Conducting Focus Groups in NYC? Think About Upstate New York Instead

Many focus groups are conducted in New York City (NYC) on a daily basis. When you search for focus group facilities in NYC, you're likely to come across a lot of locations inside and outside of the city. But, have you stopped to ask yourself: "Why are we only considering NYC? Have we thought about conducting these groups elsewhere in New York State?"

Several cities in Upstate New York offer options for you for focus groups. These include traditional focus group facilities or pop-up locations in conference rooms, hotel event centers, libraries, etc. Cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany host qualitative market research projects all of the time.

Why? Here are 4 reasons companies and organizations across the U.S. choose locations like Syracuse NY for focus group research. They are centered around: (1) facility cost savings, (2) representative sample, (3) ease of accessibility, and (4) participant cost savings.

Thinking about hosting focus groups in New York City? Consider Upstate New York instead.


Benefit 1: Facility Cost Savings

If you have conducted focus groups or you are just simply visiting New York City, one thing is certain. It is going to cost you. As one of the most visited cities in the world, prices are often hiked for anything and everything: hotels, food, etc. Focus group facilities are no different. When comparing the focus group fees for a facility in NYC versus many other cities in the United States, there is likely going to be a significant cost difference. Keep this in mind when booking your next focus group. Is the additional cost worth it for you or your client?

Benefit 2: Representative Sample

Although NYC has access to many diverse types of populations, the area is heavily weighted to the urban lifestyle. If you are seeking general homeowners or a suburban population, this is likely to be very difficult in New York City. Your best bet is trying to find this population by virtue of them working in the city. Therefore you can attempt to recruit them for a focus group after work hours before they travel back 1 or 2 hours to home (depending on traffic and the commute).

Conducting groups in an Upstate NY city like Syracuse gives you access to urban, suburban, and rural populations. All are within about a 30 minute driving distance from the city of Syracuse. On top of accessibility, did you know the demographics of Syracuse NY mirror the demographics of America based on average age, ethnicities, household incomes, etc.? All of which makes Upstate NY and Syracuse excellent regions for qualitative market research.

Benefit 3: Easy to Get Around

With all of the great things that come with hosting focus groups in New York City, some other words or phrases likely come to mind as well. One of which is traffic. How can traffic impact your qualitative research? From a client perspective, this could mean longer delays in getting to the facility to prep if you have rented a car or client viewers showing up late after the focus groups begin. This can be mitigated somewhat with mass transportation.

Even worse, this traffic could impact participants in a number of ways with way-finding. You do not want your participants wondering how to get to a focus group. For those who drive or commute to the city, this could mean delays in getting to the groups or flat out cancellations which no qualitative research firm wants.


Benefit 4: Participant Cost Savings

With big city populations, come big city salaries, and big city honorariums for participants. In New York City, we typically do not recommend rewarding participants with at least $125 to $150 or more for a general B2C recruit. Compared to Upstate New York cities, many Upstate NY cities often pay $75 for a basic focus group recruit. This difference can make a huge impact on budget. A difference of $50 in rewards across 48 participants totals to $2,400 in cost savings for you or your client.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a focus group company located in Upstate New York. We work with clients all across the country with their recruitment, moderating, and qualitative market research reporting needs.

Questions about an upcoming focus group project? Considering switching from your plan of focus groups in NYC? Contact us below.

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