Thursday, 28 January 2021 9:30am London (10:30 Paris)
NewMR sprang into life with the Festival of NewMR, 8 December 2010. NewMR was co-founded by Sue York and Ray Poynter and has spent the last ten years blending the new with the best of the past.
Did you ever wonder why we formed NewMR? How we kept the momentum?
After 10 years of curating and producing online events, what do we think makes a great online presentation?
And, where next for NewMR?
In December 2020 we invited back eight of the great presenters from 2010 to update us with their vision of what has changed and what has stayed the same, watch the recordings by clicking here.
But now, listen to the story in Ray and Sue’s own words as one of those faces from 2010, Betty Adamou, interviews Sue and Ray.
Transcript of recording with Betty Adamou, Sue York, and Ray Poynter – generated automatically by HappyScribe which means it will be about 80% accurate – if you spot confusing errors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The timestamps are included to help you jump directly to a point of interest.
[00:00:08.390] – Sue York
So I’d now like to introduce Betty, and it’s fair to say that this is Betty’s idea that we would have this interview, so that’s why she gets to take over from here. So Betty has been part of the neuroma story herself since the very beginning, being part of the very first festival, which was just over 10 years ago. So welcome, Betty, and over to you.
[00:00:33.170] – Betty Adamou
Thank you very much, Sue. And as Sue rightly said, this is an interview with Ray and Sue today. They’re going to be in the limelight because today we’re interviewing Ray and Sue to find out more about the NewMR story, how NewMR got started, what the expectations were and so on. And it is fair to say that this was my bright idea and Sue and Ray probably feeling very uncomfortable and cringing at being asked to come to tell all about this story.
[00:01:04.550] – Betty Adamou
And this started from December last year when and so awesome participants, some speakers from 10 years ago to come back and say, what have we been up to in the last decade? And I thought to myself, well, hold on a minute. We’re hearing from the speakers of 10 years ago. What about the founders themselves? Let’s put them in the hot seat and find out about what’s gone on the last decade for them and NewMR. And this can form part of that celebration.
[00:01:37.490] – Betty Adamou
The other reason that it’s really important to celebrate the 10 year anniversary with Ray into today is because of the tremendous contributions to the market research industry. And I don’t use the word tremendous lightly. They’re both right and so do so much for our research industry, public speaking, mentoring, new in itself. And it’s no it’s no easy feat to run something like NewMR and do what they do and still do it with so much passion and enthusiasm. So now I think Ray and Sue have probably cringed in at my compliments.
[00:02:19.220] – Betty Adamou
I will move on to the interview portion. So let’s start at the beginning. So Ray and Sue, how did you start?
[00:02:30.350] – Sue York
Well, I think that it’s fair to say that the sort of origin story of NewMR is really the festival of NewMR. So somewhere towards December 2010, an idea emerged. And I’m not sure we really know entirely what what the impetus was, how it started. But there was an idea that we would have this thing called the Festival of NewMR. And there were lots of people involved in various ways. But I think the heart of the idea of the Festival of NewMR would be that the broader audience would curate what the program was.
[00:03:10.750] – Sue York
So we put out a call for speakers. People submitted their idea for a presentation. We then put them up on a website. There was a mechanism by which people could vote for which papers they wanted to see and the people who got the most votes presented on the program. So it was very much by the people for the people idea. And it was really the idea of running that festival that started NewMR and I think we enjoyed it all. The people seemed to enjoy it.
[00:03:41.600] – Sue York
Lots of people attended, so we kept going. I think if we think back, although 10 years ago is in many ways not that long ago, there weren’t a lot of webinar events around. There weren’t many. And the idea was that we would run a 24 hour webinar starting when people started to get up and get to work in New Zealand, you know, and follow the sun around the globe, so to speak. And it was a whole lot of fun.
[00:04:08.600] – Sue York
I think it’s fair to say that we probably haven’t run as intensive events since because it was actually just so much content. People awake online for hours and hours. And I think we weren’t learnt a lot. We enjoyed it. And the webinar idea was relatively new and fresh. And, you know, for those of us who live in different parts of the world, you know, not everybody lives in a London or in New York where there’s lots of events that they can get to every day of the week.
[00:04:37.760] – Sue York
It really did appeal to me, particularly, I think, to give people who live in geographically different areas access to some of the best speakers and best content in the world.
[00:04:50.000] – Betty Adamou
Well, thank you. So, again, you’re quite right that there are lots of places around the world where people don’t have ease of access to some of the brilliant market research events. So the fact that NewMR was online and accessible to to all was a great idea back then. Now for context, for those who don’t know who is actually based in Australia, so when she talks about potentially not being able to get to some of those city based events, easy.
[00:05:18.240] – Betty Adamou
That’s because she lives on a massive continent. So we’re celebrating the 10 year anniversary, which is absolutely fantastic. What an achievement. Now, why do you think that NewMR has been able to survive all these years, particularly in an age where podcasts come and go and that sort of thing? What’s the secret to survival?
[00:05:42.060] – Ray Poynter
I’m either a few bits and pieces, Betty, so there are first of all, you’ve got to have an audience. So there are people who want to expand their knowledge. They’re a smaller percentage of our industry than you might think or wish. But there are plenty of them people who want to come along, listen to events, find out more about things, test their own knowledge and so on. So that’s the first there are people and building on what says.
[00:06:12.890] – Ray Poynter
Most people can’t attend conferences, and even if you take a really big event like an ESOMAR Congress or the Amara’s Impact Show, the vast majority of people can’t get there and most presentations are only given once, which seems like a terrible waste. So we are very happy for people to present things which they have presented at other conferences because they are going to be thousands of people who haven’t seen it, who want to see it. And the second ingredient of why NewMR has been able to be successful is that there are lots of people who are willing to share their knowledge, people like yourself, who put out time to create presentations and then share them.
[00:06:57.620] – Ray Poynter
So we have people who want to see things around the world and we have people who are happy to share things and by enabling that. And changing as the times change, we’ve been able to stay relevant for those 10 years and let’s see what’s coming next.
[00:07:17.490] – Betty Adamou
Great, thank you. And I don’t know if I can call myself NewMR biggest fan, but I’m going to anyway. It is really fantastic that I mean, there are lots of people, no matter what kind of budget they’re on, it can be quite pricey, let’s face it, to get on a plane and go to conference and stay in a hotel and things like that. And of course, that expenditure we know that the conferences need that there’s so much expenditure when it comes to running a big event like ESOMAR Congress or the Emmaus Impact Conference and things like that.
[00:07:50.220] – Betty Adamou
So having something free or where people could donate back then, 10 years ago was really a game changer. So it’s great that it survived all this all these years now. So the next question, what do you what does NewMR provide the community or communities of market research and insight and analysis and so on, that perhaps we might not have from other organizations?
[00:08:16.620] – Sue York
I think we’ve probably touched on that a little bit already, talking about providing access to people who perhaps can’t travel for various reasons or for whom, you know, it’s just not possible. But I think one of the important points that you probably touch on sort of goes to our philosophy. We have never wanted to do things that other people were already doing or were doing well. So we probably look around for something that needs doing and then do it as opposed to thinking, oh, you know, that’s already a great idea.
[00:08:51.720] – Sue York
Let’s try and do another version of that. So I think we’re probably always thinking where where is this gap that we can fill if somebody else is doing it? That’s great. There’s always a whole bunch of stuff that needs doing. So let’s not duplicate anything and and try and sort of make a difference where we can. So I suspect some of these things will continue to change. We certainly have done some things in the past that we have moved on from.
[00:09:18.990] – Sue York
And, you know, we I imagine it’s part of our DNA to keep changing in many ways. So, you know, we’ll be sort of getting around for where the gaps are and what’s being done elsewhere and kind of approaching it like that.
[00:09:34.190] – Betty Adamou
Thank you, sir. And so, I mean, of course, the both of you have full time jobs, and I think this is one of the challenge with anybody who wants to stop a weapon or platform or podcast is it often contends with the thing that they do for a living where they earn the money and pay the bills. And of course. Right. And so probably two of the busiest people in market research that I know. And the other challenge, of course, is that one of you is based in the U.K. and so you’re based in Australia.
[00:10:01.610] – Betty Adamou
So what’s the key in making this overseas collaboration work and especially with contending with all the other responsibilities that you individually have?
[00:10:13.490] – Ray Poynter
Well, there are clearly some challenges and they are much more marked in 2020 because we would normally be you might be in Europe, I might be in Australia, or we might be. For example, last year, the Rand’s conference last year to 2019, the Australian the New Zealand National Conference. So it’s not always remote, but in 2020 it has been there are some benefits in terms of covering clients and making sure that you don’t become parochial. So we have quite a strong Asia-Pacific focus and so keeps us honest on that to make sure that we’re looking for our audience there.
[00:10:57.440] – Ray Poynter
And in terms of Europe and North America, we often refer to Atlantic Time, which is 3:00 in the afternoon U.K. time, 10 o’clock in the morning on the east coast of the U.S. So we try to get a global picture and that is certainly helped by having two bases. We were obviously really early into remote working, which is now the norm for nearly everybody. Despite that, we still use ourselves when we don’t intend to occasionally. But all of that works.
[00:11:31.160] – Ray Poynter
But there are certainly other challenges. We wouldn’t go. We wouldn’t say that there haven’t been.
[00:11:39.050] – Betty Adamou
But it also sounds like actually the two of you working in different parts of the globe has its opportunities as well, you’re covering so many different time zones. And as you say, Rice, who keeps you, keeps NewMR on the pulse when it comes to looking after the Asia Pacific region, which is great. We have an audience question here. Do you think in the last 10 years there’s been something NewMR related to, for example, an event, a technology, any business that has had the most impact on the insights industry and an extra feel free to ignore Modeste on your own parts?
[00:12:18.110] – Ray Poynter
I’m. I think so, and I think that, for example, we had a presentation from Brian Find at the very first of the festival about gamification, followed up by a whole event. And you presented at that, Betty, that led to a book that. Gamification was happening, it would have happened without NewMR your book would probably have happened without NewMR, but I think we helped all of those things move forward. Jumping right up to date in 2020, we probably spent about eight hours of broadcast time working with Rachel Laws on semiotics.
[00:13:04.680] – Ray Poynter
And I think we have helped push fantastic that Rachel has done the great what she’s done. But we’ve given us another push and I think that that will help move that through. And I think as well, the type of debate that we try to encourage, I can see quite a lot of other organizations engaging in similar things. Some of the broadcasts that Jasmine Brasilia’s, I think are very much in the same tone of let’s be positive, let’s be collaborative.
[00:13:38.670] – Ray Poynter
So I like to think that we have helped create that climate.
[00:13:41.950] – Sue York
Yeah. The other thing or another thing I think that we have done is and it was very much back to the first festival, this idea of, you know, put yourself forward and people can vote for you and the fact that you could present, you know, without having travel budget and things like that. A lot of people who are, you know, really strongly, you know, well-known speakers on the conference say now, again, they probably would still be well-known speakers on the conference scene.
[00:14:10.380] – Sue York
One of the first events they often spoke out was something like the Festival of Myanmar. So it gave some people who perhaps might not have had the chance to present, you know, a chance to put themselves forward and not have to ask for a lot of budget or have a lot of money to travel somewhere. You know, if you were prepared to put yourself forward, I think quite a few people, you know, one of the first conferences they spoke at was the Festival of NewMR.
[00:14:34.980] – Sue York
So I think that’s been you know, I hope people think that’s been a valuable contribution.
[00:14:40.950] – Betty Adamou
Yeah, well, as one of those speakers, when my first online presentation was with NewMR, I can say it was really valuable and also from a more kind of logistics point of view, because prior to speaking for the first time on ESOMAR, I helped on stage conference presentations, but none of them were ever recorded. And it was great to have a chance to create a presentation, share it with potentially a wider audience and certainly an audience that didn’t come to the conferences before.
[00:15:11.280] – Betty Adamou
And it was part of my personal and professional archive, as well as something I could send to clients. And I know that fellow speakers who have been on NewMR have have had very similar sentiments there as well. So, yes, it’s certainly been good to get the the names out there and help build careers. So thank you both for that as well. So moving on, if NewMR ever did conduct a face to face event and budget was limitless, where would you like to have it in the world and why?
[00:15:43.320] – Betty Adamou
And we’ll start with you. Right.
[00:15:46.790] – Ray Poynter
Yes, actually, I know that Sue and I, I’ve got quite different views on this, so make my first choice would be Multa. And I say that because I attended a conference that just Belém of Merlene organized in Malta quite a few years ago, and it pulls together some of the real benefits of a certain type of conference. You are miles from anywhere. Everybody who’s gone there is committed. You can’t there’s no office to go to. You’re all at the hotel.
[00:16:17.550] – Ray Poynter
We all stayed in the same hotel. We were attending the conference. The meetings were upstairs on a rooftop session like it didn’t rain. And then we went all evening. So I think that sense of getting to know each other is really interesting. And there’s a place in the UK called IDEO, which is in the mountains at the start of a long walk called the Pennine Way. And I’ve long had the idea of maybe having an event there, stopping in the bed and breakfasts, combining discussions about research with either climbing, hiking, walking, drawing, painting, depending on what people’s preferences are, and just trying to get at a different side of what’s going on.
[00:17:07.070] – Ray Poynter
[00:17:09.550] – Sue York
When we were talking about this, I actually bandied a few city names around earlier in the week, and then as I was reflecting on it again, I mean, I would go almost anywhere for the right conference because to me, it’s it’s not so much the city. It’s, you know, the people that we bring together. I think some of the things re’s touched on, you know, sometimes a city or a conference can be too big. So people end up, you know, spread across different hotels.
[00:17:40.100] – Sue York
I think everybody being in the conference hotel, you know, the serendipity of bumping into somebody, you know, as you checking in or, you know, at the bar when you got there the day earlier, you stayed the day later. And I think probably there are lots of lovely places, you know, that we can go to. And it’s always nice to have the opportunity to go somewhere you’ve never been before because the conference is there. So, you know, I’d be happy anyway.
[00:18:11.140] – Betty Adamou
I think that’s lovely. So so Ray’s point of view is let’s get all the market researchers on an island so they’ve got nowhere else to go. But I can imagine that motor would be for the market research takeover, although.
[00:18:26.380] – Sue York
And then I’m voting, I know that you and I have he said, do we vote people off the island or on the island would be a funny reality.
[00:18:36.190] – Ray Poynter
And in terms of these sort of remote conferences soon, I have attended Sawtooth conferences, which tend to work like that. Everybody who is there is all located in one place. Betty, for a moment there, looking at your video was freezing, but you seem to be back. I know that you have been like me to a big conference. And again, that is one of those isolated conferences. We were all together there. There’s nowhere else to go.
[00:19:04.910] – Ray Poynter
And I think you do get to know the other delegates better, particularly if it’s fewer than 150 people, ideally fewer than 100 people, then everybody is much more likely to get to know the other attendees.
[00:19:20.930] – Betty Adamou
Yeah, there’s definitely something to be said for a more intimate conference. And whoever is listening and likes the idea of a market research reality TV show. Right. Right. Saying let us know more about it. Let’s see if NewMR can do something with that. So between the two of you, obviously either, well, more than 10 years, because obviously you’ve both been in the industry for longer than when you started NewMR. Some a presentation to both of you is would have to really stand out, I mean, in many ways you’ve heard it all before.
[00:19:57.550] – Betty Adamou
So has there been a favorite sort of standout NewMR presentation that really kind of you can remember really easily out of the sea of presentations over over the last decade?
[00:20:12.910] – Ray Poynter
So lots and lots of highlights over the years, including you, of course, Betty. But let’s start with John. Kiran, who was one of the first to understand that webinars are like radio and he has a wonderful fireside chat style of presenting and sort of sucked you into the speakers, which was great jumping to very recently. We had what white researchers need to hear in 2020, some fantastic speakers. What we had with us, we had lots and lots of people, and it was really the passion and the topic.
[00:20:59.080] – Ray Poynter
But one of the the most startling comments was from a very senior Clydeside researcher, an African-American in the USA, who expressed, of course, one of his comments is, would his son get safely home or might he get stopped and shot, just really brought home? Yeah, we’ve got some really big issues in the industry to tackle, but some enormous issues in society to tackle. And then I mentioned before about highlighted again, the sheer quality and volume and passion that Rachel brought to the semiotics in 2020 would be ones saying anything, particularly come to your mind.
[00:21:42.190] – Sue York
I mean, again, there have been lots and lots of highlights, lots of great presenters, I mean, we’ve been lucky to have some extraordinary people presenting over the years. So in many ways, I’m reluctant to sort of shout out to anyone. But I mean, sort of if you do a montage, I can remember Shoba Prasad, who many of you will know, and she’s now writing a cartoon for the ESOMAR. I think it’s it’s on the ESOMAR website.
[00:22:10.930] – Sue York
It may also be elsewhere, but really deep, thoughtful things. You know, when you it was called The Sounds of Silence and it is on the recording, but it’s not just a presentation that somebody put together in a couple of hours. You know, it probably got years of thinking and behind it and, you know, you to sit back and think, you know, that’s how to put together a conference presentation. You know, obviously, it’s been great to see the sheer diversity of people.
[00:22:43.840] – Sue York
You know, sometimes we’ve actually even had some really short ones where, you know, people have put their hand up to do, you know, like three minute presentations because, you know, we’ve experimented with different formats along the way. So there’s a lot I remember Bernie off from Canada did a nice one with John Paulson. It’s called something like 60 questions, dangerous answers. But it was the sheer volume of sort of primary research that was in there that were exploring, you know, some of the interactive formats in online survey tools and the implications for data and, you know, some solid work behind a good conference presentation.
[00:23:24.520] – Sue York
So there are a couple that come to mind, but certainly there are lots of when you look back through the back catalogue, sometimes you think, oh, my goodness, I’ve forgotten about that and that and that. And I think the other thing that’s sort of in many ways surprising is how the length of time that these things remain relevant because people sometimes think, oh, that was two years ago. Well, that was four years ago. I know.
[00:23:45.730] – Sue York
I sometimes do. And when we went through the exercise last year of looking back over the ten years, you know, a lot of the topics, you know, still really resonate today. So I think, you know, I don’t think that in some ways things get out of date quite quickly. But in some ways, you know, the classic building blocks of our industry don’t change as quickly as you might think. And in some ways, that’s a good thing because, you know, it means we’re standing on some solid ground.
[00:24:14.830] – Betty Adamou
Yes, very much so. And so for the listeners who are not maybe familiar with some of those names. So some of the highlights that I mentioned, John and Kiran, who is, of course, from Druss Shannon Danzy, was mentioned that right. Laws Shober Prasad’s. So do search for those names on the NewMR website and you’ll see the presentations. I remember fantastic presentations or from Martina Opah Tovo, I hope I’m pronouncing his name correctly, who had a very deep presentation about meaning in promotion, in advertising, kind of everywhere around us.
[00:24:56.680] – Betty Adamou
And I love the way she was able to take inspiration from kind of anywhere she looked and kind of bring that back to insight, bring that back to market research, an absolutely fantastic presentation from her as well. And so on that note, what are the top things that make a good online only presentation, in your view? And equally, what should people avoid?
[00:25:21.590] – Sue York
Well, I think in many ways we’ve sort of touched on one of the key things is and it’s probably definitely true for face to face as well, if people are passionate about a topic that actually is the start of a really good presentation. Just, you know, if you’re not passionate about it or interested in what you’re talking about, the audience will know and there’s no substitute for that. In actual fact, I when I was looking at this question, I looked back because I actually did do a presentation at one point on what makes a good line presentation.
[00:25:58.100] – Sue York
And so I went back to play again to have a look. And in actual fact, back in June 2013, I thought we knew it all after four years. And again, it doesn’t change when you’re presenting online. Some things are actually very similar to presenting face to face. Some things are a bit different. Some things are quite different. You know, you still need to plan, prepare, practice. You know, often presenters who appear to be very casual and off the cuff, you know, some of the best prepared presenters that you will come across, I think don’t ignore the basics.
[00:26:37.610] – Sue York
And in some ways, it feels funny to be saying this. But, you know, make sure you invest in a headset and a mic. Don’t try and just rely on being built like in your computer. Although, you know, sometimes those things work well. Make sure you’re in a quiet space, have a good Internet connection as far as you can, practice both your content and the presentation and be familiar with the technology. When you’re presenting, you really want to be in a position where you can focus on what you’re saying.
[00:27:07.940] – Sue York
You don’t need the extra stress of how it got into a press and things. And I mean, there are many tips and techniques you can use in that. You can have somebody to help you if you’re not as tech savvy as you’d like to be. You know, some other tips. It can be very easy when you’re just talking to yourself, you know, in a room to sort of lose that energy that you get when you live and getting feedback from the audience.
[00:27:35.510] – Sue York
But who says you have to sit in a room by yourself when you’re presenting in a webinar, you have a colleague in there or put a picture up on the wall, talk to the client, talk to your cat, anything that gives you that engagement with the audience, because it really, you know, it makes it can make such a difference. You know, there are lots of tips. You know, if you’re a nervous speaker, you know, you can have a script written or bullet points that are stuck up on the wall.
[00:28:03.050] – Sue York
You can have Post-it notes on the side of the screen. Now, once you start moving into those things, you need to be careful that people can’t see you looking around like this. But if you practice with some of those tools, there’s lots of other elements that you can bring into your presentation. So things like that. I mean, I assume that most people are getting much more comfortable with, you know, cameras on and talking online after the year we’ve had.
[00:28:27.710] – Sue York
But certainly the first time you present to a webinar, it feels like you’re talking into a black hole, particularly in the early days when we tended not to turn cameras on. You know, you really do notice how much you miss that person, you know, sitting in the front row nodding as you talk and you get a lot of comfort from that when you’re presenting. So you have to sort of, you know, learn to, you know, present without those dynamics or put some other mechanisms in place that help you.
[00:28:55.670] – Sue York
I know that in the early days, we used to sometimes have the webinars running on multiple screens, one where you were the presenter and one where you were logged in as an audience member so you could keep an eye on things. So, I mean, get familiar with the technology, get comfortable, but do your homework and present on topics you’re passionate about. And I think they’re kind of the key ingredients and you avoid being somewhere noisy, probably the number one tip line.
[00:29:24.890] – Betty Adamou
Q So great tips about the tech side of things and the importance of bringing energy and passion. And what about you write one or two quick tips on what makes a good online only presentation?
[00:29:38.360] – Ray Poynter
I would start by completely repeating what Sarah said. Be interested in what you’re presenting, be passionate. Think about what the audience want to know. So one of the things that we often talk about is that a presentation should not be too sexy, whether it’s Face-To-Face or online. That is not always true if what you are talking about is super interesting. They’re actually people will want to listen to it, so when Zappy first came in on the scene. People were quite delighted for them to come along and talk about their product.
[00:30:18.050] – Ray Poynter
There is a new product from Blue Yonder called CLAQUE, which is a simple little button. You click it once, you click it twice. People are interested to hear that when people first started talking about using methods of data capture and video and living lens and Vox pop, me and people like that again, there was a real interest in hearing how could I use that? What will it solve? What are the implications, what we need to know to use it.
[00:30:45.910] – Ray Poynter
So it is about thinking, what does the audience want to know? Not just what you want to tell them. And I think we can. It’s an interesting balance to do within that kind of probably lynxes onto some of the next topics, you want to be a bit shorter than the audience think it’s going to take. But that’s true of face to face as well as in the show.
[00:31:11.570] – Betty Adamou
All good tips for face to face settings as well, which will hopefully get back to those some point soon in the future. So just a couple of questions left wrapping up very shortly. So obviously, we are in very strange times with coronavirus where lots of events and workshops have had to go online. And that transition has understandably been challenging for many people, for ESOMAR, for market research, for all these organizations where everything is now moving online. But in that sense, of course, NewMR were already online processes and software and things like that are in doubt, but has covered 19 affected NewMR in any way at all.
[00:31:55.280] – Betty Adamou
And if it has or hasn’t? What advice would you give other public speaking events who are now going online only for the foreseeable future?
[00:32:05.510] – Sue York
I mean, it’s probably many things we couldn’t touch on here, and I mean, compared to, say, back in 2010, one of the things that is really staggering now is just how many events are online. And I think probably the thing to keep in mind is that if you’re running and an online event or any event, you really need to have a purpose and create reasons for people to attend. Know it’s it’s just so easy to put on an online event.
[00:32:36.980] – Sue York
And it touched up before Betty Podcast’s come and go. And I think, you know, online events come and go. It’s really about, you know, having a reason now, you know, is it a reason? Is it a unique selling proposition? But, you know, you don’t you probably shouldn’t say I’m going to run an online event in the same way. You shouldn’t say I’m going to start a blog or I’m going to start a podcast.
[00:33:04.460] – Sue York
You should have, you know, your reason for wanting to do those. And if you get that right, some of the other things will follow.
[00:33:12.410] – Betty Adamou
Great. Thank you. Write anything to add to that before we move on.
[00:33:16.220] – Ray Poynter
I think one of the biggest challenges for the traditional face to face organizers has been that they might have a two or three day conference. They would start at 9:00 in the morning, they would finish at 5:00 in the afternoon, and they the people would attend and would go into the room for most of the sessions when you move that online. People simply can’t give you that amount of time, so you can’t take a three day conference and have a three day online conference and we saw lots of organizations in 2020 trying to do that.
[00:33:55.710] – Ray Poynter
And everybody learned the same sort of thing. Indeed, it was quite hard for the chairs of sessions when we spoke to some of them afterwards. Actually, I didn’t pay a visit any of the other sessions except mine, because by the time my session was an hour and a half, I had about four hours of preparation for it. And that was all I could devote to it this week. Whereas if I had traveled to Bangkok for the conference, it would have had four days of my time and broken.
[00:34:25.160] – Ray Poynter
So people have much less time to attend an online event than they used to have to attend an online event and much less than face to face. So I think we are going to see quite a shift of emphasis and we are planning for this, working with this towards play a game being the primary method that people engage with it as opposed to the alternative method of engaging with material.
[00:34:55.090] – Betty Adamou
And again, for anybody who is not familiar, the NewMR play again area is where the wonderful decade rich archive of presentations is stored. And so what we’re saying there is it’s actually all going to be about play again as opposed to listening live, which I don’t think is a bad way to go. That’s a question for the audience here also, Steve, because I think there are some more thoughts around that, which is it’s going to be a play again, but it still needs to be interactive.
[00:35:25.450] – Betty Adamou
So I think we need to link it to discussions. So people who have watched this can now join a discussion that may run for a couple of months on this and develop additional ideas. So I think that would be a part. It’s not just creating static play again, references, I think people to watch it and and have some ability to interact with it.
[00:35:56.030] – Betty Adamou
And that really reflects on the way we consume audio, mostly audio, only media. Now, we’ll listen to something on a lunch break or listen to something in a coffee break or out for a jog. But we might listen to that thing. Oh, actually, I’ve got something valuable I’d like to add to that or I’ve got a question. So having a discussion component would be great as well. And I’m looking forward to seeing that. So question from the audience before we go on to our final question in the interview is from one of our attendees who’s come to many, many conferences and presented as well at NewMR.
[00:36:31.760] – Betty Adamou
And the question is, do you have a one that got away so that you have come across in the last 10 years, something that you thought would have a much bigger impact on our industry that maybe hasn’t yet?
[00:36:47.470] – Ray Poynter
Probably we’ve been singing the praises of John Kerry and so did videos was one that I thought would be more successful than it was, and it kind of disappeared back in the brain juice. Today’s and the whole area of social media listening has is much smaller now than it was five years ago. It has not delivered some of the things we thought that it would deliver. It has produced and it’s delivered very few of the things that the proponents said it was going to deliver.
[00:37:23.890] – Ray Poynter
There is great work out there. There is some really useful stuff, but I think it is much, much smaller than we anticipated. So I would highlight that is as one of the ones that we thought would be bigger. That isn’t. And on the flipside of that, I would highlight block chain where we were almost the first people to say this will not be big in the near future. And it was nice to be proved right.
[00:37:51.010] – Betty Adamou
Yes, I remember that distinctive in way. I think you are probably the first person I heard talking about. But actually I read that you talk about change because you did a series of LinkedIn posts about it. And I thought, nobody’s talking about Block China market research. Why is why? So I guess it’s not sort of predictions come to fruition, but equally when they don’t as well. So our last question of the session, looking to the future now, which you’ve already touched on race.
[00:38:21.910] – Betty Adamou
So that’s great. So. Can you obviously have 10 years of listening to presentations, delivering many yourselves, and that knowledge of patterns and trends in the market research industry is, of course, invaluable, but can you use that knowledge to perhaps say what trends and patterns you think will emerge throughout twenty, twenty one and perhaps in the next few years and how that might affect NewMR as an organization as well?
[00:38:54.570] – Ray Poynter
So I’ll start and then see, you might want to jump in with some thoughts, in fact, I published a blog on this and people can access that on the NewMR website. We are going to see more and more research conducted internally, client side, lots and lots of drivers for that. One of them, of course, is budget. The second is the fantastic growth theme platform. So there are more methods of being able to do it. Another is this trend towards agile and democratization in client side organizations.
[00:39:28.770] – Ray Poynter
Agile means you need to be interactive and really fast and hands on. And the people who are working on projects need to be involved. That’s where the democratizing comes, comes into play. And that is really hard. If what you do every time you need insight is you send a request off to an external agency who has none of the background, none of the integration. So we’re seeing a lot of that now that’s got some implications. It means that a larger and larger amount of the research is conducted will be conducted by people whose main skill is not insights.
[00:40:05.680] – Ray Poynter
It might be their fourth best. Their fifth best. Well, might not be very good at all. So there is going to be a greater and greater need for safe research tools, research tools, where it’s harder to make a mistake and use them. So we talk about putting guardrails on that and so that I see as being the bulk and then I see a tremendous opportunity for all the problems that are too difficult to do that way. And that is when the discourse analysts, the narrative economists, the behavioral economists, the game’s experts, the ethnographies, the advanced analytics people all come into play everything that can’t be done that way.
[00:40:53.940] – Ray Poynter
So I think people really need to focus on am I doing everyday solutions on my piling it high, selling it cheap, or am I tackling the what I believe the young people call wicked problems, ones you can’t sell if you really do know that you bring in resources, right?
[00:41:14.850] – Betty Adamou
Well, I don’t think I can class myself as a young person anymore. Right. Because when I was young, the word wicked was used to describe something really, really good. Again, that’s wicked. And so what about you? Do you think that there are some trends and patterns that will emerge throughout twenty or twenty one and beyond in market research and insight that are perhaps different to some of Ray’s predictions there?
[00:41:39.620] – Sue York
I mean, I’m sure there almost certainly are. I mean, I think we’re at a very interesting point in sort of our lives in the industry itself, because, you know, we’ve seen some things speed up through last year. You know, we’ve seen people become more comfortable attending events online, having business meetings online. You know, in the research industry, you know, a lot of people have traditionally worked from home freelancers. You have people who perhaps, you know, lived away from their main office.
[00:42:15.470] – Sue York
So I think we’ll you know, this year, I think people will be sort of looking around, reassessing, you know, what changes work that we might stick to. Which bits will we go back to or will we be pulling together bits? Some people who’ve enjoyed working from home who haven’t before might say, oh, actually, I quite like working from home, but I don’t want to work at home five days a week. So we might see people mixing up, you know, how they work and how they conduct research.
[00:42:46.850] – Sue York
So I think we’ll be in a fairly interesting space over the next 12 months. Hopefully, you know, things will improve for everybody, you know, in terms of disruptions of the last 12 months. But but I think we might see some of them might be subtle changes, but I think we’ll see people pick the best bits out of their life, you know, pre 20/20 and, you know, the best bits out of their life post 2020 and hopefully start to montage that together.
[00:43:15.500] – Sue York
I think that will happen across working lives. Know what events should be Face-To-Face face. What do people like, you know, online? So I think we might see some sort of choose your own adventures happening in terms of how we work and live.
[00:43:30.420] – Betty Adamou
Thank you so and I’ve really enjoyed seeing more conversation around diversity and inclusion within the market research industry, as well as how we communicate with all participants. And of course, there is an organization called Color of Research, which started out not that long ago. And it’s great to see that those conversations are happening in those organizations that are coming through and championing a more inclusive industry. So now let’s have a quick look at the future. Right. And Sue, what can we expect from the woman that we spoke about focus on again with some discussion.
[00:44:09.150] – Betty Adamou
Is there anything else that we’re going to see? A new NewMR more content?
[00:44:16.730] – Ray Poynter
I think we’re going to see more learning related materials and more collaboration with other organizations, so we see you mentioned before that we don’t want to repeat what other people do if we can enable more of what they do. And that is great. Both Sue and I are quite involved in training things, as indeed are you, Betty. And I think that there is going to be a real growth in 21, 22, 23, and the demand for more training, partly linked to what I was saying earlier, that more people who are inexperienced in research are being required to to use research tools.
[00:45:05.300] – Ray Poynter
So I think that we will see more of that and new ways of breaking the materials up so it’s easier for people to find solutions.
[00:45:17.850] – Betty Adamou
OK, great. Well, I look forward to seeing some of these collaborations happening, it sounds very exciting indeed. So before we wrap up any final words from both of you about the celebration of NewMR 10 year anniversary. Or if I make you cringe enough by putting it in the limelight today, I mean, I probably I mean, NewMR it actually really is something that isn’t just right. And I mean, there are so many people who have given up, you know, like so much of their time.
[00:45:54.310] – Betty Adamou
You know, we’ve always been probably very particular about our production values. And although, you know, it’s not always perfect, you know, we’ve always insisted that people rehearse their presentation, get us their slides, you know, early and things. And I mean, I would never underestimate and anyone who’s ever prepared a conference presentation, you know, the sheer amount of hours that work that goes in. And I mean, we’ve had, you know, some extraordinarily busy people who’ve had, you know, you know, big jobs, you know, freely give up their time enthusiastically to share experience, share knowledge, you know, so it’s very much, you know, it’s endured and survived because people, you know, so freely give up their time to share knowledge, experience, war stories, you know, so that’s you know, it’s not just us, it’s everybody.
[00:46:52.630] – Betty Adamou
And so it’s so like you to say something like that, just take the take the pride of yourself and put it on somebody else. Right. Any final words about the new all 10 year anniversary from you?
[00:47:07.020] – Ray Poynter
I’m not big on looking backwards, so I’m actually mostly thinking about what we’re doing next and and moving forward, trying, trying to help people, trying to have fun and maybe one day making some money.
[00:47:25.650] – Betty Adamou
That’s great news for you both. Should be immensely proud of what NewMR has been able to achieve, what you both have been able to achieve through NewMR. And on the subject of diversity, which I touched on earlier, one of the things I loved about NewMR over the years is that not only do we get the thought leaders present, you NewMR that you’d see at the big conferences, but you’d also see people who’ve never spoken before. You’d see people of all different ages, somebody who’s just got a bright idea and hasn’t done anything with it yet through to somebody who’s been really working at something for five years or more, done the research and so on.
[00:48:08.100] – Betty Adamou
And so NewMR has given for me as an audience member, a diversity of speakers and content that I haven’t been able to quite capture elsewhere. So thank you both for NewMR and so over to Sue and right now for some closing remarks. But thank you both very much for your time today.
[00:48:30.360] – Sue York
[00:48:31.350] – Ray Poynter