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Storytelling is a powerful tool for research professionals and honing skills in this area is essential for insight teams. Join storytelling experts to hear how structuring research and delivering insight within a storytelling framework will boost impact, understanding and buy-in to key research messages.


Gain inspiration from user case studies shared by The FA, Premier Foods, Royal Albert Hall, Crisis, Norfolk County Council. Learn tips and skills on presenting findings from the creative industry and storytelling mentors. Hear a range of expert opinions from research professionals.


  • Harness the value of turning insight and data into meaningful and persuasive narratives
  • Develop a researchers’ toolkit for bringing insight to life for key stakeholders
  • Look beyond market research to build your storytelling expertise
  • Balance the rational and the emotional in data storytelling
  • Guide your clients to tell the right stories in the right way


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10.15 Welcome from the Chair

This welcome will outline why storytelling is so important to the work we do as researchers and our ambition for the day.

Caroline Florence, Founder & Director, Insight narrator


10.20 SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Stepping stones to building a great research story

Whilst the final stories shared in the sessions today will be well-structured, imaginative, and beautifully executed, the process of developing these stories behind the scenes will have been challenging, messy, time consuming and dependent on factors not always in our control as researchers.  To help researchers tackle evidence-based storytelling in an way that is effective, efficient and fun, Caroline will share a framework for a story way of working to ensure you can take the best practice shared over the day and apply to your own projects.

Caroline Florence, Founder & Director, Insight narrator


10.35 Q&A


10.40 CASE STUDY: Output is only as good as your input

This session will demonstrate the value in good thinking up front. 2CV believe that research outputs are only as good as your inputs and creating a tight questionnaire is always the first place to start. Using this approach, they developed an insightful story for the World Federation of Advertisers who wished to explore the big question of what the future marketer might look like.


Hear how the key to answering this broad question was ensuring the questionnaire was built around an information hierarchy: the marketer, their team and their wider impact on society so there was already a structure to the findings. Explore the range of methods used to tell this story to stakeholders.

Michael Murphy, Associate Director, 2CV

Ioana Danila, Global Insights Manager, World Federation of Advertisers


10.55 Q&A


11.00 PANEL: Balancing the rational and the emotional in data storytelling

The cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman has shown that we make our decisions emotionally and he calls this System 1 thinking. We only use facts, data, and statistics to justify the decisions that we make; this is System 2 thinking. System 2 is subordinate to System 1. What does this widely-accepted paradigm of decision-making mean for effective data-driven storytelling?

The research and analytics community produces more and more data, but how often is truly relevant data used to build genuine, breakthrough insights? How can we find and use only relevant data that persuades others to take action? What’s the secret to using data and statistics as the foundation of truly persuasive storytelling without overwhelming the audience with information overload? Empathy, imagination, and knowing your audience are all good places to start, but the panel – from the fields of Big Data analytics, digital marketing, and healthcare communications – will reveal more, from their rich and varied perspectives.


Dr Sam Knowles – data storyteller, Founder & MD of consultancy Insight Agents, and author of Narrative by Numbers (2018) and How To Be Insightful (2020)



Annalise Coady, President EMEA, W2O Group
Christian Polman, Director of Strategy, Ebiquity
Andy Porteous, Chief Strategy Officer, Mavens of London (and former VP @ Unilever)


11.20 Q&A


11.30 Break


11.45 CASE STUDY: People & stories

‘People & Stories’ is a year-long exploration of the everyday lives of 25 households from across the UK, following households through 4 waves of exploration, including December Dynamics, Healthy Eating Secrets and Coming back from COVID.

Hear how these stories are brought to life at Lunch and Learn sessions with Marketing, Sales, Category, Brand and Innovation teams, ending with activation sessions, comprising of ideation platforms and remote ideation kits for teams. Examine how Premier Foods creates compelling stories which make their way all the way through to the retailers, to help create space for innovations.

Chloe Hewson, Consultant, C-Space

Catherine Haigh, Insight Controller, Premier Foods


12.00 Q&A


12.05 CASE STUDY: Creative storytelling strategies

The Royal Albert Hall is unpindownable: the world’s busiest venue, a landmark, tourist attraction and an architectural powerhouse. To celebrate its 150th birthday in 2021 the Albert Hall wanted to develop, not just brand messages, but a coherent story that fully encapsulated the essence of the hall. After speaking to a wide variety of stakeholders and exploring different Narratives/Story frames, the team decided that the best way forward was to focus on 3 key values/characteristics.

In this session Tas and Louisa will demonstrate the challenge of telling a complex and diverse story; the importance of form as well as content in brand messages; and the importance of balance between information and narrative.

Anthony Tasgal, Trainer, Author, Strategist: POV

Louise Halliday, Director of External Affairs, the Royal Albert Hall


12.20 Q&A


12.25 Reshaping The FAs narrative around football to stakeholders

Over the past few years, the number of young people playing football has declined. In response, The FA has undertaken an extensive multi-stage piece of research to understand the drivers and potential barriers to participation amongst our youth audiences with the aim of identifying how to retain participation during secondary school years (and beyond).


Through the research it became clear that it is The FA’s narrative of football and how we speak (tell the story) to young people that doesn’t align with what’s important to them and the values they hold. This finding has led The FA to reassess the external narrative it delivers to young people as well as the internal narrative for key stakeholders to reshape how they think about youth participation.


Hear how the grassroots team, in conjunction with the communications team, are currently reviewing what this should look like ahead of the start of the 20/21 season.

Ross Antrobus, Head of Behavioural Insight & Business Analytics, The FA
Harriet Jowett, Behavioural Insights Lead, The FA
Josephine Hansom, Managing Director, YouthSight


12.40 Q&A


12.45 Lunch


13.15 PROVOCATIVE KEYNOTE: Have market researchers lost the plot with their obsession with ‘storytelling’

So, it was all going so well with storytelling - arguably it worked when it came to reducing the complexities of Brexit down to three words you could put on the side of a bus. But, with the arrival of the Coronavirus, it seems that people are now up for bar charts and graphs! So, are statistics and experts back in fashion again? Have market researchers been too hasty in their rush to ‘tell a story’. Is clear deep thinking and the evidence now back in vogue? Or maybe there is a solution – somewhere between being a cool storyteller and a nerdy market researcher.

David Smith, Founder, DVL Smith


13.30 Q&A


13.35 PANEL - Embracing your inner creative: how researchers can survive and thrive in the age of TikTok and Netflix

‘Creativity’ is often misunderstood. It’s seen as a trait that only ‘artistic’ people possess – not something we can improve over time. But creativity has become of vital importance to our industry, and our roles as researchers. Yet we’re notoriously bad at developing these skills. In the age of TikTok and Netflix, legacy methods of delivering insights just don’t cut it. We need to fundamentally rethink how we create compelling stories grounded in insight – and what this means for the research we conduct. 

 The session is designed to demystify the frameworks and tools used to tell effective stories in the creative industry and provide practical takeaways you can apply in your role as a researcher.

  • How to develop compelling narratives and personal stories as part of the research process
  • Ways of approaching research and design to support creative delivery of insight
  • Practical next steps companies can take to upskill and future-proof their insight teams

Darren Lewis,  UK Country Manager, Kadence International

Bianca Abulafia, Global Head of Qualitative Research, Kadence International

Jake Mavity, Director, Friend

Haleh Agar, Novelist and Writer 


13.55 Q&A


14.05 SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Levelling up - from capturing insights to telling a story
We often hear about the importance of telling impactful, hard hitting stories in order to engage our audiences and effect real change within organizations. But what is it that makes the difference between simply capturing an insight, and telling a story? This session delves into the detail, looking at what (and how) you need to capture to tell an effective story - from contextual, scene-setting shots to user generated content - with practical tips and tricks around producing beautifully crafted, illuminating content.

Tom Eccles, Senior Consultant, CrowdDNA


14.20 Q&A


14.25 Break


14.40 CASE STUDY: Finding a better frame: creating more effective messages on homelessness

To end homelessness for good, a powerful new story must replace old notions of poor personal choices and inevitability. Over the last three years, Crisis has commissioned a large-scale, cutting-edge research project from the Frameworks Institute to help understand how to tell this story. A story that can shift public attitudes, build understanding, and drive political change.

This session will examine key findings from the FrameWorks Institute’s multimethod, multidisciplinary investigation of the mental shortcuts the British public draws upon to reason about homelessness, and of the framing strategies that best help communicators navigate this mental landscape. Hear how Crisis is now starting work with the homelessness sector to embed the framing strategies recommended by the research.

Catherine Ashford, Strategic Communications Project Manager for the Framing Homelessness Project, Crisis

Tamsyn Hyatt, Senior Communications Strategist, The FrameWorks Institute


14.55 Q&A


15.00 CASE STUDY: Telling the story of the shift in organisational climate at Norfolk County Council (NCC) in the midst of Covid-19

This research was originally commissioned by NCC in 2019 who wanted to depart from traditional methods of producing an ‘engagement score’ and move towards more progressive ways of understanding the ingredients of the organisational climate and how this is perceived by employees. The latest exercise was conducted during the epicentre of the Covid-19 crisis following a unprecedented major intervention and generating some extraordinary findings.

This session will outline the methodological framework used and examine the variety of analytical techniques, including key driver and sentiment-weighted narrative analysis used to tell the story behind the data, engaging leaders to drive forward change.

Sarah Shirtcliff, Director for People, Norfolk County Council

Ruth Grant, Strategic Organisation Development Lead, Norfolk County Council


15.15 Q&A


15.20 Happily ever after…

This closing summary will pull together the key insights from the day, highlight areas of true inspiration and offer a call to action to incorporate story ways of working into business as usual research practice.

Caroline Florence, Founder & Director, Insight narrator


15.25 The End



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