Booking a facility to host a market research focus group is not rocket science. However, there are many factors you should consider before choosing the perfect location. Facility design, when it comes to architectural configuration of spaces, (rooms) along with the requisite fittings assigned to space and technology that permits communication and monitoring among spaces as well as between the facility and an external site (for example, via Internet streaming), should be evaluated before making a decision. The more requirements you specify, the more complicated and more expensive it will be to find a suitable venue. Additionally, the number of participants will heavily influence your choice of facilities as some can only fit up to 5 or 6 people at a time.
So, without further ado, let’s investigate 3 things you should consider before choosing a facility for your focus group discussion.
Most important criteria when deciding would be the venue location. You should take into consideration where your target audience is based and how accessible the venue is to them via private or public transportation. Consider how much time they require to arrive, as this will influence their determination to attend. Venues that are outside of the city centre, may increase your drop-out rate as respondents may have trouble getting to you, within an adequate time. Ensure that the venue has a good connection when it comes to public transport and ideally enough number of public transportations stops near the facility, as well as parking spaces. If parking is available, doublecheck the cost, make sure you notify respondents beforehand and perhaps even offer reimbursement for the parking fee.
The venue should be easy to find; this way the respondents will be able to find it with no issue and you will cut down the risks of people running late or not showing up because they were unable to locate the facility.
Additionally, you should think about the client’s needs as well. If they are flying in from a different city or country, consider the timing of their flight back. When flight time is close to the study end, the airport should be close by or easily accessible. Most likely, clients will be in town for a couple of days and in no rush to get back home on the same day of CL. For this reason, venue should have suitable choices of hotels and restaurants within proximity.
Which technical equipment will be required on sight, depends on your client’s needs and project outline. Before you start searching for the ideal facility, check if your client would like to be physically present at the venue. Interaction with moderator from the observation room can be done via text messages or via personal communication devices (PDA’s, smart phones), and therefore requires no equipment expense. However, video and sound would need to be delivered to the observation room simultaneously, on one or more monitors. Video cameras in the interview room must provide line-of-site visuals for when the subject group is looking at/using a product (such as in a product user test), looking at the facilitator, and looking at wall display monitor.
For this reason, you might need a large-scale monitor or computer on sight – make sure the venue of your choice has these available, as well as smartboards if required.
There is also an option of live streaming for clients who will not be attending the research, but still would like to have a “live view”, (note: not every facility is equipped with tools necessary for quality video and audio streaming.)
Amenities include a variety of additional services that are available on the premises. Determine if the bathroom and kitchen area are available to all guests. There should be clear signage for bathroom locations. Stairs could be avoided with lift access, and the reception area should be close to or adjacent to interview room. Good quality seating is at times very important, especially in observation room. Food and refreshments for commercial observers should be available as per client request.
These amenities can also include transcription services, notetaking, simultaneous translation service or printing of materials you will be using during the discussions. Almost anything that comes to your mind that is not related to equipment and personnel falls under “amenities”.
Before you select the perfect facility for your focus group, make sure you have carefully researched all your options. Consult with your co-workers and partners, they might be able to recommend suitable choices. However, if you are still having doubts about which facility to choose, reach out to our Quotes team – they will ensure to provide you with great venue options at a competitive price.