Even in times of digitization, personal interviews enjoy great importance when we look for answers to complex questions. Prior to the pandemic, insidery conducted about 35,000 face-to-face interviews per year worldwide. Even if the number has dropped in the first year of the pandemic, there was always a need of generating insights by means of personal interviews among our clients – with a rising trend.
What influence does the pandemic have on interviewer-dependent surveys? We have the answer through practical experience.
Consistent adherence to the existing hygiene standards (in Germany, among others, distance requirements, compulsory masks wearing, regular disinfection) also determine the surveying situation. The measures must be actively communicated and compliance with the regulations need to be monitored. Surveys should – whenever possible – be conducted outside in the fresh air. Catchy in theory but how does it look like in practice?
In this respect, insidery has only positive experiences to report. For example, the concern that the willingness to conduct a face-to-face interview will be significantly reduced can be clearly refuted: We have not observed any impact on willingness to participate, drop-out rates, interview quality or open feedback. The samples generated are at pre-crisis level for all criteria.
In the course of our analyses we have learned the following: Exploitation, response rates, quality, validity and representativeness show no irregularities. After the lock-down, the respondents faced our interviewers with the same openness and willingness to provide information as they have done in recent years. This means that face-to-face surveys can be used meaningfully even in COVID-19 times.
Quite clearly, the framework parameters were different than usual in times of COVID-19 due to the protective measures. Let’s take Auto China 2020 as an example. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the mandatory 14-day quarantine after entering the country, hardly any guests from abroad were on site. The international exhibitors organized their trade show appearances mainly with local staff. insidery also made use of its global network and, together with colleagues from the parent company MCI Group, easily put together powerful local interviewer teams in a very short time; for example at Auto China 2020 in Beijing, Auto Shanghai 2021 or KBC 2021.
Also in the current setting, the face-to-face interviews at exhibition booths can be carried out very well by insidery. The willingness to participate and the quality of the interviews is overall very high – comparable to “pre-Corona” assignments.
This confirms once again that personal on-site interviews can be conducted even in these unprecedented times. To measure the success of a trade fair participation, face-to-face surveys help collect relevant visitor feedback and are the foundation for meaningful analyses and well-founded insight creation.
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