The QRCA (Qualitative Researcher Consultants Association) annual conference is a great place for people who are passionate about customer insights to connect. I recently attended the 2018 conference in Scottsdale. With the dramatic desert landscape as a backdrop, I was inspired in many ways– by the people I met, the ground-breaking things being done in qualitative research, and ways companies are spurring their innovation efforts.
I am intrigued with the idea of bringing in outside experts to participate in innovation workshops, to kick-start innovative thinking and bring in new ideas. While it is not uncommon to include more technical subject matter experts, my view of the types of experts that can add value has expanded. At the QRCA Conference, Confess Research based in Prague, gave a lively presentation on co-creation and brought this point home. They shared their experiences in Europe, where they have collaborated with designers, local social media influencers, retail gurus, etc. in their ideation sessions and also as ongoing advisors. Some may think the cost is prohibitive to land these kind of experts, especially for smaller companies, but there are ways to get resourceful in recruiting outside experts to the table. Most creative people want to be part of something inspirational, and they also want experiences they can draw on and use. So it is all about how the innovation workshop experience is structured, and what value your influencers and experts can take away from it.
Reach out if you would like to chat about innovation workshops.