Choosing the right focus group facility is no easy task. It takes a lot of research and information gathering to make sure your organization has made the right choice. Considering how important your qualitative and focus group project is, you want to make sure you make a smart and educated choice of your focus group facility.
Although there are many factors which influence the choice of a focus group facility, I will cover 3 of the most basic and core criteria to consider.
All 3 of these factors are essential must-haves when deciding on a qualitative research location. For a variety of reasons, choosing a focus group facility which hits on all 3 of these factors will ensure you and your team that you have made the right choice.
Actually hosting and holding the focus groups is the culmination of weeks, if not months of work. On the day of the groups, you want everything to run smoothly and choosing the right facility goes a long way.
Choosing a focus group facility? Here are 3 core factors to consider in your decision.
Without further ado, here are 3 must-have factors when making your final decision on a focus group facility for your market research.
Factor 1: Choose a Focus Group Facility with the Technology You Need
Choosing a focus group facility goes far beyond just renting a room with a table and chairs. In some cases, hosting a group at an off-site location offers cost advantages but you must consider the trade-offs. A hotel conference room or event center room rental will not offer the staff, expertise, technology, or amenities a focus group facility can offer.
It starts with technology.
A focus group facility should offer top-of-line technology and equipment to meet your audio and video recording needs. Here are some examples of the some of the best technological features and amenities a focus group facility should be offering.
- Free high-speed internet with lightning fast upload and download speeds.
- HD camera for streaming and digital recording capabilities.
- Ability to stream the focus groups off-site with a link and an option to chat with viewers.
- Concealed and flush mounted ceiling mic which is low profile to avoid attention.
- Multiple beam array microphone to pick up high-quality audio anywhere in the room.
- High-performance speakers to relay back audio to the client viewing room.
- Ability to wireless connect moderator laptop to visuals in room to share with groups easily.
- Large HDTV in the focus group room to share visuals, pictures, commercials, etc.
Factor 2: Choose a Focus Group Facility with Easy Access
Easy access means a lot of things, but what I am talking about is easy access for both the participants recruited for the groups, moderator, and the clients.
How is easy access defined?
First off is location. Chose a focus group facility with nearby access to major highways and roads. Our focus group facility in Syracuse is located at the intersection of Route 81 and the New York State Thruway making it easy to get to from anywhere in the greater Syracuse area.
In addition to easy access driving, the location also relates to access to the airport. Ensure the focus group facility is within a reasonable distance to the airport in the city which offers enough flights for any clients flying into town.
Traveling 20 to 30 minutes or more to a focus group facility can be a lot for a client team. After a long day of traveling, the last thing you want to do is jump in a rental car or taxi and drive another 30 minutes out of town to a focus group facility.
Our facility location is located 7 minutes from Hancock International Airport in Syracuse next to several of the hotels the airport contracts with to offer shuttles. Coming to and from our focus group facility is quick and convenient. You can get off your flight and be at the focus group facility or hotel room in no time.
Parking is one of those things you do not think about when choosing a facility. But it impacts the success of your project in more ways than one.
Second is parking. A lot of the larger city focus group facilities either: (1) offer no on-site parking and leave the choice to the client and participants or (2) have a limited amount of on-site parking and charge an astronomical fee.
This bothers us for a few reasons. One is because parking is just one more barrier which could prevent a participant from showing up for the focus group. If they do not know where to park or how much to pay, there stands a chance they will simply make a last minute decision not to show. That does not sit right with us.
Another reason is because parking fees can add a considerable amount to the cost of your project. When you add $10 or $20 per participant to pay for parking and you are hosting 6 or 8 groups of 10 people each, this can easily add $1,200 to your budget plus client parking fees.
Did you prepare for this in your budget? Probably not.
Choose a location which offers ample parking on-site and try to find a location where parking is free. A major advantage of our focus group facility in Syracuse, is it has over 50 parking spaces located right outside our office on the first floor of the office building.
No elevators, no confusing directions, no parking garage tickets, etc. Just easy to access spaces right outside the facility.
Factor 3: Choose a Focus Group Facility in the Right Market
Lastly, make sure you choose the right market. In many cases, national brands are looking to find a test market which is representative of your intended target audience.
Hosting a group in New York City or Los Angeles is likely not going to be representative of your target population. For example, in larger cities you are more likely to recruit renters, with higher incomes, and higher proportions of minorities.
Is this reflective of the audience you want to talk to for your national product launch?
However, when you look at cities, consider test markets like Syracuse NY or Columbus OH. The demographics of these test market cities mirror America. Meaning, hosting a focus group in Syracuse NY is a microcosm of the feedback you will receive from a national audience.
In these types of middle-America markets it is easy to recruit a focus group which matches the demographics of the country as a whole. This ensures core demographics like age, income, ethnicity, and other criteria can be matched to your quotas with ease.
Contact Our Focus Group Facility in Syracuse
Interested in learning more about the Drive Research focus group facility? Contact our team below for more information.
We can assist with specific pieces of your qualitative research (recruit and rental) or assist your team with the entire project management (including moderation and reporting).
We can help!