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


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