Casro Panel Conference Overview

Last week, we visited sunny Miami, FL for the first annual CASRO Panel Conference (Defining & Delivering Quality). Exciting for us, as QuestionPro participated as first time exhibitors. We were both positive, due to the high number of attendance (150-200 attendees) and the organization of the event.
It was a great networking opportunity, which generated valuable face time with other colleagues in market research industry (and it was great to see people walking around with our new book). Strategic partnership opportunities to general knowledge sharing discussions…the event was well worth our attendance.
From a survey/panel management software perspective, only a few of the big players appeared as exhibitors:
NEBU – great presentation on how different logos and software features (identifying odd answer patterns) can help ensure survey responses are truthful and of quality.
Also noticeable was the amount of panel/sample providers that attended as exhibitors. 14 out of the ~20 tables appeared!! The big talk in this industry is how panel/sampling companies can prove their worth; convincing clients that their samples can not only provide truthful and quality responses, but also stay competitive in what appears to be a very saturated market. It was determined that there was a tremendous amount of panelist crossover (the same person appearing in multiple sampling lists). How can one provider differentiate from another if the respondents live across multiple lists?
Another issue we noticed (fellow software colleagues agreed) the disconnect between “Market Research Analysts” and “Software Developers”. We got the vibe that analysts want to shield developers away from their panel-sampling problem. The panelists at the conference kept trying to validate and provide their worth in the MR industry. There is no question that they bring value to research…but this industry needs to change their course of evolution and create synergy between software developers and developers. Questions came up in open discussion: “How do you feel that self service panel management software is gaining popularity?” and “Wouldn’t this somehow help with the quality issues if our clients managed their own panels?” The response was, ”…Good luck managing their own panel…it’s far too difficult and tricky.” In reality, it isn’t and should be difficult to create, grow, and manage a healthy panel with the right piece of software.
We will be evolving our newly released Community Edition to the market research industry, integrating the issues and concerns we’ve heard. We’ll continue to listen to the industry, creating a panel tool that is simple yet powerful.
If you are interested in understanding and learning more on how QuestionPro can help you conduct research in a smart, efficient way…please send us an email at or call directly at 206 686 7070 ext. 8.
A list of 2008 conferences we will be attending is coming soon…
Scott Zaleski
VP of Sales
scott dot zaleski at surveyanalytics dot com
Rob Hoehn
VP Client Services
rob dot hoehn at surveyanalytics dot com

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