In London, last night's Market Research Society (MRS) awards ceremony saw The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) take home both the coveted 'Grand Prix for Greatest Impact' and the 'Innovation in Research Methods' prizes.
The latter award was presented for NatCen's work developing Britain's first random probability-based mixed-mode panel, designed to maximise methodological rigour using the approach recommended by the Polling Inquiry into the 2015 General Election. According to NatCen, it is the first mixed mode (online and telephone) panel in Britain based on people selected at random. CEO Guy Goodwin comments: 'The award is testament to the hard work of our Panels team, led by Curtis Jessop and Martin Wood, who have been instrumental in ensuring the panel's success. Our innovative approach allows us to draw on the methodological rigour of the British Social Attitudes survey, while responding to the needs of our customers to produce robust results much more quickly than is possible with a face-to-face survey'.
This year's ceremony - hosted by comedian Susan Calman (pictured left, with the NatCen team) - was attended by nearly a thousand individuals from agencies, in-house teams and client-side marketers. Among the winners was the 'Making All Voices Count' programme, which works for more effective democratic governance across Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa and Tanzania; and received the President's Medal for demonstrating the 'scope, imagination and transformative impact of the research sector'. Amy Jones of 2CV and Mathilde Leblond of FreshMinds jointly received the Newcomer of the Year award; Jones for her global work with vulnerable communities and Leblond for her 'flair for new methodologies' and contribution on the conference platform.
An entry from C Space and baby food manufacturer Ella's Kitchen saw the team awarded the gong for Business Impact of the Year, after the judges were struck by the firms' 'inspiring story' of how research can transform a growing business expanding into global markets. GfK received the Best Innovation Award for its Survey Modularisation / Split Questionnaire Design, which the judges felt had the potential to 'revolutionise large-scale survey research'.
C Space also won the award for Best Agency with a turnover above £20m, while Sparkler was judged to be the Best under £20m; and Unilever Research Innovation scooped the Best In-house Research Team award.
The full list of winners can be found at: www.mrs.org.uk/awards .