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


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