Monte Carlo Winter Conference

Well done AIMRI, another delightful conference was held, this time in the Cote D'Azur on December 2nd 2005. For me personally, the fun part of the journey arriving at Roquebrune included passing sunbathers in Villefranche. The downside of the journey was a death-defying trip up the Roquebrune cliff-side in a French temperamental automatic. This seemed all very fitting for the queasy feeling sometimes experienced by us all when tackling '˜The Hard to Reach Group.' This was the topic of discussion for AIMRI's 2005 year end conference.

'm feeling dizzy - researching the dreaded IT Director

Speaking from the enchanted heights overlooking the beautiful bay of Monaco, Rafal Gajdamowicz from Ronin shared the challenges of 'Researching Senior IT Executives.' That ever more difficult group to target. He advised us with four helpful hints: -

Accurate sample with named contact details

Well-written questionnaires

Help interviewers achieve their goals through training and listening

Honesty towards the respondent and the interviewer

The Medical Profession can be very dangerous

Our next speaker Jerry Johnson from ProFakt Market Research stepped us up to another level in 'Adventures in Recruiting Cardiologists and Radiologists.' His first slides stating the individual words 'Humiliation, Sabotage, Screams and Threats' indicated the four problems faced by our fearless speaker when recruiting focus groups with this audience. He pointed out that the best way to get to this audience is by forming a strong relationship between the recruiter and the gatekeeper. Trust is gained by: -

Telling them the name of the research sponsor

Giving them a credible description of the study

Not going into too much detail about the qualifying criteria.

Let's re-think our approach

Gerry Stacey from Research Quorum spoke to us about Finding Respondents: searching for Doctors and Patients.' He challenged us to think about whether the old ways of recruiting are still working. Old methods are changing - this includes recruiting through panels, telephone and online and whether one should concentrate mainly on communities and associations to reach these difficult target groups.

Cathrene Rowell of Gelszus went one step further with her paper 'Reaching the disabled.' She pointed out the important fact that 1 person in every 10; some 600 million individuals worldwide live with a disability significant enough to make a difference in their daily lives. She pointed out the small amount of representation this respondent has in the market place. She asked us all to have a re-think about these individuals and our need to reach the unvoiced.

A more realistic approach please

Ruth Stanat of SIS International Research gave a witty account of 'Difficult to Recruit Consumers in the U.S. Market.' Surely recruiting bag-less canister vacuum users can't be difficult? It can be when it includes home visits in New York City with the interviewer video recording the participant cleaning their home for over 2 hours with six Korean clients observing. The client's brief was clearly at odds with the Manhattan lifestyle and the survey was changed to accommodate this.

Fortunately AIMRI understands

Agreeing that our profession can be very taxing we were all understandably whisked away in private hire cars to the Maison du Caviar in central Monte Carlo for a lovely and relaxing gala dinner. This was followed by a bout of 'innocent' gambling (if there is such a thing) in the local casino. If we didn't play once in a while we would probably go crazy in our chosen profession of market research; fortunately AIMRI understands this and hosts their conferences in some of the most exciting locations in Europe. If you haven't before, please come join us at the next meeting, we find that sharing helps'. as well as playing of course. 

Klaudia Kobelentz, Westcombe Business Research, London

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