Last Thursday we have all enjoyed the only annual research industry event in Romania, the local ESOMAR conference. I was honoured to be part of it, and out of respect for this most important event of our community, I want to give it my honest feed-back.
What I liked:
- First of all the feeling of belonging – reconnecting with so many friends, clients and colleagues from the industry. This need for belonging is not at all overrated and especially as us, the research community in Romania have so few occasions to gather all together, this was for me the main benefit of the conference.
- Was really impressed by the fact that a small agency, ElQual, has invested resources to create an experiment for this conference and for the entire research industry – documenting the impact of automation in survey data collection via an in-house experimental project that included the creation of “Rob- the robot”. This shows a great degree of preparation and dedication to the event and the research community, which I salute.
- Also in terms of content, there is this article by Andrada Nimu that covers more or less the same aspects I found interesting. And of course I appreciate the inclusion of my presentation in the article – everytime someone takes the time to summarize their understanding of my thoughts it is a great opportunity for me to see it under a new light and to learn something new. So, thank you, Andrada!
- On top of what is mentioned in this article I was inspired by the presentation of fellow quallie Adina Ghiocel Pascu of IPSOS and client Georgiana Badarau of Renault, a very high energy revision of trends and concrete examples of how they are likely to impact the auto industry and not only.
- I remember that the Black Friday presentation from Iulia Cornigeanu, TNS and Rodica Mihalache, Starcom felt like it featured smart analysis and it was packed with insights – however, maybe a little bit too packed or too late in the programme for me. Trying to review my notes I realise I have absolutely no notes from it – although the overall feeling was very positive, so if you want to learn more about Black Friday, they may be the guys to go to.
And my two constructive points:
- It is clear to me that there are so many smart people working in our industry with interesting, smart things to say. It appears however we don’t know how to tell them in a conference. I have seen a good number of presentations of research findings on a very specific topic attempting to cram so much in the 20 minutes speech and on the slides. I could imagine those presentations delivered in a meeting room, with the clients totally focused on that single topic, but not in a conference with such a diverse audience and with 13 presentations scheduled back-to-back in one day.
- I was willing, actually looking forward to extending the topic of my presentation in the conversations during the break. My experience in international conferences (13 years as a participant in one or two conferences yearly, but more recently and timidly as a speaker also) led me to expect that people would reach out to ask for more, to learn more, to somehow build around the content.
It was not like that at all – a lot of conversations with very nice people, a lot of socializing but almost none around the content. My hypotheses is we are not (yet?) a true community, we do not know how to share with each other, we meet so seldom in such contexts that we are too used to look at each other as competitors not as like-minded professionals.
Of course I may be so wrong, it could be that it was simply my content to blame for not sparking more conversations. So, if you were there, help me out please. How do you feel about this? If you were a speaker, did you have follow-up conversations about your content? If you were in the audience, did you feel like you would have liked to approach any speaker to learn more? Have you done that (just not with me :))?