Two weeks ago marked the annual IIR Market Research Event. TMRE, as it’s fondly called, has been my favorite MR event for a few years now, and this sentiment was echoed by almost every attendee I spoke with on-site and off. If you haven’t attended this event in the past, you should put it on your radar for next year (which happens to be at Disney World). Not only are there great presentations (like my own on aligning segmentations with newer research methodologies : )) but also tons of great people attend. My favorite part of the conference is sitting down with vendors and client-side MR professionals alike and hearing what’s on their minds at the moment. In fact, a lot of these conversations have served as great fodder for our annual MR predictions doc, which will be released next month; for last year’s, clients can click here. My only regret is not having enough time to connect with everyone! If you missed any of the content or goings-on of the event, TMRE has posted links to all the great blogging that was done over the course of the event.

Overall, I left with a few major impressions:

  • We are a great group of professionals! Everyone at the conference was so passionate about MR, its current state, and what lies ahead. Every conversation I had was infused with excitement about the possibilities for MR and MR professionals in the near future. Whether it was those of you excited for the additional research you’ll be doing with new DIY tools or those of you embarking in startups for new methodologies, everyone is eagerly awaiting 2011.
  • Creativity oozes throughout our profession. Outsiders may try to peg us as straight-laced data geeks — data geeks we may be, but straight-laced or boring don’t necessarily apply. So many of the presentations showed market researchers’ ability to think outside the box and get creative. From Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness garnering sample for a project for which it couldn’t get sample to 3M’s innovative team structure to help research thrive within its organization, creativity abounds.
  • Technology is everywhere. This year’s conference kicked off with the MingleSticks; although the jury’s still out on its success (or failure), it set the tone of the pervasiveness of technology. Simply exchanging business cards is now old school! If you spent any time in the exhibit hall, you had to have noticed the role of tech in MR as well. From Gongos Research’s mobile community to iModerate’s chat tool powered by uSamp’s river sample, technology is market research.

I wanted to thank all the attendees and presenters for the great insights I garnered at the event, not to mention Krista and her team who put together another great conference — congrats! If I missed you at the event, please don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email or catch me at the next one!

And if you’re curious about all the fun we had, you can check out all the pics.