Several attendees gathered in the AC Malaga Palacio hotel lobby the evening before the conference. The relaxing atmosphere allowed fellow AIMRI members to reconnect and share travel stories. To the authors of this report, these conversations helped us to better understand cultural differences and underscored the value of the relationships among AIMRI members.

Gerry Stacey opened the conference with a review of the day's agenda. With no waste of time, Sam Perkins of SIS International Research was introduced as our first speaker. Sam challenged the group to think about how collecting and analyzing competitive and business intelligence might impact our market research businesses. He suggested that demand for business intelligence is increasing and market research firms may be well positioned to provide this service. After all, we are in the business of providing information and business intelligence may be a natural extension of what we are already doing.

Our next presenter, Herbert Höckel, discussed web2.0 and blogs as a new way to collect and analyze opinions. From his perspective, it's a way for his business (and perhaps other similar businesses) to engage respondents. Rather than turning away panel members when a survey is closed, his approach is to invite these individuals to participate in a topic blog. He demonstrated mo'web's blog analysis tool (BLOGiQ), which reveals hidden opinions about brands, products and topics.

Our next presenter, Herbert Höckel, discussed web2.0 and blogs as a new way to collect and analyze opinions. From his perspective, it's a way for his business (and perhaps other similar businesses) to engage respondents. Rather than turning away panel members when a survey is closed, his approach is to invite these individuals to participate in a topic blog. He demonstrated mo'web's blog analysis tool (BLOGiQ), which reveals hidden opinions about brands, products and topics.

Our next presenter, Herbert Höckel, discussed web2.0 and blogs as a new way to collect and analyze opinions. From his perspective, it's a way for his business (and perhaps other similar businesses) to engage respondents. Rather than turning away panel members when a survey is closed, his approach is to invite these individuals to participate in a topic blog. He demonstrated mo'web's blog analysis tool (BLOGiQ), which reveals hidden opinions about brands, products and topics.

Post coffee break, Adam Gac from Healthcare Landscape introduced ResBlogs. Using respondent-generated content is an exciting way to extend the power of MR and ResBlog is aimed at just that'”getting into patients' heads and capitalizing on their inherent passion about a topic. He described the many benefits to the client this blogging approach has, and detailed items we as researchers need to keep in mind.

Pete Cape of Survey Sampling International, also the boss of Veritas Restaurant (see what you learn by attending an AIMRI meeting?), posed this question, 'Does social media research need to be done online?' The answer: maybe yes, maybe no, but not if you don't want to. If you want to, be sure to ask the right people the right questions and make sure you understand their answers. This may not be considered 'perfect' research and may require you to acce 'good enough' research.

The charming Alberto Rojas wrapped up our morning sessions by detailing the research SOPDE Malaga conducts on behalf of the Tourist Board of Costa del Sol. The Board relies on the information gleaned from this project to track tourism trends and plan promotional activities. Alberto shared with us the challenges of coordinating in-person interviewers in various locations throughout the region who are collecting data via PDAs in multiple languages.

After a delightful lunch and walk in the sun, Jack Semler of Readex Research started our afternoon by sharing how his firm was affected by a rather significant drop in planned revenue without corresponding cuts in expenses. A spirited discussion followed, with the group generating ideas on how to handle such things as employee communications, budget adjustments and bonus payments during more difficult times.

The gala dinner is always wonderful and Malaga was no exception. After being transported high up the hillside to the Parador Malaga, we gazed at the spectacular view of the city while enjoying pre-dinner appetizers, cocktails, and conversation. Dinner greeted us with a bountiful array of tapas, a beautiful sea bass, and assorted desserts with after-dinner drinks. Upon return to the hotel, many of us gave in to the temptation to venture out on foot into the city's streets and experience its night life. All in all, a delightful meeting in an inspiring host city. 

Theresa Cabak and Jack Semler

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