If your company has commissioned a market research firm to conduct a qualitative market research study, chances are the research consultant will include focus groups as part of the study. Focus groups remain popular with researchers, as they yield many insights about consumers’ thoughts, opinions, behaviors, and patterns.
There are many steps involved before a focus group can be held. From screening guides to recruiting for focus groups to facility selection, researchers and recruiters do a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work before the first question is posed to focus group participants.
Many market research recruiting firms can host or recommend focus group facilities. Given that each market research study has different needs, not every focus group facility is appropriate. Below are four features of focus group facilities to consider before hosting your focus group.
1. Available Technology
If you need to video or audio record your focus group, or project slides or images, you’ll want to ensure there are sufficient and adequate outlets and wifi signals in the room. Some facilities include complimentary access to recording equipment, but will charge extra for one-way viewing, live streaming, or laptop rentals. Once you have an idea of what your requirements are, you can get accurate quotes for what it will cost to host your study.
2. Setup Options
Each qualitative study requires different amenities and setups. For example, if you’re testing a car design and need participants to interact with a prototype, you need to ensure the facility can accommodate this type of study.
Other studies may require kitchen facilities for taste testing, or perhaps you need theatre-style seating. Facilities that can accommodate such specific requirements may be limited to larger geographic areas, which may affect how you fill a study.
Knowing the details and specifics of your study well in advance will give you ample time to find a facility that can meet your needs.
3. Types of Services Offered
Before booking a facility, ask for references. We’ve heard from clients that they booked a facility because it was inexpensive, only to find they were ‘nickel-and-dimed’ for each add-on. Some facilities will manage catering, note taking, and translation services. Get a detailed quote for all the services you anticipate needing and using before committing to a facility.
A centrally located facility is important, not just because it’s convenient, but because you’re more likely to have everyone show up to participate. Managing no-shows is a real hassle, so having a location that is easily accessed by public transportation, and offers safe and secure parking are important considerations.