nate and danny at trade shows

On the Road Again: Recapping a Busy Spring of Conferences and Trade Shows

Over the last couple of months, several of our team members have crisscrossed the country and flown overseas to attend important industry conferences and events. After more than two years of virtual events, webinars, and Zoom sessions, it’s been great to once again meet with people face-to-face to discuss the issues and trends shaping our industry.  

Virtual Incentives was the Title Sponsor for SampleCon 2022 LIVE, a conference dedicated to exploring ways to improve market research sampling held in Pasadena two weeks ago. 

Virtual Incentives sponsor SampleCon 2022

Danny Farkas, VI’s Director of Business Development, at Samplecon 2022 LIVE

One of the most interesting sessions, “Straight From the Source: Live Respondent Conversation,” allowed attendees to hear directly from survey-takers about their experiences — what they find rewarding and frustrating. The biggest takeaway was that they want to feel like brands value their time and thoughtfulness fairly.

That’s a big red flag for our industry. There are many moving parts to a market research study — recruiting and qualifying the target respondents, fielding the survey, collecting and analyzing the data, etc. The session reinforced that providing respondents with a memorable and enjoyable experience is crucial to a campaign’s success and a brand’s ability to tap them again in the future. 

Danny & Nate of Virtual Incentives at SampleCon 2022

Danny and Nate Shelley-Reade, VI’s SVP Growth and Global Partnerships, at Samplecon 2022 LIVE. Conference organizaers provided “silent disco-style” headsets to allow attendees to tune into individual sessions of their choice. 


Langham Pasadena Hotel SampleCon 2022

No better way to end the day at Samplecon than relaxing outside the landmark Langham Pasadena Hotel


Last month we were in Austin for one of GreenBook’s flagship events — the IIEX North America Conference. It was an opportunity to meet with insights professionals from established multinationals and startups that are deploying technology to disrupt the consumer and market research industry. Greenbook even held a pitch session that gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their innovations and business plans to a panel of senior executives and compete for a $10,000 prize. Highlight, developer of a next-gen in-home product testing platform, took home the prize and the title ‘Startup of the Year.’ 

Like SampleCon, another key issue among IIEX attendees was how to improve sample quality by thwarting fraudsters. That’s not surprising in the wake of the eye-opening 2021 CASE (Coalition for Advancing Sampling Research) study on the effectiveness of current technologies to detect and remove fraud in online research. 

One panel discussion brought together executives from several Fortune 100 insights companies including P&G’s Michael Lancor, VP of Analytics and Insights, and Tia Maurer, Group Scientist; and Charles Guilbeau, VP of Consumer and Shopper Understanding at Ferrero. They all made clear their desire for their partners to bring more innovation to preventing fraud and provide hard evidence that those tools are effective. 

This is an issue that is top-of-mind for our partners. They’ve made preventing fraud in their samples a priority when they invest in new technology and hiring new employees.  Virtual Incentives can certainly help with fraud mitigation strategies in the incentives process.  

We also attended The Quirk’s Events in Chicago and London. Both featured dozens of breakout sessions on how to leverage market research projects to inform product launches and marketing campaigns. For example, Dig Insights presented a case study on how they used their Upsiide innovation insights platform, which presents survey respondents with an interface that resembles a social media platform and mimics the competitive shopper experiences, to help Kraft Heinz optimize a product pre-launch. 

Curion, a leader in sensory evaluation and consumer product research, and Mars Wrigley, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate, chewing gum, mints, and other candies, presented their joint case study on the use of benchmarking tools to glean consumer preferences for Mars Wrigley’s chocolate category. Curion explained how its unique approach to category benchmarking allows insights professionals to assess prototype and product performance against millions of product performance metrics instead of just one study. 

June is another busy travel month for us. We plan to attend:

  • Money20/20 Europe: June 7-9 in Amsterdam
  • NAA Apartmentalize: June 22-24 in San Diego

If you plan to attend one or more of these conferences, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about the challenges your business faces and show you how the Virtual Incentives platform can make delivering payouts, incentives, or rewards to your customers or employees quick and easy in ways they will find engaging and memorable. 

You can use this link to schedule a meeting for a specific day and time that works best for you, or contact us anytime with questions about how we can help.