The annual two-day Quirk’s market research conference in Irvine, CA just wrapped up (January 30-31, 2018) ( This was my first time attending, even though it is in my backyard, and it was a great event. Attendance was over 800 with approximately 60+ vendors. In addition, there were 68 seminars over the two days.

I always recommend market researchers get out of the office as much as possible. You can only learn so much from staring at data. You need to talk to customers, retailers, suppliers, etc., to drive new insights. In addition, market researchers need to be lifelong learners. The ability to learn new techniques, new software, and technology and rub-elbows with fellow researchers is a powerful way to grow. Events like the Quirk’s Event are invaluable to improve your knowledge and skills.

Companies such as Digsite (, Fieldworks 9, Fuel Cycle (, and Marketing Systems Group ( were on display. The opportunity to learn about a variety of market research tools and interact with key suppliers is invaluable to develop new, innovative ways to engage with your customers. In addition, the exhibit of the University of Georgia and Market Research Institute International (MRII) provided an excellent overview of their market research courses to help educate the next generation of researchers (or improve your team member skills) (

I also attended some excellent seminars, also. The presentation from aha ( on qualitative research provided some great tips to improve your qualitative research and engagement techniques. In addition, the presentation from Blizzard Entertainment’s ( Research Director offered some great tips on providing value and increasing your influence within your organization.

My biggest takeaway from the event was meeting with Vox Pop ( If you want to take your research to the next level with real-time video, this is the future. Vox Pop allows you to provide survey respondents with the ability to provide video responses (not just boring open-ended questions). Vox Pop then allows you to easily analyze the videos in a short amount of time, and pull key verbatims and create short, powerful videos to drive insights within the organization.

For example, you can embed Vox Pop into your online Qualtrics survey and have respondents add video testimonials to certain questions. Not only do you get powerful qualitative feedback (from any device) in a quantitative survey, but the video provides interaction and higher engagement for respondents. Vox Pop’s attraction is the fast, seamless way to analyze video content.


The attraction of Vox Pop is the powerful (and easy) ability to analyze text analytics from each video, make specific topic categories based on respondent comments, and then string the video clips together for an impactful presentation. Vox Pop also provides quick transcription of each video as well as the ability to add subtitles. In addition, several large research companies are using Vox Pop in the backend of their products. I highly recommend checking out the Vox Pop website ( and setup a demo. This can really change the way you do qualitative research.

Overall, the Quirk’s OC event was excellent. It was an unbelievable value as the Quirk’s team ensures a streamlined conference that only costs a few hundred dollars. There is nothing fancy (no expensive lunch and dinners, no high-priced speakers, etc.), but everything you need to improve your research skills. Finger food was provided by the exhibitors and there were plenty of drinks and snacks to keep you fueled. As someone who conducts mostly DIY research, the ability to attend 15 seminars and have 1-on-1 meetings with five research vendors in two days was a great use of time.


The East Coast Quirk’s event is scheduled February 27-28 in Brooklyn, NY. If you are in the area, check it out (

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