Insights Association (formerly Market Research Association)

Some of the events below are joint events with other market-research oriented organizations including the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Pharmaceutical Market Research Group (PMRG). 

The Many Facets of Qualitative Research

A joint event of the Philadelphia Chapters of the QRCA and the Insights Association, Philadelphia, May 10, 2019.

One of the best events we can recall attending, The Many Facets of Qualitative Research featured a collection of stellar speakers covering a broad range of topics in qualitative research. Lucy Gubbins of RevZilla & Cycle Gear discussed the impact of qualitative research on motorcycle gear retail both online and off. Laurie Tema-Lyn of Practical Imagination took a deep dive into how to succeed at shop-alongs, and Kate Wagenlander-Watson of KCW Global Research charmingly covered strategies for paring client research requirements down to what is possible and practical to execute. Adam Hulnick of Corporate Insight and Abby Leafe of New Leafe Research explored the world of UX research, and Meg Ryan of Synthesio discussed the remarkable value of social listening data. And finally, Colleen Welsh-Allen’s fascinating presentation on Behavioral Science and its application to market research added a few new books to our reading list.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Navigating the Complexities of Fair Market Value

A joint event of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Insights Association and Intellus Worldwide, the meeting was held in the Adventure Aquarium’s Shark Room, which features an entire wall looking into the 550,000 Shark Realm tank.

Lynn Clement of KJT Group and Jerry Arbittier or Survey Healthcare discussed their research into challenges Fair Market Value rates for qualitative interview respondents. 

This first ever joint event combining the New England, Greater New York and Philadelphia Chapters of the Insights Association was held at the Convene Conference Center a few blocks from Grand Central Station in New York City. Kathryn Korostoff from Rockstar Research and Nicole Mitchell from RN/SSI both discussed difference aspects of the new world of Big Data; Glenn Kessler (HCD Research) and Bob Granito (IVP) presented current opportunities for the application of neuroscience to qualitative research; Adriana Waterson (Horowitz Research) discussed best practices for multi-cultural research; Ted Donnelly (Baltimore Research) presented results from a study on how Millennials view healthcare Jeff Buzulencia from Remesh discussed the brave new world of the application of artificial intelligence to market research projects. The evening reception was held Stout NYC.

QUAL2025 / Philadelphia, May 10, 2018

A joint event of the Philadelphia chapters of the QRCA and Insights Association, QUAL2025 was held at the Cira Center next to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, and featured presentations on research opportunities in the emerging cannabis industry, buying process research, eye tracking, and analysis models. Second City Works hilariously demonstrated the potential of humor and improv in research. The event ended with a panel discussion addressing the question of, “What will market research be like in the year 2025?”


2017 Philadelphia Chapter Insights Association and PMRG Annual Joint Dinner

The event was held in the aquarium's fabulous Currents Ballroom, which features an entire wall looking out into the Shark Realm exhibit. 

Debbie Kossman (Senior Vice President of Naxion and Past President, PMRG) presented You Again? How the "Professional Respondent" Can be Your Ally. Everyone knows the challenges involved with repeat respondents; Debbie turned the tables and discussed the potential benefits in medical market research. 

To kick off the new term, Philadelphia Chapter MRA’s outgoing president Angela Wood (Babbletype) formally inducted the new Chapter’s Board over dinner at the Little Lion in Center City.  The venue roped off their third floor of their new highly acclaimed restaurant while MRA members and guests enjoyed full bar, Southern food, and some MRX networking. Angela recapped the concluding term’s events and profitability while Incoming Chapter President Rajesh Bhai (MSG), and President Elect John Castellano (SHC Universal) gave hints for what the 2016-2017 term had in store.

2016 MRA Insights & Strategies Conference / New Orleans, May 18-20, 2016

Another excellent conference in a very pleasant New Orleans. Beignets and really excellent food certainly flowed freely. Drinks as well, we suspect, although this is pure theory. Since we did not partake, all we had to go on was the number of late risers and pained looks in the mornings. 

2016 MRA Greater New York / Philadelphia Joint Chapter Conference / Philadelphia, April 13, 2016

Held at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in Philadelphia’s Center City, this year’s joint conference explored an array of hot topics in market research. The keynote speaker, Dr. David Dutwin of SSIS, explored the future of telephone surveys. Dr. Michelle Murphy of HCD, presented an introduction to the new world of sensory marketing research. Dr. Nina Hoe (Temple University) discussed city-based surveys. Steve Levine (Zeldis Research) and Jerry Valentine (AstraZenica) discussed disruptive innovation. John Hartman and John Schiela of Phoenix Marketing International close out the event with a discussion of research into wearable technology. 

2016 Philadelphia AMA and MRA Spring Schmooze / March 15, 2016

Time to put away the boots and coats. The Philadelphia chapters of the AMA and the MRA held a joint networking event to bring in the new season. This private party was held on the second floor of Ladder 15 on Sansom Street in Philadelphia. With 35-foot ceilings, stone walls and lots of mahogany, it’s a place full of Old City charm. 

2015 Philadelphia MRA / Temple University Fox School of Business Lunch and Learn / December 14, 2015

Sponsored by Blueberry, and the Institute for Sensory Research, the event featured Dr. Maureen Morrin of the Fox School of Business, who presented How Sensory Input Impacts Buyer Behavior, a remarkable look at how sensory inputs we never think about — smells, sounds  — impact our decision making. The event was organized by Mary Conran. 


PMRG / Philadelphia MRA Joint Event / Philadelphia, November 12, 2015

Heather Collins (Baltimore Research) and Scott von Lutcken (Merck) presented a discussion of patient literacy, sponsored by M3 Global Research, with additional sponsor donations by Cetra Language Solutions and Babbletype. The event took place at the Chart House at Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing. It’s a great venue but very dark — thus the light take on photos. 

Philadelphia Chapter End of Year Dinner / Philadelphia, June 18, 2015

Three words: unlimited coconut shrimp! Which made Trudy Fula happy. This annual event was held at the Chart House on the Delaware River, and the early summer evening offered some very nice outdoor shots. The Philadelphia chapter’s new officers were sworn in, including Angela Wood as Chapter President. 

Greater New York MRA Red Carpet Gala / New York City, June 16, 2015

Now this was something. Sponsored by Kinesis and Instantly, the event took place in an outdoor tent at a rooftop bar in New York City, and included an actual red carpet for attendees to have their pictures taken on. The humidity had to be 100%, but everyone had a fantastic time. The event was led by Meredith Falvo, who was sworn in as Chapter President. 

Philadelphia MRA / AMA Joint Insights and Analytics Event / Philadelphia, April 2, 2015

A panel including Jim Multari (Comcast) and Aaron Maass (Maass Media) offered tips for sifting through overwhelming amounts of data to find insights. They discussed tools and techniques, and how traditional market research can lend insight and meaning to analytics. The event was sponsored by Market Connections, Maximum Research, and MSG, and took place inside a meeting space high in the Comcast building that offered beautiful views of the Philadelphia skyline. 

2014 Philadelphia MRA / Temple University Fox School of Business Lunch and Learn / Philadelphia, December 15, 2014

Organized by Mary Conran of the Fox School, Greg Wester (Mobile Posse) and John Schiela (PMI) presented The Mobile Home Screen, the Next Big Wave in Mobile Advertising.

The presentation discussed research findings on why the home screen is valuable and the opportunity it affords wireless carriers, handset OEMs, app developers and advertisers.

2014 Greater New York MRA Happy Hour / New York, October 6, 2014

The New York chapter put on a fantastic event at the Windfall Lounge. The centerpiece was a game based on The Price is Right, challenging contestants on market research industry knowledge. AJ Keirans of Critical Mix MC’d the event. The only downside was that the lounge was as dark as a cavern, so everything is rendered in black and white. 

2014 PMRG / Philadelphia MRA Joint Dinner Event / Philadelphia, October 2, 2014

The PRC-certified event, organized by Jayson Saylor and Angela Wood, was held at the Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia’s Old City. Bob Leitman and Patricia Chapin-Bayley of Toluna presented 10 Technology Driven Solutions Underutilized in Healthcare Market Research. The event was sponsored by M3 Global Research and Fox MSCM.

2014 Philadelphia MRA End of Year Event / Philadelphia, June 19, 2014

Sponsored by the MRA and Maximum Research, the event was held at the Continental Midtown in Center City, Philadelphia. Jason Saylor was sworn up, down, and out (finally) and Omar Barquet sworn in as President of the Philadelphia chapter. Additional Board members were sworn in for new terms and/or new roles. Babbletype’s attorney, Jonathan Hugg, was on hand in case of trouble. The event also featured the second highest MRA End of Year Event bar bill on record, even with all Babbletype attendees abstaining. 

2014 Philadelphia MRA / AMA / Temple Fox School of Business Lunch and Learn / April 25, 2014

Organized by Jason Saylor, Angela Wood, and Mary Conran, the event featured Jim DeLash of GlaxoSmithKline speaking on The Changing World of Pharmaceutical Marketing. The event was sponsored by PAMA, the Philadelphia Chapter of the MRA, Maximum Research and Fox MSCM.

Greater NY and Philadelphia Chapters Joint Chapter Event / New York, April 11, 2013

Organized by AJ Keirans (then at Reinvention), Danielle Anthony (Radius Global), Natalie Dunn (Schlesinger) and Jason Saylor (Maximum Research), the all-day event was held at Convene in Times Square. Speakers included Alicia Rankin (NFL), Bob Hull (TRC), Mark Truss (J. Walter Thompson), Laurie Tema-Lyn (Practical Imagination Enterprises) and Abby Leafe (New Leafe Research). Angela recalls plotting many guacamole runs for our table with Sandra Bauman, which ended up being our main dinner that night.

2012 Philadelphia MRA Happy Hour / Philadelphia, October 18, 2012

Organized by Natalie Dunn, this fall networking event was held at the Triumph Brewery in Old City, Philadelphia. Another dark venue, the shots worked out nicely in black and white. Our favorite is the shot of the board enjoying themselves around a table.

Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group (PMRG)

2016 PMRG Charity Bowling Event /  Lawrenceville NJ, August 25, 2016

PMR's third annual charity bowling event raised over $10,000 for Teen Cancer America. The event was somewhat challenging to shoot — very dark — leading to soft focus, black and white and the occasional semi-artistic blur. 

2015 PMRG Charity Bowling Event / Princeton, May 8, 2015

The event featured some serious and not-so-serious bowling and one very serious bowling shirt. Selfies, selfie sticks and smartwatch face offs were other major points of interest. Double Platinum sponsors included Omnicom Group, Adelphi, Annalecct, Communispace, Hall & Partners, Kiosk, Maslansky & Partners, M/A/R/C Research, Sparks & Honey, TPSi and U30. M3 Global Research and Survey Healthcare sponsored at the Gold level,  Decision Resources Group at Silver, and Healogix, Schlesinger Associates, SRI, Think Gen LLC and Verilogue at Bronze. Babbletype provided the photos. Over $10,000 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) events

QRCA 2019 Annual Conference / Savannah, January 30–February 1, 2019

Jacket weather in January! Savannah was a wonderful respite for attendees from northern states, where the coldest weather in decades descended while we were away. With a river walk, Old World architecture, Spanish moss, restaurants and candy stores seemingly around every corner, Savannah was the perfect getaway.

QRCA 2018 Annual Conference / Phoenix, January 24-26, 2018

The show was held at the gorgeous Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes. The hotel complex is built into and around a butte, and is surrounded by a classic Arizona landscape everywhere you look. The sunsets over the mountains were especially amazing. The temperature (in January!) was a balmy 70 degrees, and it was a real pleasure to walk outside without boots and a coat. Just like the East coast, Phoenix has three months a year when it’s uncomfortable to venture outside, but for them it’s in the Summer. However, as our Lyft driver told us, there is one major difference: you don’t have to shovel sunshine.

QRCA 2015 Annual Conference / Orlando, October 7–9, 2015

The weather was beautiful but we spent almost no time outside. The party this year had a karaoke theme. Folks who had looked nothing but dead serious through the show suddenly turned into amazing singers and dancers. One group did a rendition of "I like Big Butts" that had everyone in stitches. Later in the evening the DJ's computer crashed, leaving our friend Horatio Segal of Planet Latino on stage with a dead mike. He ad libbed jokes for ten full minutes. Bravo.  

QRCA 2014 Annual Conference / New Orleans, October 15–17, 2014

The party for the New Orleans show took place at Fulton Alley, a remarkable combination of high-end cocktail bar and bowling alley. We're not sure that serious bowling and alcohol are a good mix, but everyone had a fantastic time. Look for the photo of Ben Smithee bowling with a drink in his hand. Completely staged. He was never near a bowling ball. 

QRCA 2013 Annual Conference / San Diego, October 16–18, 2013

San Diego was pleasantly cool throughout the conference. The exhibit space was in a giant white tent on the grounds outside the conference area, which doesn't sound wonderful but in fact was. For a photographer certainly the best light ever, and a nice change from the typical ballroom scene.  We offered free head shots to anyone who asked, and ended up with a line around the corner for them. 

QRCA 2012 Annual Conference / Montreal, October 3–5, 2012

The conference took place in a giant concrete hotel and conference center  — not a bad thing in a Montreal October. We drove up from Philadelphia through beautiful fall colors all the way. The place was a maze, but the event space was pleasant and the staff were great. The lightning networking event was a photographic smorgasbord MC'd by angels, which we enjoyed immensely. 

QRCA 2011 Annual Conference / Las Vegas, October 12–14, 2011

The venue was immense. It looked like you could run marathons inside and never see the same thing twice. There were enough restaurants inside to populate a small city. On the first evening a band consisting entirely of market researchers played a long set on the event floor.

On the second, a conference attendee grabbed John's camera and insisted on a selfie. 

QRCA 2010 Annual Conference / Philadelphia, October 13–15, 2010

This was an event very close to home for us — we could drive in each day and home each evening. Four of us attended. The annual cocktail party was a private function at the Franklin Institute, with hundreds of people drinking and talking next to a three-story-high model of the human heart.

Susan Thornhill (then QRCA President) was so proud of the dessert bar she dragged John over to photograph it. Angela has spent the last few years planning events for MRA Philadelphia, and can relate. 


QRCA 2009 Annual Conference / Palm Springs, November 7-9, 2009

Beautiful desert oasis environment — couldn't have asked for a better place. We had an artist at our booth offering caricatures. The highlight this year was a full-costume party outdoors in a perfect cool desert evening. A mortified Angela was serenaded by Frank Sinatra (or at least a simulation thereof). We counted four Marilyn Monroes — not all of whom were female.  

Quirks events

The Quirks Event 2016 / Brooklyn, February 23-24, 2016

This 2nd Annual event was another home run for Quirks. With a theme of big ideas, real-world solutions, the show sold out, with about 1200 people from the market research industry in attendance. There were 85 educational workshops, 40 hours of learning and 90 exhibitors including Babbletype. The Marriott Brooklyn Bridge continued to be a great venue — if you exclude New York traffic. Babbletype gave away an Apple Watch to Phil Wyckoff from Wyckoff Partners, and custom USB drives to Darren Biggs (Telepoll Market Research) and Rebecca Kurlak (Consumer Insights). This was also the only show we can recall to have Chewbacca walking around. One photobomb made it into the finished set — see if you can find him.

The Quirks Event 2015 / Brooklyn, February 23–24, 2015

The Quirks folks certainly got off to a spectacular start with their new show. The show was completely sold out and the exhibit floor was wall-to-wall people. Everyone we spoke to was satisfied. Dan Quirk walked around with a xylophone, calling people back at the start of sessions. He joked to us that it was his only responsibility at the show.