Tales from the 41st and Final CASRO Conference

Holly Carter

Holly Carter

Author Bio

Author Bio

The 41st Annual CASRO Conference was held this year in lovely Park City, Utah. When we attendees weren’t enjoying the spectacular autumn mountain scenery, we were all busy attending enlightening sessions pertaining to the advances in and future of Market Research. Every session provided excellent ideas and inspiration but there were a couple of sessions in particular that really stood out for me.

The first was an inspirational talk by Olympic Gold Medalist and Author, Nikki Stone. Nikki was America's first-ever Olympic Champion in the sport of inverted aerial skiing at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Following her impressive skiing career, Nikki wrote a powerful and Inspirational book called: When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out.

Nikki’s talk at CASRO focused on a few key points from her book that, I believe, every Market Researcher should take to heart. First, get in touch with your passion, your “soft inside”, know what you really want. Then develop a hard shell as the path to success is often full of fears, failures, and a plethora of challenges. Finally, go for the gold, dream big and fly!

I think this was a powerful message for researchers! As technology and the client needs evolve, researchers are constantly faced with more challenges – new technologies, demanding clients, disengaged respondents, budget constraints, and the list goes on. The best way for researchers to meet these challenges is by embracing constant innovation in their business model and their use of technology - which can be a scary prospect! But as Nikki pointed out, with a hard shell, big dreams, and Confirmit by your side, you can win the gold (ok, perhaps I embellished the Confirmit part a bit – but I am sure Nikki meant to mention Confirmit).

The other session that stood out was an Oxford-style debate pertaining to increasing role technology will play in research. The provocative debate titled Machines Will Soon Own the Transactional Satisfaction Space included Confirmit’s own Sarah Simon, Director of VoC Consulting, among several others.

The debate consisted of two teams discussing to what degree technology will be able to replace human involvement in the transactional satisfaction space. Overall, both sides made powerful arguments to support their stance. But in the end, both teams came together with a common belief that machines can never fully replace human involvement – particularly when it comes to taking action on the insights uncovered in the research process.

After such a fabulous event, it’s sad and simultaneously exciting to say that this was the final CASRO conference, or at least the final CASRO conference as we know it. As many of you already know, CASRO has joined forces with MRA and the organizations will become one, new association, called the Insights Association, dedicated to serving the research industry. Like many of you, I am excited to see what the Insights Association has in store for the future.


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