Editor’s Note: Adriana Rocha is a true IIeX pioneer, as she discusses in her post and brings a valuable perspective to the development of the conference series. Last week in Austin was great, and we’ve seen a number of summaries come through. In addition to Adriana’s comments, interested readers can check out the links to other summaries that we’ve provided below, (including one from our competition and title sponsor, Dynata).
Since its first edition in 2013, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with around 250 participants, to its latest edition last week in Austin, Texas, with more than 1,200 participants, IIeX has evolved tremendously, not just in terms of number of participants, but as a platform that connects the industry through innovation in market research and data analytics.
As someone who helped Greenbook to organize IIeX in 2013 (you can still see some photos here). I felt so proud last week in Austin, seeing how IIeX has helped the industry itself to evolve and embrace innovation, bringing together countless researchers and connecting them with new players, especially technology-oriented companies and start-ups, a number never seen before in our industry.
I also remember 2013 as the year Greenbook launched the IIeX Competition initiative, which has also helped the rise of the amazing market research tech start-ups such as Zappi, MindProber, Riwi, Decooda, and many others. Zappi, for example, is an inspiring one that evolved from the winner of 2013 IIeX competition in Sao Paulo to a platinum sponsor this year in Austin, showcasing sustainable growth and successful case studies with clients.
Beyond the tech startups, of course, great content and inspiring presentations are also in abundance and not to be missed at IIeX. The challenge though is to select which presentations or workshops to attend, considering most of the time there were 5 simultaneous tracks, and selecting just one is almost a “Mission Impossible”. Don’t be surprised if at IIeX you bump into a bunch of people running from one room to another, in the brief break between presentations, trying to catch as much content as possible.
This year, one of my favorites was: “The Rise of Microbrands, from Richard Jalichandra, Founder & CEO, 101 Commerce”, highlighting how market places such as Amazon facilitate the emergence of small entrepreneurs and the big opportunities out there as such platforms grow fast at a global level (something that is related to what we have seen with the rise of market places in our industry). I could name many other favorites, but my next favorite was “Empowering Every Person: Accessibility Considerations in Survey Design” from Microsoft… so inspiring seeing a huge Tech company bringing accessibility and inclusion into our industry.
Another aspect that caught my attention this year was the reduction of panel companies/sample providers exhibiting at the conference, which is kind of expectable, considering the consolidation of big online panel companies (ex: Research Now + SSI into Dynata), the increasing adoption of DIY surveys (ex: Survey Monkey and AYTM), as well as the growth of sample exchange platforms (ex: Lucid, Pure Spectrum and CINT). I just wonder that data collection, as part of the core of market research, will be a topic to be left aside. It will be interesting to see what the future of market research will look like for the online sample segment, with GDPR, growth of Automation and AI, and as the industry requires more quality and transparency from sample providers.
Last but not least, Austin is the “Live Music Capitol of the World”, and the fun component could not be missing at IIeX as well: we had plenty of networking opportunities and parties for all tastes, from karaoke’s, to live music bars and rooftop cocktail parties. So, will you are still wondering if IIeX is becoming the SXSW of Market Research, I have no doubt.
I look forward to seeing you again next year in Austin!
Want to read more? Here are some great pieces, written about this years IIeX North America.