HRW were out in force this year at the PMRG conference in Washington D.C. on 2nd and 3rd May, with Caroline Jameson (Global MD), Kirsty Page (Research Manager) and Ben Davies (Senior Research Executive) all in attendance. We had a great time at what we believed was a really engaging conference, with all of the associated hustle and bustle that can only be expected at such a well-attended event.

PMRG’s keynote speakers brought some really interesting ideas to the market research table, throwing around thoughts and suggestions and really challenging our own way of thinking. One of those speakers, Drew Boyd, challenged us to think about problems from a completely new perspective, whilst Sharon Callahan, whose talk about the ‘Art and Science of disruptive thinking’, dared us to think about how we could become social listeners. Until then, we had perhaps never fully appreciated the enormous ‘real world’ value of Twitter to our own customers and the impact Twitter can have both across social media which can then flood, rather than trickle, into having a significant impact in the real world. Both Drew and Sharon really encouraged us all to think ‘within the box’ (an incongruous thought to most of us I am sure); a concept designed to empower all of us to feel that we can be creative and remove the pressure of coming up with that ‘next big thing’.

Whilst the keynote speakers were the highlight of our mornings, many of the breakout sessions in the afternoons were also highly valued. A range of topics were discussed in an engaging way, most of which we felt we could take away as key learnings that would inform certain aspects of our research strategy, including thinking more strategically about market subtleties and the importance of tailoring every aspect of the research cycle to their needs.

Finally, we also presented our own paper at PMRG, ‘No More Silos: Effectively Mapping a Therapeutic Ecosystem’. Presented by our own Kirsty Page with Joaquin Garcia-Lopez from Janssen, and the audience seemed to be extremely interested as well! We were delighted with the attendance and we generated a significant amount of interest and follow-up discussion; so much so in fact that our session over-ran. We ended the day with a very pleased client; a brilliant outcome in itself.

Overall, we had a fantastic couple of days at PMRG 2016. We met up with clients (both familiar faces and hopefully potentially newer ones) as well as took the opportunity to engage more with our own suppliers in order to investigate how we could more successfully utilise their service offerings to the fullest extent. We can confidently say that both client, and agency side, took away valuable insights from the conference and we hope to be back next year!

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