Vice President of Client Success, Travis Miller, shares 2 Tips for conference growth

Every year, four Insights Association Chapters come together in Las Vegas for the Annual Insights Conference. In a time where budgets continue to compress, this event continues to grow. As you can imagine, Vegas is a fun venue, but that isn’t why the Insights Association has been having such success for the last 33 years.

Putting on my sales hat, I see two primary drivers:

1. Retention

The Annual Insights Conference is well known for having a high percentage of returning attendees, creating a thriving community. By reconnecting year over year, our relationships with clients, venders and industry influencers elevates to friends. In addition to the Insights Association intentionally developing a tight knit community, they deliver an outstanding experience with an amazing track record of great speakers at a stunning Vegas location.

This year, I had the privilege of introducing David Evans, Sr. Research Manager for Microsoft and author of the book “Bottlenecks: Aligning UX Design with User Psychology.” David masterfully outlined how UI designers are beginning to question the ethics behind UI design. They aim to create a more positive experience of engagement without the exploiting the targeted user base. I found his adoption concepts and user decline very interesting, especially how platforms like Facebook and Instagram stay relevant, as opposed to platforms like, MySpace or Friendster. I highly recommend seeing him speak and I have added his book to my reading list.

Another highlight for me was getting to see Merrill Dubrow, President and CEO of M/A/R/C Research, give a presentation on how he and his team have been making critical client decisions in an evolving industry, and are looking for another 50+ years of business. While Merrill’s presentation gave the audience a clear view to the challenges that lie ahead, the key takeaways in principal can be applied to a wide array of business challenges:

  1. Making tough decisions
  2. Taking one step backwards to go two steps forwards
  3. Not following trends that do not apply to your business
  4. Seeking outside consultation for an outsider’s view.

I am certainly interested in following Merrill and team at M/A/R/C Research as the market research industry continues to evolve.

This leads me to the Insights Association’s second key to growth…

2. New Customers

Simply put, Brand is Performance Over Time. By delivering an oversized return, each attendee functions as an industry advocate for this event. We all understand why driving excellent experiences (thinking about this week’s Qualtrics’s event which features Barack Obama and many other famous stars and influencers) is important. But think about the network effect of those shared experiences on social and word of mouth within our organizations. This draws us like a bee to honey.

In fact, I’m spending a few hours putting this article together with hopes that you’ll find value and add this event to your 2020 budget.


While the speakers and presentations were all great, getting a chance to connect with other colleagues, many of whom I have known for years and some I met for the first time, was truly the highlight of this conference. This is certainly an event I will continue looking forward to attending and hope to see you at as well!

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