I'm off to the QRCA conference for the week in Vancouver this year. My mission, beyond catching up with friends and colleagues, is to try to really push the boundaries of how I think about qualitative research.
The reason is: fieldwork costs keep going up, and are going up faster than client budgets are. The whole infrastructure that surrounds qualitative research -- lists, panels, recruiters, facilities, catering, incentives -- is a large part of what is costing a fortune. It ain't me.
One of the worries about rising incentive costs is that this encourages people to become professional respondents, supplementing their income by participating in focus groups and interviews. Surely we have not tapped out the adult population of North America. There must be people who would like to share their opinions without being paid a huge sum to do it. Or are people so exhausted from constant requests to complete poor/badly written/excessively long surveys that qualitative is just one more intrusion?
I think there must be other ways of finding people -- perhaps Facebook? Is anyone finding respondents on Facebook?
I'm hoping to get inspired for a few days. Pick up a few new ideas. And challenge my own assumptions about how things should be done.
And, according to my own personal tradition, I'll keep you posted about anything interesting that I see or hear there.