The MRS Annual Conference, Insight Alchemy 2023, returned as a one-day face to face event in March 2023. Votes for the audience’s favourite session were collected via the post-event survey and the top three contributions can now be revealed.

The winner of the MRS Annual Conference 2023: Audience Award, sponsored by the New Fieldwork Company, will be revealed at the MRS Excellence Awards on 9 June.

The finalists are:

1. Stories with certainty: How can we position qualitative research as always essential, even when budgets are under strain?

Chair: Rhea Fox
Ed Nash, Qualitative Research Controller, Sky
Bridget Dalton, Director – Offer Development,
Chris Molloy, Co-Founder & Chief Client Officer, Brand Potential

Rhea Fox convened a panel to explore the best defences against cheap or passive methodologies when you know qual will deliver sustainable success. The session gave delegates key takeaways encouraging bolder pitches for qual to budget-conscious clients.

2. Being indispensable to the top table: How can insight help leaders navigate turbulent waters?

Chair: Viki Cooke, Co-founder & Chair, Thinks Insight & Strategy
Fraser Hardie
, Senior Advisor, Teneo
Catherine Hunt, Head of Analysis in Information Threats & Influence Directorate, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
James Sallows, CBIA Head of Transformation & Capability, Haleon

Acknowledging the tough times facing top decision-makers, Chair Viki Cooke from Thinks Research & Insight, and her expert panel discussed how insight stays relevant when helping answer the top table's most pressing problems. And argued that it was a two-way street where researchers must play a vital role in focusing their agendas.

3. The Alchemist’s Dilemma: How do we promote magic without undermining science?

Chair: Colin Strong, Head of Behavioural Science, Ipsos
Andrew Jerina, Head of Research, Flume
Paul Hudson, Founder & CEO, FlexMR
Rose Tomlins, Brand Director
Zoe Rufflels, Global Head, VP Insights Mars Pet Care

Seduced by data analytics, do the users of insight really understand the alchemist's art? Delphi Group chair Colin Strong assembled a panel to equip delegates with clear arguments for the value of the profession; and share the importance of using blended methodologies for genuine insight.

The winner will be revealed at the MRS Excellence Awards on 9 June.

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