How to Maximize the Success of Your Virtual Central Location (VCL) Day

A VCL day, also known as a viewing day, pilot day, or immersion day; can be done on a local or national scale via individual interviews or group conferences that are conducted through a screen sharing platform. Like in-person interviews, the moderator hosts the discussion using either a phone, meeting link, or webcam. These first several day(s) of interviews are often the most important components of your market research study. Preliminary feedback gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to study materials and stimuli and allows your moderators to fine-tune the discussion guide. Your clients may also be listening-in and/or watching interviews live so it’s paramount these high visibility interviews are earmarked for success to kick off your research project well!

Being prepared and thinking through the logistics of a VCL day in advance will not only save you time and money throughout the process but can increase show rates to ensure the ever important “end client” satisfaction!

Here are some tips for making your next VCL day a success:

Allow for ample recruiting time, plus some! Depending on your screener requirements and quota needs, plan for 3 weeks prior to the VCL Day allowing us to recruit a diverse mix of respondents; especially when you need interviews during business hours to accommodate end client listening-in and/or viewing.

When possible, provide “desirable” availability to help respondents schedule at the best time for them. Allocating evening times, lunch times, or an early morning time slot can make all the difference. Factoring in extra breaks will allow you to make any adjustments seamless from one interview to the next. Also, avoid scheduling your VCL day on a Monday or the day after a US holiday. We want to be sure your VCL respondents are fresh, prepared and bring the best of themselves to the interview.

Square away the platform logistics. Share expectations with respondents early in the process to confirm they will be able to access your platform of choice and complete any tech check requirements. We also recommend choosing a reliable high-touch platform that offers tech help to respondents as needed. Having a live technician available to assist respondents and troubleshoot ensures that interviews will start on time and stay on schedule.

Clearly identify any specific quota needs. What type of respondents do your clients want to see? Plan ahead to be sure they are represented.

Allow for overrecruits if time and budget allow. Not only are your respondents busy healthcare professionals, but they are also people, and life happens to us all sometimes. Building in a buffer helps guarantee you will get the day one data you need!

Share consent forms early on. Allow sufficient time to obtain the needed respondent consent before interviews begin.

Finalize any pre-work logistics well in advance. Respondents need ample time to thoughtfully prepare, complete, and return assignments by the scheduled start date.

Get the most out of your virtual central location day so your research study runs smooth from start to finish,  ensuring you get the day one data you need; despite the range of respondents or their various locations across the U.S. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help solve your qualitative research needs.