The enthusiastic efforts of volunteers working on behalf of Insights Association Chapters across the U.S. and internationally provided insights practitioners with convenient educational and networking opportunities in their region throughout an eventful 2019.
If you haven’t been involved with your local Insights Association chapter, you’ve been missing out. Expanding membership and many new initiatives means even more valuable events arre headed your way in the coming months.
Check out what your local chapter was up to during 2019 and reach out to your area contact via the links below or contact our Director of Chapter Engagement Hilary Fischer to learn more about getting involved with your local chapter.
Thanks to all who provided these highlights and kudos to the volunteers who made each gathering and learning opportunity possible.
- Submitted by: Claudia Guzman, Director at Large
The Florida Chapter had a productive year in 2019 as we continue to integrate the insights and analytics community in the Sunshine State.
The Chapter held six educational/networking events in Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Our first event, in Tampa, explored the use of traditional and non-traditional applications in research. During our second event in Orlando, attendees learned about leveraging open-ended feedback to drive a deeper understanding of customer experiences.
A third event took place in Miami, providing useful presentation techniques to ensure insights remain invaluable. Next was a cocktail reception during the IA’s annual Corporate Researchers Conference in Orlando, which provided an excellent opportunity to network with corporate prospects and local researchers.
From left to right: starting with back row: Bonnie Reenstra, Terry Dolan, Glen Lasher, Sharon Roebuck, Kevin Nobles, Randy Carson, Rob Iles (presenter), Lorin Drake, Sue Nunez, Kimberly Hawkins, Michele Brown, Maria Henson
Wrapping up the year, we were in Orlando for a moderated panel discussion on sales communication and the RFP process. The panel included corporate researchers and suppliers. This was followed by an event in Miami that focused on learning about the co-creation marketing process and its impact in the insights industry.
Sales Communication Panel Discussion Participants in Orlando, Dec. 5, 2019 – from left, Lorin Drake, Mia Pasquinelli, Maria Parra, Sue Nunez, Vince Bailey (discussion moderator).
In addition to all the exciting events, our Chapter launched four important initiatives in 2019:
- “Member Spotlight” section included in the quarterly Chapter newsletter.
- Special Project Grant “Insights into the Future”, to raise awareness of the association amongst the student community in Florida. The Chapter will select three college students to receive an annual membership scholarship for the Insights Association in 2020.
- Launch of an annual internship program, focusing on developing and implementing a social media communication strategy for the Chapter.
- Sponsorship program for networking events.
In the beginning of 2019, the Great Lakes Chapter (GLC) was named the Insights Association’s 2018 Chapter of the Year! It was great to have won this award for the third time in the Chapter’s history and strive to continue for this award. In 2019 the GLC has done so by continuing our outstanding and fulfilling professional development opportunities.
2019 Winter Conference Attendees gather on a pirate ship in St. Augustine, FL to take a photo in March.
Our Board was named in early January with the addition of Lindsay Bach-Moore and Rudly Raphael as Directors, Sherri Dansby as Immediate Past-President, Colson Steber as Incoming President and Randa Ulankiewicz as President. In March 2019, the GLC kicked off the conference year with the Spring Conference in St. Augustine, FL. Quickly following in April, we hosted the Sharon Mutter Multi-City Forum to college students in the GLC region. The first-ever Diversity Roundtable Event was held in Cincinnati and Chicago. The GLC’s final in-person conference was held in Detroit in September. The chapter closed out 2019 with the GLC Holiday Networking Event. Webinars were also held over the course of the year, featuring speakers from Enghouse and Schmidt Research.
Two Special Project Grants were awarded in 2019. In quarter two, the GLC’s Diversity and Education Committee (DEC) partnered with students from Northern Kentucky University to conduct a quantitative engagement study of the Chapter’s Members. This mentorship program provided an opportunity for students to have a hands-on market research experience. They traveled to the 2020 Winter Conference in Miami Beach, FL, to present their findings. The DEC also produced the first Diversity Roundtable event in 2019. As a result of these discussions, a quarter four grant was awarded to the GLC to host more roundtables.
Students at Michigan State University listening intently to a speaker at the 2019 Sharon Mutter Multi-City Forum in April.
The GLC presented the Chapter Service Volunteer Award to Katrina Starnes of KES Research Group. Katrina has exemplified outstanding service by volunteering her time and donating her services to host GLC board elections. The Amy Morris Spirit Award was granted to Ginny Kevorkian of Emory Health. Not only has Ginny provided many hours of work as Treasurer over the past two years, she has done so with grace.
The 2020 GLC Board has been sworn in. Please welcome:
- President: Colson Steber, Communications for Research, Inc.
- President Elect: Jason Monahan, Dynata
- Immediate Past President: Randa Ulankiewicz, Society of Actuaries
- Treasurer: Brian Lamar, EMI Research Solutions
- Director of Communications: Kevin Scheppman, Directions in Research
- Director of Programming: Lindsay Bach-Moore, Moore Research Services, Inc.
- Rudly Raphael, QuestionPro
- Daniel Rangel, Enghouse Interactive
- Shelly Bouren, Detroit Pistons
- Michael Shewmon, Burke, Inc.
- Brett Simpson, GLG
- Brendan Burns, Various Views Research
- Michael Everhart, Schmidt Market Research
- Nick Stathopoulos, Lucid
Past-President Committee Members:
Bob Graff, Damon Jones, Lori Kolde, Sherri Dansby
We would like to thank Laurie Bredenfoerder, Ginny Kevorkian, Joe Regan, and Jim Nikolis for their service to the GLC.
To volunteer with the GLC, please contact President Elect Jason Monahan, Jason.Monahan@dynata.com
Greater New York
- Submitted by: Nancy Hernon, Immediate Past President
It was an interesting year for the Greater New York Chapter. We welcomed many new members to the Chapter Board and made upgrades to our events, several of which were free of charge to our members. We were able to provide many hours of networking and opportunities to get to know our Chapter membership, as well as several hours of free educational events, such as webinars, and in-person Lunch & Learn event focused on students and young professionals new to our industry. The content of this event included successful industry veterans discussing the route they took in their career and how they’d found success.
The 2019 GNY Board at the rooftop happy hour following GNY’s sold-out Insight Illumination educational forum & networking event. Exhausted but happy! Natalie Lauder (Dynata), Danielle Rissmeyer (Remesh), Nancy Hernon & Cathy Bukosky (G3 Translate), Claire Kuhn (InSites Consulting), Nan Canaletich (C&C Market Research), JT Kirby (WiseWorks Research), Ginger De Stefano (RTi Research), Yan Hurlbut (Precision Sample) and AJ Keirans (Dynata).
This year also brought about the launch of our Insights Illumination event. It was a day of great education with carefully curated speakers to engage, excite and educate our members based on their interests and business questions. It was a fantastic event that sold out and which we hope will repeat and evolve for many years to come.
2019 also saw a nice increase in the growth of our Chapter, now totaling over 900 members! This made it all the more important for us to offer up these events to members for free so they could really have the opportunity to get to know the Chapter and to see the abundance of membership benefits.
We also won a Special Project Grant in 2019 to help fund future micro events to further engage members not in the immediate NYC area. It’s important for us to cast a wide net to ensure that all members feel included and are able to enjoy the benefits of membership in our organization.
Likewise, we spent a lot of time this year targeting social channels. Greater New York had never been especially active on LinkedIn or Instagram but in the past year has enjoyed thousands of views of our posts both on our Chapter page and by members of our Board, further raising awareness and gathering new followers. We’re thrilled with our Marketing/Communications team’s strides to modernize in this area. It’s key for us to ‘meet’ and publicize to our members where they are: on these social media channels.
With the support of our hardworking Board and volunteers, we closed the year on a very positive note both financially and on the networking side with our legendary annual Holiday Party (& epic prize raffle) in an Andy Warhol ‘80s pop art style, leaving everyone with a smile, and in some cases a headache the next morning.
Beating the Winter Blues with the GNY Board 2019 Inaugural Event: Claire Kuhn (InSites Consulting), Nan Canaletich (C&C Market Research), AJ Keirans and Natalie Lauder (Dynata), Nadia Frigiola (Cint), Nancy Hernon (G3 Translate), Danielle Rissmeyer (Remesh), Cathy Bukosky (G3 Translate), Barbi Leinhauser (WebMD).
We’re proud of our achievements in 2019 and look forward to building on these in 2020 and beyond.
Thanks to a strong 2019, our Mid-Atlantic Chapter is set for success in 2020. Once again, a highlight of the year was our Summer Research Symposium, where speakers outlined tools and skills required for success in today’s research world. While the ideas of the “consultant researcher” and “storyteller” are long-held and discussed, the tools to make that happen are often under-appreciated and under-nourished. With agile techniques, data visualization, and multi-disciplinary approaches, speakers helped bring home the point that today’s researcher is a multi-faceted organizational asset – not just data analyst and not just insights generator but foresight leader and advocate.
We maintained our focus on educational opportunities and student outreach through our partnership with George Washington University. As in the previous year, we organized a research panel that presented current topics to students and engaged in dialogue about research practices and procedures. We stepped up the game in the last quarter of the year by extending to two different classes at GWU mentoring sessions where local research professionals – both Insights Association Members and Non-Members – served as advisors to students for their primary research projects. We learned a lot about city transportation, coffee, housing, and student health services!
In this year-in-review we want to especially thank our two-year Treasurer, Lina Yatsenko, who handled organizational entity and banking changes with aplomb. Lina will be taking a well-deserved respite from the board as will our two-year sponsorship chair, Jignesh Shah. We are indebted to them for their loyal dedication.
Our fourth quarter was particularly exciting for three reasons – one of which we know no Chapter could duplicate. First, we adopted a strategic plan with a “less is more” approach to focus on key areas for improved engagement rather than tackling every area and splitting focus to minimal effect. We will particularly focus on member engagement so if you are reading this – congratulations – you are already engaged! Now we ask you to share this with a colleague – member or non-member – to help us extend our reach.
Second, we are thrilled to have more new Board members than in recent years. We won’t name them all here – but suffice to say that with enough legacy Board members combined with new talent, we are confident 2020 will truly be a year of vision and accomplishment. Stay tuned to learn about our Board, all of whom are eager to hear your ideas.
Third, and here is where we have a claim to unique fame. We had a terrific networking event to see the World Champion Washington Nationals at play. We won’t divulge who the Nationals defeated that evening (home base of another Chapter) but that series kick-started them to the playoffs and the championship. We enjoyed being in the presence of Baby Shark, Mad Max, Tony Two Bags (we’ll miss him!) The Kid, Trea and Zim. Go, Nats! Woo!
With 2019 as our springboard, we expect 2020 to live up to our MA acronym – for Missions Accomplished.
-Submitted by: Andrew Peach, President
The New England Chapter had a busy year! Despite significant board turnover, we participated in ten regional events over the course of 2019. Following our Board training and transition in January, we hosted a networking event at Boston’s City Winery attended by close to 60 Insights professionals (despite an ice storm). One of our initiatives for 2019 was to enhance our relationships with related associations; therefore, in March we joined WiRE Boston (Women in Research) at their event at Zappi. In April we toured the research facilities of Bentley University and discussed changes in our industry at Research Results in Fitchburg, MA.
In May, we held our Annual Spring Conference with this year’s focus on “Making an Impact.” Key “Impact” professionals from the Boston area and around the country engaged us on how to make an impact – on our career, our companies and our industry. After taking the summer off, we rejoined in September at our annual End of Summer Party at Trillium Brewery in Boston, tasting beers and reconnecting with our colleagues. We then held two Research Rendezvous networking events in October – one in Portland, ME, and the other in Hartford, CT.
Night Before Impact Conference Networking Event: Jessica Zarrella, Janet Savoie – Online Research Solutions, Rob Matta – Prodege, Jamie Regan – DISQO
October was a busy month for IANE, as we also hosted our first-ever Insights Bootcamp at Suffolk University. Suffolk professors took our students through a real-world case study and engaged them on methodology, data collection, tabulation and interpretation of findings. Finally, we ended the year by once again joining WiRE Boston for networking and a panel discussion on diversity in the workplace.
We also ramped up our Chapter’s marketing this past year – with more printed materials and newsletters, an expanded communications team, a new Facebook page, and a stronger New Member outreach program. Finally, we were awarded a grant by our national association to help expand our distribution lists – and ultimately to grow our membership. This indeed is starting to happen as our membership has grown by 10% this year.
Winter Party at City Winery: Susan Forrest – FocusVision, Adam Jolley – EMI Research Solutions.
We are excited to take this momentum into 2020! Our focus for the year is “Innovation” and already we have exciting events in the works. Our Winter Party will be held on January 29 at Central Wharf in Boston. Our annual Spring Conference will be held on May 11 - 12 in Boston’s Seaport District at District Hall – Boston’s Center for Innovation.
- Submitted by: Scott Laing, Immediate Past President
The Northwest Chapter’s Board entered 2019 with a serious challenge. How could we best our previous year when considering that in 2018 we: put on strong events in every major market, had budget-beating financial performance and won Chapter of the Year for our tier?
Happily, our Board and membership rose to the task. We focused on three areas:
- Bolder programming
- A bigger signature event
- A broader, more sustainable Board for 2020
Let’s take a quick look at each area.
Bolder Programming: Historically, we’ve made a good showing in all our major markets – Portland, San Francisco and Seattle – with regular networking events and educational programming. In 2019, we managed to keep up the traditional events that members have come to expect – from bowling to sunset networking walks – but we reached higher, dramatically beating our plan in both quantity and quality.
Our kickoff educational event in San Mateo on May 22 set a truly bold tone: A panel discussion titled “Becoming Customer Centric.” Unquestionably a hot topic, the panel featured senior executives from some of the biggest brands in the Bay Area: SAP, Wells Fargo,
Star-Studded Customer Centricity Panel
The North Face & Google. Attendees were thrilled to be able to hear from such high-caliber thought leaders and to connect with them 1:1 – especially in this local, cost-effective format. Special thanks to At-Large Board Member Kathleen Boyse for her inspiration and hard work to line up speakers and host the event, and to Past President Brian Fowler for his tireless efforts to get the word out and make sure no detail fell through the cracks!
Bigger Signature Event: Our educational capstone – the Future of Insights Summit – was held in Portland, OR, on October 3rd and 4th. At-Large Board Members Linda Ward and Amanda Durkee put together a fast-paced, full-day lineup of 20+ speakers that drew an unprecedented 100+ registrants.
A Record-Breaking Summit
High-profile brands such as Amazon, Liberty Mutual and P&G shared their views on the evolving needs that drive demand for insights, while cutting-edge insights professionals offered innovative approaches. The day was bookended by industry thought leaders Kristin Luck and Jamin Brazil who help us frame and clarify the challenges we all face. This impressive lineup allowed us to dramatically exceed our targets for both attendance and sponsorship. (In fact, At-Large Board Member Joel Schmaltz leveraged the extraordinary programming to help us attract more than 2X our targeted sponsorship dollars, allowing us to maintain superb value for members.)
Kevin Jenne & Melissa Pelto of Liberty Mutual
Broader Board: We wrapped the year with the successful recruitment of new Board members in all our major markets. President-Elect Rebecca Elmore-Yalch led the Nominating Committee with several of the most seasoned insights leaders in our Chapter. Together, they expanded and enriched our candidate pool with members who’ve not participated in Chapter leadership previously.
So, with all Board slots filled and a balance of Board membership in each of our major markets, we’re looking forward to an exciting 2020!
-Submitted by: Caroline Volpe, Immediate Past President
It was another great year for the Philadelphia Chapter! We started the year with six new directors joining the Board: Liz Granahan, Omar Barquet, Maleica Grant, Angela Pack, Laurie Shapiro and Victoria Waldman. They infused the Chapter with fresh energy and new ideas.
We started the year with an Axe Throwing networking event at Bury the Hatchet. As Rick Eisenberg (Treasurer) said: “It was a BLAST. For those who could not attend, honestly it was much more fun and better than I thought…. We’ve just raised the bar for the next networking event.”
We had our 2nd annual joint one-day conference with the Philadelphia Chapter of the QRCA looking at the Many Facets of Qualitative Research with presentations on user research, shop-a-longs, social media research, heuristics and customer experience. The event was once again a success for both Chapters. We also tackled the issue of how to fit 20 pounds of potatoes into a 10-pound bag and how to manage research expectations.
Attendees of the 1st Annual Charity Networking Event.
Our other big event was a networking charity event at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. The event was full of fun and camaraderie. Local business donated items that we then raffled off to attendees. We also had a 20/20 raffle. And, the Philadelphia sports teams donated signed memorabilia that we auctioned off. All proceeds ($2,024) went to MANNA, which is a leader in evidence-based nutrition services, bringing together dietitians, chefs, drivers, and thousands of volunteers to cook and deliver nutritious, medically appropriate meals and provide nutrition counseling to neighbors who are battling life-threatening illnesses. We are hoping to make this an annual event.
Top:Laurie Shapiro (SurveyHealthCareGlobus) checking her raffle tickets to see if she is a winner.
Bottom: Attendees at the Philadelphia Chapters of IA & QRCA joint one-day conference listening to speaker Colleen Welsh-Allen (Kantar, Health division).
- Submitted by: Kim Atkins, President
Our SoCal IA Chapter kicked off 2019 by co-hosting and volunteering in the 33rd Annual Las Vegas Joint Chapter Conference. We had strong SoCal member representation and everyone who attended found the speakers, insights and networking opportunities enjoyable AND valuable.
2019 Holiday Party Fun
This year, our Chapter was awarded a Special Project Grant from Headquarters to establish and promote our Young Professional Outreach Program. We sponsored a fun event at the trendy Angel Brewery in DTLA—the tasty food and beverages were second only to the company! We had great attendance by young professionals in our Chapter, and we are excited to build on that momentum.
YP Event 2019—Angel City Brewery
We have assigned a Director-at-Large to oversee a Volunteer Committee whose sole purpose is to find venues and create events that will appeal to young professionals. The intent is to connect with our YP member base, and to encourage them to recruit their colleagues. Our goal is to add 5 YP events to our calendar for 2020.
We are working closely with Headquarters to develop the first IA Student Chapter at Cal Poly Pomona. This past December, we sponsored two students from Cal Poly to attend IA’s Converge Conference. Our hope is that this program will be used nationally as a model for other University Chapters. In addition, we are working with Cal Poly Pomona’s Market Research Club to provide them with industry speakers to help raise awareness and recruitment for our industry and the Insights Association (similar efforts w/UC Irvine are underway).
This past year we made a push to collaborate with our colleagues from other industry associations. In September, we co-hosted a local event with WIRe, and cohosted a webinar on CCPA and AB5 with PAPOR in November. These partnerships have given us the opportunity to increase networking and education offerings to our members, as well as provide us with additional exposure outside of the Insights Association.
In November, we worked alongside IA Headquarters, and co-hosted a successful webinar. We finished strong in December and cross-promoted the SoCal Holiday Party with the 2nd annual Converge Conference in Los Angeles. This partnership was a huge success, and provided members and non-members the opportunity to network, learn, and have fun in fabulous DTLA.
Our SoCal 2019 Casino Night Holiday Event took place at Hotel Figueroa. Not only was it a fun party, but our members/attendees rallied together to raise $1,500 from a Charity Raffle to give back to our local community and support Saugus High School during a difficult time.
By all accounts, 2019 was a rousing success!! The SoCal Board is excited to continue the momentum into 2020, and beyond!
- Submitted by: Patricia Houston, President
Ending the decade on a high note, the Southeast Chapter had one of its most productive years in 2019.
To start the year, we joined forces with the Southwest, Northwest, and Southern California Chapters for two full days of educational speakers, thought-provoking workshops, and networking at the Annual Joint Chapter Event in Las Vegas.
In May 2019, we hosted 30 Chapter members in New Orleans for our Annual Spring Event, a full-day of education focused on trends affecting the research industry. Members left with practical tips they could immediately apply in their careers.
Rick Rodgers, Lucid COO, kicked off the Insights Association SE Chapter Spring Event! His presentation got everyone excited about embracing #MRX technology.
Over the year, Roddy Knowles, 2019 Director of Education & Programming and 2020 President-Elect, executed an inspiring lineup of educational webinars on behalf of the Southeast Chapter. Megan Peitz, from Numerious, shared best practices for the entire project lifecycle – from proposal to deliverable – in the webinar 'Why, When, and How to Use Conjoint in Your Research: Practical Guidance for Beginners and Experts Alike.' Emmanuel Probst talked about his latest book and shared practical tips in the July webinar 'Buildings Brands Using Research.' Christopher Martin from FlexMR shared his perspective on blending data, opinion, and visuals into an engaging narrative in the webinar 'Using Journalistic Principles to Drive Informed Decisions.
The Southeast Chapter received a Special Project Grant for our Engaging The Next Generation of Insights Leaders program, an initiative to be kicked off in 2020. This program includes a number of initiatives in the near future such as targeting, engaging and providing real-world speaking experience/opportunities to next generation leaders.
In August, a dozen of our Board members gathered in Atlanta for an all-day work session focused on clarifying the mission for our Chapter, planning for 2020, and rounding out 2019 productively. The Board left feeling energized, having charted a clear path for the Chapter’s success over the coming year.
And to close out the year, the SE Chapter Board and committee members met for a strategic planning session led by 2019 Chapter President, Suzie Sigh, 2019 President-Elect, Tricia Houston, and Insights Association Director of Chapter Engagement, Hilary Fischer. During this meeting, the team outlined our chapter theme: 'Cultivating Conversation & Collaboration' and prepared for a busy 2020.
- Submitted by: Lisa Hazen, Immediate Past President
The Southwest Chapter had a fantastic 2019! Most recently, we wrapped up our elections and are very excited about our newest board members. Chris Connolly, Geoff Norby and BJ Gerjes will be joining the board to make 2020 a year to remember. As Lisa Hazen rotates from President to Immediate Past President, Ellen Pieper takes center stage as President. Speaking of rotating, Melanie Courtright is rotating off the chapter’s advisory committee to head up the Insights Association. No big deal! We are so happy for Melanie and look to a bright future with her in this leadership role.
Our 33rd Annual Vegas Insights Conference was held last February at Caesars Palace. This was hosted with our friends from the Northwest, Southern California and Southeast chapters. With two hosted happy hours and a day-and-a-half of speakers, it was a packed couple of days but what a great time to learn and share our experiences with fellow researchers. The Annual Educational Forum was held in Phoenix at the beautiful Arizona Biltmore. It was hot, but HEY, we had air conditioning! Did you know that the Educational Forum changes location each year to better serve our members?>
Southwest Chapter Board Members: 2019 Educational Forum, Phoenix: Nick Bambick-Sonic, Tom LittleJohn-Veridata, David Galloway-Galloway Research Service, Mara Riemer-Brunswick Group, Ellen Pieper-Research Results, Bethany Moffett-Dynata, Nancy Hernon-G3 Translate, Alice Butler-M/A/R/C Research, Jami Pulley-Veridata, Jeb Bullis-Voxco, Leslie Willis-T-Mobile, Greg Carter-Consumer Opinion Services, Julie Landers-Health Care Services Corporation, Lisa Hazen-Nuance, Julia Eisenberg- 20|20
In addition to our two legacy conferences, we added two local networking and speaker events in Denver (May) and Houston (October). The Southwest Chapter has a large geographic area and it’s our goal to reach more people locally in underserved markets. As we did in 2019, we are planning two smaller speaker and networking events. More on that later!
Beer, Brains & Insights, Denver: Leo Chen, Location3 & Sandy McCray, Intengo
We had some great speakers this past year. Just to name a few: Microsoft, Cargill, Caesars Entertainment, Smarty Pants, KNow Research, CVS Health, Mary Kay, Twitter, Digital Analytics Association, Guardian Life, Health Care Service Corporation and VRBO.
To help support some of our initiatives we submitted three grant applications. Funds were granted for two of the applications helping support our new Houston event and commitment to support future researchers (sending students to the Vegas Insights Conference).
The Southwest Chapter is committed to providing value to its members through both in-person and online education. Four webinars were held with topics like new methods for non-probability sample, surviving the research-pocalypse, trends in mobile marketing and medical cannabis research.
COMING in 2020:
This year we will host the 34th Vegas Insights Conference on Feb 26-28th at the Park MGM. The Leadership training from IA Headquarters will lead off the conference as it did in 2019. Our Annual Educational Forum rotates to Dallas in early August. We hope to see you at both events.
And lastly, a big thank you goes out to the many volunteers who helped us this year. If you are interested in serving the research community by volunteering at events or assisting the board in other ways, look us up!
- Submitted by: Khary Campbell, Immediate Past President
Heading into 2019, we wanted to focus on achievement in three areas.
1. Create engaging events and content that will help develop professional skills and provide opportunities for networking. As I reflect on this goal, two events stick out in particular: The event we hosted at Holman’s Table in partnership with the AMA. It was a wonderful evening, featuring Arlene Birt, an engaging speaker who shared with us the power of data visualization and how she has used it to connect non-experts to understanding expert-level concepts. The unique venue, a restored Air Terminal at the St. Paul airport, stirred up plenty of conversation among more than 65 professionals and students from both client and vendor side from multiple industries. Next, our most recent event, Brewed Insights, which was hosted by REAL Insight at Indeed Brewery Company & Taproom. This provided a fun spin on focus groups to understand how the context of the setting can create a more powerful discussion to unlock richer insights.
2. Encourage the next generation of Research & Insights Professionals - Our first event of the year was headlined by Past Chapter President Dan Reilly, who serves as SVP of SMS Research Advisors and is a passionate supporter of the industry. Dan delivered a riveting presentation on the power of storytelling to explain complex research constructs. We made a concerted effort to invite current MBA students from St. Thomas University to attend this event and were pleased to have 6 students join us for the presentation and network with the group to form new connections and hopefully inspire the next generation for the industry!
3. Develop consistency in our scheduling - Our thinking here was to develop a consistent schedule so that our membership would always know when to expect the next Insights Association event and plan around it. While this was well intentioned and we took all steps to achieve this, we ultimately prioritized putting on the best event with the best speaker at the best venue that met our needs. I strongly believe that prioritizing these items is what allowed us to deliver value to the community and drive engagement.
Reflecting on these areas, I feel good in saying we had a successful year. Was it perfect? By no means, but I strongly believe perfection is often the deathblow to true progress. The breakthroughs usually come from some sort of chaos. Don’t believe me? Imagine your life without potato chips, microwaves, Post It notes or ice cream cones – all things that came not from perfection but rather imperfect discoveries.
Once we are done reflecting there will be a talented, passionate and engaged team to collectively plan the next year and future of the Upper Midwest Insights Association. My ask is that you take time to reflect and plan on how you can become more engaged with the Chapter and create the future with us.