Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Congratulations to Candice Seiger, who is the winner of Ramius Corporation’s The Market Research Event (TMRE) 2011 booth iPad giveaway!

During TMRE last week, Ramius ran a draw at our exhibit booth. The deal was for attendees to come say hello to the Ramius team and, before heading off to the next booth, we invited them to drop off a business card for our iPad giveaway. Easy peasy and gimmicky, I know! Tablet and related accessories seemed to be the de rigueur booth contest prizes. That said, the draw was a fun ice breaker and the iPad allowed us to demonstrate how our new Recollective software works out-of-the-box on mobile platforms (HTML5). Thank you to everyone that came by, met one of our team and entered our draw. Candice stopped by with her colleague and, her business card was later drawn!

Candice was at the conference representing Luminosity Marketing*, where she is Associate Director, Research & Client Development. Candice wrote about her event experience at the Luminosity blog in her post The Market Research Event — A Twitter Review.

Candice: Enjoy! We hope you’ll use it to Tweet a picture of the unboxing when the iPad arrives!

 

*Not a current Ramius partner

A Ramius Reflection: IIR USA – The Market Research Event 2011 #TMRE

Late last Wednesday night the Ramius team returned from Florida tired but excited about their trip. The TMRE conference exceeded all of our expectations.

Before leaving, we drafted a schedule that was packed with sessions and keynotes to attend, booth duty and of course some time to network. However, when our team arrived they quickly realized this plan had to be thrown out the window.

The guys were so busy at the booth that they didn’t have a chance to leave it for the entire three days.On their return, Alfred Jay, CEO, Philippe Dame, COO and Simon Chen, Senior Consultant debriefed the rest of us and here are a few snippets from that conversation that I thought you might be interested in:

 

What are your overall impressions of TMRE?

Simon:TMRE 2011 was a great event for Ramius to exhibit at! Timing-wise, it coincided with our launch of Recollective, Ramius’ new cloud-based MROC software. TMRE was well-attended and our booth team enjoyed meeting many of the 1,200-odd delegates and introducing them to Ramius, the company, and to Recollective, the product. Hat tip to the IIR event team that planned the event.

Philippe: It was definitely worth exhibiting at TMRE as it’s a well-focused conference that clearly attracts the decision makers in the market research industry. We spent most of our time at our exhibit booth but I would have loved to attend the sessions. That said, I learned a lot in the conversations we had and look forward to attending again next year.

What did you enjoy about the event?

Alfred: The conference was certainly valuable in terms of speaking to a broad spectrum of people in the MR industry. The conversations we had were very valuable in setting our future direction.

Philippe: Meeting people from a wide range of disciplines that make up the MR industry. We got lots of valuable and positive feedback about Recollective.

What was the hardest part of the three day conference?

Philippe: We had planned to attend some sessions and thus alternate standing at our booth. It was busy enough that we never left the booth and so we stood for a very long time without a chair in sight. Standing all day just killed my back and is a reminder to hit the gym!

Simon: Not being able to participate in the main conference program which had a terrific line up.

What was your most memorable moment at TMRE?

Simon: Two come to mind. One was during my tour of the exhibit hall during the Monday evening reception. I walked by the Affinova booth and bumped into their CMO, Jeffrey Henning. Although I keep up-to-date with Jeff via Twitter and his blog, we probably haven’t had much of a chance to connect in person for a couple of years. When I went to say hello with a handshake, Jeff caught me off guard with a ‘bro hug’ instead to the laughter of his colleagues.

The other moment was watching the Peabody ducks march in on a red carpet to their daily digs in the hotel fountain. A nice tradition at a nice venue!

Finally, what could we do to improve for the next conference we attend?

Alfred: We should make more active efforts to visit all the booths and network the other exhibitors.

Philippe: Next year, we’ll be better setup to give a demonstration of our software right in the booth. We’ll have more tangible case studies to share and I think that will excite our booth visitors even more.

Due to the size of the conference centre, the exhibit hall and meeting rooms were a bit spread out. Not everyone mingled or came by the exhibit hall. As exhibitors, we’d obviously like as much foot traffic as possible. Anything that can be done to get attendees to spend time in exhibit hall is appreciated.

Simon: Although Ramius has been developing online community software for some 13 years, Recollective is our first product specifically designed for the MR industry, and TMRE 2011 was the first trade conference at which we exhibited. So, it was valuable for the Ramius team to gain direct feedback from visitors to our booth. Next time, we will have some of the team participating in the sessions themselves so we can offer and bring back more insights.

By all accounts, The Market Research Event was a success! Networking with and learning from the other delegates, gaining insights on industry trends and themes, and probably the most important of all, introducing the market research world to Recollective were well worth the trip to the conference. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back next year, and will be on the lookout for other conferences to attend in the mean time.

The Market Research Event 2011 #TMRE #MRX

The count down is on. Ramius’ TMRE team is gathering their supplies, finalizing their conference strategy and saying their good-byes. This Sunday Phillipe Dame, Simon Chen (@sylc) and Alfred Jay will be jetting off to sunny Orlando where they will be meeting up with the who’s who of the Market Research community.

While there we plan on checking out as many sessions as possible, but with so many interesting presenters it was hard to choose. Official TMRE tweeter Nick Zeckets (@nickonbiz) lists his Top Seven Session picks. While I think they all look great, we’ve also compiled a list of must see sessions of our own (this list only represents a fraction of what we plan on attending):

  • “Valuing Website Ratings versus Traditional Survey Ratings: Do They Tell the Same Story”, presented by Dr. D. Randall Brandt from Maritz Research is one session that we won’t be missing.
  • Tuesday at 10:45am we plan on learning “How to Maximize the Relationship Between Social Media and Market Research, Improve Worldwide Customer Communications and Conserve Resources”, presented by Texas Instruments.
  • Symrise USA and Socratic Technologies Inc. are discussing how to “Sniff Out Enhanced Panel Insights By Bridging Multiple Research Methodologies”.

Aside from the many sessions we’re excited about attending and posting blog recaps on, we’re also going to be tweeting up a storm. I strongly suggest you follow @ramiuscorp for up to the minute conference updates.

For us November 9th isn’t going to be just about the conference. We’re very excited about launching our new market research platform Recollective that day! If you’re lucky enough to be attending TMRE be sure to stop by booth 809 to talk to our team about this groundbreaking technology, and what it could mean for your research. Look for the big red signs and you’ll find us. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Where Would We Be Without Our Stakeholders? Pt. II

How many Market Researchers does it take to design the ultimate online qualitative research tool? We hope a handful will do it!

As mentioned in my last blog, earlier this year we sat down with some of our existing customers, who happen to be Market Researchers, and peppered them with questions about their idea of the dream online tool. The feedback we received was overwhelming! In the many hours we spent talking with them we took dozens of pages worth of notes. The result of those conversations and notes was Recollective, our soon to be released research platform.

All the researchers reading this are no doubt wondering what our consultants said. I’ve broken down their requests into categories and added what I believe are the top 2 – 4 feature requests for each.

Coding Content for Reports

  • The ability to highlight text in a content item or discussion reply and apply one or more codes that can then be used to generate custom reports of verbatims.
  • The ability to have overlapping sets of highlighted areas (e.g. the entire paragraph is tagged “Negative Sentiment”, while one line in that same text can be tagged as “Email Support”).

Reporting and Participant Tracking

  • Integrating a tool that assists in the review of qualitative research data is critical. Collecting and exporting the data must be quick, automated and easy for researchers.
  • The ability to filter by a single person is useful for gauging participation, as well as for drilling in more depth to view that person’s full contribution.
  • Easily generating a list of participants that either met or didn’t meet a participation criterial is very useful for providing proper compensation.
  • Email reminders for lack of participation would be useful for maintaining a quote of active participants.

Guiding Users via Tasks

  • Admins have an interface to select questions, discussions and polls as an activity to be completed by participants. Activities can be targeted to specific segments of participants.
  • Tasks can have a “should be completed by” date, which triggers an email to the user if it is not completed on time.
  • A person-by-person breakdown of task completion would be useful (e.g. Mary Smith: 2/3 mandatory tasks completed and 3/15 optional tasks completed).

Participant Responses

  • The ability to hide other participants’ responses until a response is entered, thereby  avoiding that person being influenced by others.
  • The ability to embed images and videos into responses.
  • Discussions could offer the ability to ask an open-ended question, which is automatically followed up by a poll.

Data Export

  • Export should include the name of the person and a by-line summarizing the basics of their bio “Mary Smith, East Region, Customer for 5+ years, female”. The byline compositions of fields should be customizable.
  • RTF or Word-native export is ideal

Which of these features will make it into Recollective’s platform? I’m not telling… yet! When v1 is released in the next few weeks I’ll have more information on which of these requests will be included on day one, which will be included in future versions, and which, if any, didn’t make the cut at all. For those of you who can’t wait, you can download a teaser feature sheet here.

Let us know via comments what your thoughts are on this list. Did our research partners hit or miss the mark? In your opinion, what features are must-haves for a one-stop-shop online insight community, designed for market researchers?

To Conference or Not to Conference?

I’m not sure about other industries out there, but in the software industry there seems to be an endless number of conferences around the world each year that all seem advantageous for one reason or another. Upon opening my eReader every day I am constantly bombarded with references to, comments on, re-caps of or announcements for different conferences. To me, a relative newbie in this space, they all seem incredibly interesting and informative, but beyond that are they really worth it?

 

That has been the burning question around the office for the past month. With our new market research platform set to be released in a week we’re amping up marketing initiatives to promote our ground breaking product Recollective. One way we thought to do this (as well as to network and educate ourselves) was to choose a conference that would allow us to share what we’ve been working so hard on. It just so happens that TMRE in Orlando, FL not only coincides with our launch date, but is also a perfect industry fit for us. Was this aligning of the stars fate? Probably, but that doesn’t mean that it was an easy decision to decide whether or not to go.

When deciding to attend a conference there are so many variables to take into consideration:

  • Cost – whether attending or exhibiting at a conference, cost is perhaps the biggest factor. Especially if flights and accommodations are necessary expenses, attendance can be very costly.
  • ROI – from a share holder’s perspective, what is the projected return on investment? This is sometimes hard to determine, therefore hard to justify the expense of attending.
  • Time – especially in a small company, losing one or more employees for a few days significantly cuts down on production and (wo)man power in the office.
  • Relevance – even if a company has a large sum of money set aside for conferences, there are so many out there that it is very important to choose the right one to attend.

The list goes on, but I’ll stop there. While searching the interwebs for answers to those questions I was faced with numerous blogs that list the 10 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Conference in Person, provide Do’s and Don’ts for conference frequenting, and provide helpful tips on how to get the most bang from your conference buck. From reading various forum posts it seems that some people seem to swear by them, while others think they’re pretty much a waste of time. There doesn’t seem to be a clear yes or no answer out there for whether or not attending conferences is advantageous.

So how do you decide if it’s right? Careful research and planning.

  • Take a look at the agenda to see if there are enough relevant and informative presentations to justify attending.
  • Review the attendee list to determine the networking potential.
  • Check out how it was received and rated by attendees from previous years.

That being said, I’ve kept you all in suspense for long enough. I know the question on everyone’s mind is, are we going to the conference?

The answer is yes, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Alfred Jay, our CEO, Phillip Dame, COO, and Simon Chen, our resident conference expert/enthusiast and Senior Consultant, will be gracing the sunny state of Florida with their presences to attend The Market Research Event from November 7-9. For all of you attending you can find them at booth 809. All of us back here in cloudy Ottawa look forward to following along with them… but from the comfort of our Aeron office chairs. In the coming weeks you can be sure that we’ll have lots to report on different presentations, Recollective’s reception and the conference as a whole. Also, look out for up to the minute #TMRE tweets from @RamiusCorp and @Sylc.