Welcome to our Market Research Facility Spotlight Blog where our partners have the opportunity to showcase their facility, their experiences and opinions. This week we’re featuring our friends from i-View.
- Tell us about your facility
When we were looking for a new facility, our requirements were: Central London location, close to multiple tube stations, with all our studio rooms to be on one large fully accessible floor bathed in natural light, a few minutes’ walk away from world-class entertainment, culture, & hotels, and easily accessible for people with mobility issues.
Wellington House on the Strand is part of the Duchy of Lancaster Estate (owned by HRH Queen Elizabeth II), and we found that it ticked the boxes for all our wishes, and those of our clients too. We are located on the Strand, in the heart of London, only a few steps from Covent Garden, and directly opposite the western façade of Somerset House at the northern end of Waterloo Bridge. i-view London is easily accessible via six major London tube stations and two mainline railway stations, all within a 10-minute walk.
- Tell us what makes you unique.
Our clients and participants deserve the best viewing facility, the best technology, the best service, the best welcome by the best people and having the best cuppa. We’ve invested heavily to create a showcase viewing facility to accommodate all of our client’s and participant’s needs. This includes the latest in research technology: high speed fibre optic broadband with HD video recording, Focus Vision and FV360 live streaming available in all our rooms, translation equipment with two channel recordings where needed, built-in headphone points, custom-made control and editing showing all camera views from all rooms with click and record ability to send recordings securely over the internet instantly.
i-view London is ideal for conducting all types of qualitative studies, including eye-tracking, dial testing, UX (user experience), and neuromarketing. From in-depth interviews, to theatre-style seating for 100 people, to a purpose-built bar for drinks research, and fully equipped test kitchen, we are able to assist in all aspects of studio needs. We have on-site parking, and our building is fully wheelchair friendly.
i-view London is a responsive, stress-free, and attentive viewing facility because of our committed team, who always go the extra mile and handle challenges calmly, sensitively, and confidentially on a daily basis. We provide our team with ongoing training and development with mentorship, while we place a strong emphasis on client support and feedback.
- What is a typical day for you?
The alarm sounds at 5:45am. We open at 7:00am to welcome an early project, greeting 12 clients and making sure that they all have their caffeine fix, whilst multi-tasking setting up all five studios for the day ahead, actioning print requests (over 1,400 pages of eight different documents needed by 7:30am for a single project).
By 8:15am a further two sets of clients have arrived and settled in their respective studios, and by 9:30am sessions are underway in three of our five studios, with over 60 people already on site, and clients viewing from the darkened rooms which they can call their home for the day.
On a typical day we can have anywhere from 5-9 projects taking place, some during the daytime with others taking the studio over for the evening; our team are well versed in ensuring that clients feel they are treated as a priority, with red carpet treatment all round.
By 4:00pm there is a shift rotation, with the evening team fully briefed and the morning team on their way to take a much needed lay down; the evening’s groups kick off with a further 80 people through the doors until we close at 11:00pm. During this period, recordings, NDA’s, and incentive payments have all been taking place. The end of night report is prepared and sent to the team, ready for the next round in the morning for us to do it all over again.
- What’s the funniest/strangest moment you’ve had at your facility?
One of our well known full service clients arrived early one evening, in preparation for their focus groups. The only problem was that we had no record of their imminent project and groups on our booking schedule, nor any correspondence relating to their project! After some checking by the client on their emails & schedules with their field company, it turned out that our client had completely forgotten to request their booking with us!
The client was under the impression that their fieldwork agency had already booked our viewing facility on their behalf, but the fieldwork agency similarly thought that the client had booked it themselves. To make matters even more challenging, we were fully booked across all five of our studios.
So we calmed the client down, got them a coffee and a comfy seat, and told them not to worry; we then set to work…
While the client sat waiting anxiously in our comfortable reception area, the rest of his team began to arrive, as well as the participants. We were able to keep a lid on things, ensuring that none of the new arrivals became aware that there was actually no booked room available.
The i-view team had urgently begun contacting numerous venues to find a suitable studio or hotel room, with immediate availability in Central London, so that we could taxi everyone there. Also, senior team members were discussing with our other in-house clients, who had just finished their groups but still had another hour and half remaining for their debrief, about possibly moving this to a non-viewed room. Although slightly reluctant at first, after a little persuasion and encouragement, they were very understanding and were willing to help in light of the circumstances.
The i-view team were all like ducks, holding a big calm smile above the water, while their legs were paddling away and working hard out of sight under the water.
Our client was extremely grateful that the team’s efforts had averted a disaster for them, and it turned out the participants for their focus groups were the best they had encountered for a very long time.
We were very pleased and happy to help, saving the client from some embarrassment and indeed saving the project.
Not all heroes wear capes!
- In today’s world, it’s becoming more and more challenging to meet client expectations. What are some of the ways you have found to measure the success of the research projects?
Our team ensures that we understand our client’s project requirements and seek to clarify any potential issues in advance. We remain highly flexible to adapt to any last-minute client changes on the day while at the facility. As a viewing facility we understand the importance of having all participants arriving on time and we follow this up on behalf of our fieldwork agencies. When it comes to food, we offer bespoke catering for all diets and tastes.
While working closely with our clients while at the facility and agencies who make the bookings, we are able to fully support them with their projects. Receiving feedback is important to us, and will often put big smiles on our faces. Being a client’s first point of contact when it comes to choosing a viewing facility is a measure for us that clients enjoy our services, facility and food.
- Why do you think in-person research is a critical part of every brand owners toolkit?
Physically sitting next to a person or group of people, especially children, exploring, discussing and testing hypotheses, taking different turns on the dialogue, offers up a whole host of considerations. These can all be evaluated with not just the verbal signals being received but also non-verbal signals, from a frown or look of amazement to the crossing of the arms coupled with a host of other collective and singular gesticulations.
All of this taking place while the stakeholders are sitting in the backroom or viewing remotely via FocusVision, sharing notes and suggestions with each other which can be immediately passed on into the in-person research for evaluation, right there and then.
You simply can’t beat in-person research, especially when it’s taking place at the winner of UK Market Research Society Operations Award for Best Viewing Facility, for two years running; 2018 & 2019!