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The Future of In-Person Market Research
Original Program Date :
Length: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

As facilities begin to open across the United States and the EU that leaves us all wondering: What will the in-person research experience be like in the time of COVID-19? Facilities have been updating researchers on what they are doing in light of COVID-19, but, what does all of that mean in terms of the overall research experience?  

What should participants expect? What should the moderators expect? And, what can the clients expect?  What feedback have those who operate facilities heard so far in terms of willingness to participate? How will this impact how we do research? What do moderators and client need to think about in terms of their stimuli? What advice can those who operate the facilities provide to help us make the in-person research experience as positive as possible?

Amy Shields, President/Partner, Nichols Research

As the president and partner of Nichols Research (NR) Amy Shields is responsible for overseeing day-to-day company operations of NR’s four focus group facilities and its recruiting. She also led the development of NR’s online qual platform and leads NR’s team of research experts, providing strategic leadership and setting best practices. 

Amy is an expert at creative and co-creation research, usability testing, mixed methodological approaches, storytelling deliverables, research material development, and preparing for the unexpected! She has over 25-years’ experience in the marketing research industry, and has been an executive at Advanced Focus and was the editor on publications for the Insights Association. Amy has been the grateful recipient of several industry awards and has appeared on numerous media outlets including NBC’s The Today Show, ABC30’s Action News and NBC’s KSEE24 News.

Brett Watkins, CEO, L&E Research

Brett is the CEO of L&E Research, a qualitative solutions company with locations throughout the U.S. Brett has led L&E to 10x growth during his ownership period that began in 2004. L&E's combination of service and technology has led to its rapid growth. Their dedication to connecting their clients to their communities has led to a business that now employs nearly 400 incredible teammates, and was recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the leading small businesses in the U.S. 

Brett has been a member of numerous industry, nonprofit and business boards, and has spoken at a variety of industry conferences on the subject of data metrics, industry trends, research analysis, and leadership. He lives in Raleigh, NC and if when not leading L&E, is either playing golf, drinking a nice bottle of wine, or trying to remember what it was like to travel. 

Laura Livers, Schlesinger Group

Laura Livers leads Schlesinger Group’s?qualitative research services?and over thirty premier?focus group facilities?across the US. Her objective is simply to provide the world’s best qualitative offering through intelligent recruitment, world-class project management, a blazing service, compliance excellence, and trusted relationships. Laura joined Schlesinger Group as a member of the company’s Strategic Leadership Team following the?acquisition of Focus Pointe Global, where she had served as Chief Executive Officer.  

Laura brings more than 32 years of marketing research and data collection experience partnering with all types of researchers including, insights providers, brand and consulting agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining Focus Pointe Global, in 2009, Laura served as President of mystery shopping firm Shop ‘n Chek Worldwide, now MarketForce. Laura is a lifelong resident of Georgia and lives in Alpharetta. She is an alumna of West Georgia University, where she received a BA in Marketing. 

Rick Seale, Shugoll Research

Rick Seale is part of Shugoll Research’s senior management team, overseeing the strategic direction of both the Research Consulting and the Data Collection divisions of the firm. He oversees the day-to-day operations of Shugoll Research’s two focus group facilities in the DC area as well as the company’s online platform and recruiting operations. Rick’s 29 years of experience in the research industry have given him a comprehensive view of how the industry has evolved, and the changes that have come with the ever-increasing importance of respondent and data privacy and online research tools.  

Rick holds a BS and an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is an active member of the Insights Association and is a past-president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. He has been a member of numerous committees over the years including the Chapter Committee, and Code of Standards and Best Business Practices committees. 


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