Key Take-Aways from the 2013 Qualitative Research Annual Conference

10/18/2013   By: Lux Insights

2013 Qualitative Research Annual Conference

Claire and Hanson recently attended the 2013 Qualitative Research Annual Conference in San Diego. The conference attracted 250+ researchers from across North America to hear about new trends and best practices in qualitative research.  Following are three of our key takeaways (some of which Claire will further discuss at the upcoming BCAMA “Insights on Insights” panel event on Nov 21):

1. Online qualitative continues to grow with remote ethnography, online communities, mobile qual and bulletin boards gaining in momentum. While there is certainly a time and place for face-to-face research, online and mobile tools are helping to get researchers closer to behavioural truth.  And, considering that Generation Z (i.e. the ‘IGeneration’) is far more comfortable conversing online than in person, online and mobile qual will continue to grow.  Attendees got schooled in everything from best practices for online activity guides to best-in-class platforms.

2. Behavioural economics (BE) continues to challenge researchers to consider context, emotions and prior experience alongside what our participants and respondents simply tell us. We all know that intentions and actual behaviours rarely line up perfectly but there tends to be a lot of confusion as to how to apply BE principles in research.   Conference sessions showcased a variety of exercises we can use to get deep below the surface from frame of reference exercises, to default and loss aversion case studies.

3. The line between qual and quant is becoming so blurry, it will arguably soon cease to exist.  Key to this is the explosion of mobile – with mobile qual, we can utilize large sample sizes but still ask exploratory questions.   We will get real-time responses when our respondents are engaged in the behaviour we are asking them about.  Add in the research opportunities soon available with Google Glass and the age old ‘Qual vs Quant’ dichotomy is going to seem pretty old school.

We’d love to share more about the best practices, case studies, tools and techniques that we learned about at the 2013 Qualitative Research Annual Conference, but it is more fun to do in person.  Want us to do a ‘learn while you lunch’ presentation for your team?  Just ask! Email Claire at