at any time from any location.
The reality is face-to-face meetings just don’t happen anymore. While this is convenient for quickly passing information between two parties, it creates a problem that tends to go unnoticed—relationships are becoming less personal.
And yet, for many, attending industry events is the only way they get to see the people they work with on a daily basis.
Aside from seeing familiar faces, the other (and possibly more important) reason that you should attend conferences like Quirk’s is the opportunity to meet someone new – whether it’s a potential new client or someone to discuss new business ideas with. Networking is the name of the game when it comes to conferences.
While there are many ways to connect and meet new people, there is no denying that meeting someone for the first time is going to be more impactful and more memorable if it’s in person.
The Undeniable Value of The Quirk’s Event
There are hundreds of conferences that one can attend if they are trying to get the latest in the market research industry. So why choose The Quirk’s Event?
Here’s what Quirk’s has done that sets them apart from other similar conferences:
Quirk’s has two audiences – Researchers and Vendors – and they have done an excellent job of providing a balance that benefits both groups. While the vendors sponsor and fund the event, the cost of The Quirk’s Event is low enough that it remains valuable for them to do so.
The economical nature of Quirk’s is the biggest reason for it’s popularity. While other events provide similar information about the industry, Quirk’s provides the same information at a much lower cost – making it accessible, driving a large audience, and providing greater networking opportunities.
Another thing that makes Quirk’s such an amazing event to attend is the quality of the content. Presentations are not sales pitches. This keeps the information more relevant and prevents anyone from being overly self-promoting.
At Quirk’s, if you want to sell, the best way to go about it is to get your client (a researcher) to tell your story to the public. The promotion of your business from your clients speaks volumes to other potential clients, and it provides a “sales pitch” that doesn’t feel like you are soliciting business from someone who is just trying to enjoy their time at the conference.
What We Learned at The 2019 Quirk’s Event
This year’s event covered a lot of information, and amongst all the emerging themes, there was one theme that stood out from the rest.
The industry is constantly moving, and the major shift that we are seeing now will have major implications on the future.
Big brands are starting to insource more. Instead of hiring a large company to do every part of a study, these enterprises are now breaking their research into pieces. They are doing the work in-house and bringing in the tools and consultants they need to get the insights they are looking for.
This is changing the dynamic of our industry very dramatically. The most valuable companies are the ones creating tools that allow for DIY research – it’s DIY with services if you will.
The second part of this change is the consolidation of the industry. Big companies such as Dynata have acquired dozens of smaller companies, allowing them to run more efficiently. However, while these big companies are focused on themselves, their customers feel like they’re being ignored.
It has created a vacuum. Companies that once used one of the acquired businesses that have been bought out are now looking for a replacement team, creating opportunities all over for new businesses to come in and meet their research needs.
And from a hiring perspective, the talent within the industry is moving around as well. This has created an influx in the gig economy with several talented researchers looking to be hired by the highest bidder.
Industry events help us stay connected and keep a pulse on the market research industry. Without them, relationships would become nothing more than an email thread and the occasional video chat. Aside from all of the professional advantages that come with attending events like Quirk’s, there’s one thing we’ve yet to mention…they are fun!
If you’ve never been we really hope that you consider attending in 2020. You won’t want to miss what’s in store for the next year of market research.
BONUS: If you are a first-time conference goer, here is our best piece of advice for getting the most out of the event.
If you are sitting with someone you know, you’re doing it wrong. These events are all about networking, and there are plenty of opportunities to talk to new people. Exhibit halls, seminars, cocktail events, and meal functions are all great places to begin creating new relationships. So don’t be shy, get out there and start connecting.
See you next year!
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