I drove a total of 170km to moderate group discussions and conduct in-depth interviews for a mass market campaign that we're doing for one of our brands. I wasn't in the ideal state to facilitate, having that heady, "I just drove through shitloads of traffic" sensation, but ever since we had our training in Singapore, I've consciously made an effort to never take respondents for granted. And that includes making sure they're well fed and have refreshments on hand.
My sessions went well. I was profusely thanked by most people I spoke with, telling me that they enjoyed the little chat with me, and it was worth missing work for. (Awww).
The weekend was spent reviewing my tapes (all seven of them!), making me sicker than I already was. A bad throat and no yoga for a week didn't help at all.
Fast-forward to yesterday, more FGDs conducted by a research agency for a retail chain. Each group lasted around three hours long, 80 minutes more than the usual time spent for a group discussion. No food or drink was offered to the respondents during the session (heck, I can't even last through an hour's meeting without a cup of coffee). They weren't even asked if they wanted to take a break. The wrong questions were being asked, the moderator wasn't conscious of the time, and they did certain exercises wrong. It was awful.
The regional client was majorly pissed off. Much so that she's having the moderators who conducted the groups never to moderate again and to get the regional research agency's counterpart to fly in someone who can do the sessions instead.
Buti nga. I'm not a fan of this particular research group because they've made focus group discussions their cash cow, meaning any qualitative research that clients request for end up being an FGD as a default. I've sat through countless GDs that they've handled for different brands and clients to know that you can hardly squeeze anything insightful from their report. So much for real, creative thinking.
Suffering from a bad head cold. Fighting the temptation to skip work tomorrow (and the day after that and maybe until the weekend).