Categories: News and Resources

Katie Ferro

Are we ready for face-to-face research?
The research industry has taken great strides and embraced online research facilities since the pandemic interrupted our world, however the appetite for face-to-face sessions still exists, so how do participants feel about this?
Do research participants feel the same?
In early October, CRNRSTONE sought the opinions of 201 members of our proprietary Soapbox panel and surveyed a further 200 in mid-October. The study aimed to understand the thoughts and feelings of everyday Australians on how they felt about return to face-to-face research when COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. The study was carried out with a national representation.

So, what is expectation?

67% of people expect to have all participants and moderators fully vaccinated should they be attending a group research session. This remained unchanged between the two waves, proving consistent across all demographics.

Despite the similarities in the vaccination preferences, we did see a significant decrease in expectations around moderator and participant face mask usage. In early October, 59% of respondents expected masks be worn, with a drop to 46% in the late October sample.

Overall, it would seem a certain level of a return to normal is expected, however it looks like a new normal will need to be embraced by the research community to ensure we can access the insights of all Australians.

Katie Ferro
Managing Director – CRNRSTONE

Our Soapbox nationwide panel of 110,000+ members is diverse, engaged, and ready to share their opinions. We are actively engaging our panellists and they have been extremely responsive to the move to online methodologies, engaging in Remote Focus Groups, Online Interviews, Virtual UX testing, Community Platforms etc.

For more information about CRNRstone and Soapbox, contact Katie Ferro on and the Client Management team on