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Our Head of Social & Health’s take on the AMSRS National Conference

August 30, 2018

We recently sent our Head of Social & Health, Matt Stephen, along to the AMSRS National Conference – below is his take on the event…

Earlier this month I had the privilege of flying to Melbourne to attend this year’s Australian AMSRS Annual Conference. This was my first National Conference experience but based on the reports of others, it was one of the best yet!

The official theme of this year’s conference was ‘Festival of Research’, with the promise to “make sure that for every single attendee, there is an opportunity to learn something new, something different and something that you can take away and apply from the conference”.  I can confirm from my two days of attendance, it well and truly lived up to that promise.

For me, a clear underlying theme for the entire conference was one of leveraging the latest technology in research to deliver better insights, more quickly, to deliver better value to clients and by extension their own customers.  This was perhaps no better encapsulated than by the final keynote speaker, world-renowned futurist Chris Riddell, who during his presentation said, “The world has never changed as quickly as it is today, and it will never change this slowly again”.

Keynote speakers throughout the conference continuously came back to this theme, from Facebook’s former Australiasian CEO Stephen Scheeler speaking of ‘digital disruption’, to Knowledgehound CEO Kristi Zuhlke examining the six key technological trends in the world and how they might impact the future world of research. While admittedly a little scary, it was also inspiring to see how different the industry could look in only a few years’ time and reinforced to me the crucial importance of Painted Dog’s own focus on innovation. Indeed, I took great enjoyment and pride in watching one of our very own, Data Tech Director Matt Gibbs, up on stage leading a discussion of technological innovation in research from AI, to AR, to DIY and every acronym in between!

Aside from the highly engaging presentations, the Conference was a terrific opportunity to meet and reacquaint with others in the industry – particularly those we don’t often get to see on the East Coast – and enjoy a social drink or two (responsibly of course)! As a networking opportunity alone the conference experience is invaluable and it’s always inspiring to meet and chat to other ambitious and passionate researchers forging their own path in the industry.

Overall, the conference left me feeling inspired and very keen to apply some of the key takeouts to the work we already do at Painted Dog, from ‘frictionless’ respondent experiences to blending data sources. I definitely plan to return again (perhaps as a speaker myself) and would highly recommend it to anyone in research with an interest in their professional development (so yes… I’m a Promoter)!