Julie and I were extremely grateful to safely attend Quirk’s Chicago last week. It was a momentous occasion in the insights and analytics industry. For many, it was the first time to not only travel, but meaningfully re-engage with friends and colleagues within our tight-knit industry and focus on advancing our knowledge base—not just trying to stay afloat in an ever-evolving environment.
Below are the lasting impressions Quirk’s Chicago 2021 left us with:
- Tangible Insights: First of all, many thanks to Quirk’s Media for their seamless contactless experience, and convenient way to connect via other attendees via their app (even after I got home). Conference attendees shed the distractions of daily life to better absorb valuable insights to elevate our work through the inspiration of our colleagues. Some of our favorite sessions included:
- Susan Fader’s, from FaderFocus, presentation on conceptual reframing. This is particularly poignant topic for every employer, as we are all taking different perspectives to come up with unique solutions for our clients and our culture. Fader’s emphasized the importance of showing respect for one’s culture, religion, gender, beliefs, etc. This really resonated since CMB has been actively focused on fostering a call in (vs. call out) culture that encourages conversations to understand and learn about one’s unique point-of-view.
- Later in the conference, we learned from Joanna Lepore from Mars Wrigley who did an amazing job of inspiring researchers to use curiosity and innovative thinking to drive foresight. In summary, it is easy to develop tunnel vision in our roles, but it is our responsibility to push back, and help the business grow with confidence.
- At CMB, we’ve been discussing a lot about being able to freely bring our whole selves to work. Pepper Miller’s, from The Hunter-Miller Group, Inc, topic “Black Still Matters in Marketing [Research]” tapped into this conversation and implored the industry to think critical about how we’re engaging and conducting research with Black Americans. Achieving equality is all our responsibility, and we should invite ourselves into the fight. Not only was this session a crowd favorite, and it’s easy to understand why. Miller is an exceptional author, speaker, and advocate for equality.
- Tangible Buzz: Nothing can take the place of person-to-person connection. The energy was contagious, and the excitement was palpable as we shed the 2D zoom screen boxes. Speakers were more passionate about their subject matter, and attendees were more attentive. No multitaskers in sight! While physically interacting with others takes much more energy from our social reserves, the ability to fortify our relationships throughout the industry after so long apart (safely of course) was priceless.
- Tangible Growth: Being at Quirk’s Chicago had a nostalgic quality to it, like a hug from an old friend, but let’s take this moment to celebrate how much we adapted. Conferences overcame so many challenges to create a safe environment for networking and learning, and even more to return to this new normal. I felt physically safe and left with an improved mental state. As you may know, I joined CMB in July 2021. Quirk’s Chicago was a wonderful opportunity to meet with some of my colleagues face-to-face and feel even more connected to my new team.
CMB is really excited for what’s to come, and for more opportunities to learn and connect with our friends, colleagues, and clients across the industry. What’s next for us? You’ll find some of your favorite CMBers at CRC and Quirk’s NYC. Want to meet up to talk insights trends or job opportunities (we’re hiring!), please contact us. This point in time—more than ever before—is such a unique and exciting time to be a part of the insights and analytics industry.