Qualitative Research; 5 tips for running group sessions

Monday, October 31, 2016

At McCrindle we run all kinds of qualitative research from in depth interviews, co-creation groups, ethnographic interviews and of course focus groups. Here are some tips for when you are running any kind of group session.

Make sure the questions flow

When writing the questions for the moderator’s guide, order the questions so that they take participants on a logical and sequential journey through the different topics you are exploring. Keep the most important questions at the start of each section in case you run out of time.

Come prepared and organised

Make sure the experience gets off to a good start by being organised and bringing everything you need and everything you think you might need. A focus group checklist helps to make sure that important items are not forgotten.

Start the way you want to finish

It is important to remember that you (as the moderator) set the tone for the group and create the ‘vibe’ you want. Try and make some light hearted comments at the start of the group and ask each person to introduce themselves to make participants feel comfortable.

Mix it up

The standard focus group length of 90 minutes can feel like a long time when it is limited to group discussion. Try using post it notes to get participant’s quick thoughts on topics, use a whiteboard for brainstorming and electronic voting technology to break up the discussion.

Keep calm and just listen

Participants are going to feel more comfortable if the moderator seems relaxed and in control. They can tell and appreciate when you are listening to them and giving them your full attention. Use your body language, hand gestures and encouraging words to show that you value and are interested in their opinions.

To find out more about the qualitative research we conduct, click on our updated research pack below or head to mccrindle.com.au

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


organisational culture staying in cancelling event innovative sports safe organisations communicate Australian communities research pack casual employmee huffington post media keynote speaker the changing face of future of education business cost of living easy rider VET logan census 2016 community event investor high density living volunteering data SRE wealth inequality dare to dream selfie university New Zeland The Daily Edition food insecurity eliane anzac relational cartodb domestic village presentation who is generation z demographic transformations not for profit research future proofing authenticity Gen X millionth TEDx NEETs education sector Australian schools CBD cancelling plans community engagement hello fresh urban living index financial planning pharmacies low density wage housing census data eliane miles communications Black Friday Sales jobs world education speakers pack Canberra conferences bondi sector wide study school satisfaction income social researchers year 12 apartment forum small business property care support baby boomers wealth distribution office opening cars finance seasons greetings Australian Communities Trends slideshare speajer travel census results the great screenage demographer survey local communities TED Australia Day Christmas day weather ACF17 energy data visualisation Channel Seven ideas equip average sydneysider spirituality Real Estate Institute of Victoria SA What is food insecurity? population milestone google for education Education Future Forum balance Black Friday in Australia Real Estate not-for-profit socialites supply and demand micro apartments growth of sydney families poker master panel sydney hills alpha VET sector nativity scene charity mining boom learning CPI sentiments entertainment Wagga Wagga culture snapshot leader twentyseventeen vegemite Myth earnings faux-cilise christianity analysis Research Executive research wages donate Population Clock FOMO goals demography ashley fell change breakfast property development omnibus conference SMART moderators guide Aussie bus digital population students Sydney’s south west buildings future of shopping research report mccrinlde skills sun McCridle public transport Word Up story townhouses generation Z global financial crisis Births Assistant Store Manager social shifts school NBRS Architecture travelling apartments thrive Business analysis friendship investing younger generations family data victoria socialising teach motivate educated community commuting mover and shaker outsourcing pharmacy mentor seasons australian social research "know the times" royal public speaker economic Australians children Royals GPO ACF the hills shire ACF2017 social media world youth day property price Western Australia divorce professional speaker employers in depth interviews sunny days society average aussie The ABC of XYZ TEDx Speaker wellbeing ashley mckenzie focus group 1994 social research the hills rent REIV National Conference teacher collaborative insight Christmas in Australia dream millennials contiki Australian Home program the lucky country optus my business awards Generation Y Channel 7 young people financial dreams 2014 engagement TED talk communication Lower Hunter Region Australian Families sydney event New Zealand social life professional development gender Andrew Duffin census demographic trends wealth presentations research visualisation Performance Sentiment Index workforce baby names report winter urban Wodonga shopper's pick geomapping DESTEL holidays post rationalism social change royal baby data analyst teachers property market ACT Report interactive report office space leadership unaffordable royal family gig economy women social commentator Queensland baby woolworths coffee lovers monarchy TDE Work place facts collaboration tv World Water Day Christmas season English Valentine’s Day religion ageing population lalor park house price rise teaching ultimo greatness renting Gen Y trends of 2017 Gen Z Expert youth unemployment Engineering Manager summer winter blues VIC medicine Jura Australia newspaper ferry business performance trend tuesday darwin Australian community trends home owner litter internship government church consumerism purpose suburb 24 million conference presentation Generation X gold coast showreel meetings screenagers tips poor jobs of the future Melbourne educhat politics Caregiver employment food sector australian community trends report volunteer Merry Christmas Northern Beaches Christian School experience networking tattoos living Australian Population 2012 ipswich non profit visual waverton local Adelaide brisbane Northern Territory January 26th baby name rental stress 2016 census results 1968 state financial fears clothing father's day mobile cost research services Queensland: QLD event work mates intern Macquarie University city optimistic cash millenials McCrindle Keynote Speakers in the media research on coffee JOMO not for profit research data professional presenters global generations plans donation social earn high density typical australian WA social analyst cloudy days australian hornsby tuesday schools students relevant long weekend Kiwi sydney speaker Australia Day 2017 speakers NT emerging generations sydneycity royal influence know the times wealth and income distribution media release Aussies christmas focus groups Deaths the average aussie residents happy holidays year 7 infographics urban taskforce Christmas research mccrindle tea McCrindle Speaker Christmas day infographic home entrepreneur train Christmas lunch entrepreneurial salary annual income new york times hills choice workers Mount Annan-Currant Hill meals household cancel plans business index future-proof suburbs priorities google group session future proof vegetarian market research daily telegraph Australian Trends housing affordability rain baby boom 1975 McCrindle Speakers NSW training baby name predictions Sydney Lifestyle Study 40 million dreaming tertiary education high density apartments 23 million futurist participants customer rising house prices local community professional workplace culture friends NFP event high school Financial Planning Association identity faux-cilising budget sydney market hills shire future of work 2016 census REIV Conference student daily commute house price overcast work-life personalities marriages Christchurch stay home generation alpha Research Director states Lower Hunter media commentary conference speaker group builders cooking mythbusting capital city Charlotte schools retirement renter of the future stats environmental scanning generations investment sydney property market aged care fresh capital cities child care marriage Australian Dream parents deloitte aussie culture DIY leadership workshop ACF 2016 ageing forecast EFF sydney metro results unemployment careers speaker national wealth life award winner Mark McCrindle in the media events social analysis Willowdale SMSF social commentary micro Northern beaches Event ease of travel wealth and income house Wellington Maxim Accounting mccrindle research proactive trades tableau 2016 brands communities education future report coffee Duchess of Cambridge urban development Sydney keynote speaker PSI kate middleton university degree housing trends learner #censusfail February 16 2013 screenage wolloomooloo learning styles financial independence growing population census fail study food bank acf15 parenting Hunter Valley resource cold survey design social researcher crime sustainable criminal define hobart consumer Love australian communities trends report marrickville hunger population map workplace news video click ACT Sydney Hills Business Chamber responsive global retail learn paying to work population growth culturally diverse neutral bay men christmas trees crows nest faux-ciliser fears grave decision Crime Rates cica demographics shbc Retail housing growth resilience weekly earnings transport sydneysiders language australian communities forum emerging technologies Australian demographics qualitative research 1980 Do It Yourself gig changing face of sydney easter Res Vis marketing James Ward thought leadership internet grandparents Geoff Brailey area society trends Financial Planning Week cultural diversity New South Wales Elderslie-Harrington park 10 years engage HSC urban living christmas 2017 System's Architect 2020 Christmas Stats Mark McCrindle divorce rate impact demographic rich Christmas presents Tasmania dreams manly Tuesday Trend names real Netflix debt cultural diveristy toys megatrends car recap weather tea US Territory ABS follow prince george Australia street emerging trends belief offenders celebration trends of 2016 personal growth average Australian online Financial Planning Association of Australia curiosity hopes couple sydneysider award economy aged care puzzle mother's day mccrindle social impact live the dream public holiday keynote entrepreneurs of today new office TAS pyrmont online shopping australia middle class going out publication case study giving trends analyst mateship 24,000,000 etiquette shopping centre forecasting workshop Sydney population generation perth researcher education future growth quote Australian Bureau of Statistics Cobbitty-Leppington career Scouts baby names digital economy nfp Bathburst sunburnt country norwest holiday innovation blaxland teleworking shifts narcissism Social Trend rise of local statistics technology chairty trends work from home rule keeper Northern Beaches global gen alpha public speaking healthy future faith debate Sydney happiness generational trends gen z owning a home insights social trends Hornsby Shire Council NBRS money young australians professional services potts point storytelling Australian Census brand experience media activity mortgage Skilling land of the middle class charities volunteers earning list christian financial future menai the australian dream commute dessert mccrindle in the media Christmas data infographic wall baby names australia report Kirsten Brewer repayments youth commuters bureau mythbusters home ownership Tuesday Trends wedding baby name trends brand Vocational education affordability financial social enquiry increasing densification moreton bay South Australia future shopping national crime rates environment office Jura Coffee IT Specialists water optus national private wealth 2015 affordable employmer social issues social lives housing market house prices australian real estate volunteering princess charlotte Hills Shire Council goal graphs lifestyle australians staying home more work challenge internships spend staff households school students education research Black Friday product suburban living trend 2017 FPA sector wide ethnography visualisation