1. Like any well run project, communication is critical. Agreeing up front with your client and your team what is expected (setting clear goals and outcomes), and when (clear timelines), by who (allocating resources and accountability across the team) is the ONLY way to run a successful CLT (or any project!). Lock in regular communication sessions with the client and with the operational team delivering the work. Make sure they are regular enough to keep a pulse check in place. NO SURPRISES!
  2. Clear Project Specs. Obvious – but it is amazing how often this is the reason for a project not going well.  The things you need to be clear on are objectives – what is the client trying to achieve (this allows for potential conversation around any problem solving that may need to happen across the project).
  3. Recruitment. Who is the target audience? How are you going to identify and invite them into the project? Are you working with a recruiter that provide high quality participants and quickly flex if changes need to be made. Stick with a high quality, reputable firm who can deliver credible people who meet the spec. This might cost you a little bit more, but it is far less costly to get it right first time than to redo a project due to poor respondents.
  4. Project Management. Once you have established the project protocols and the communication lines, it is all about maintaining and updating the project as it progresses through its lifecycle.
  5. Venue. Locate and book your preferred venue quickly! With face to face work now more popular then ever, great venues are getting snapped up quickly. Make sure it delivers everything you need – kitchen facilities, fridges / freezers, security, lighting etc. Organise your peripheral needs such as serving plates / cups or cameras etc as required by your project brief.
  6. Incentives Management. Identify the perfect incentive amount for your project and set up a system for managing this quickly and efficiently. Participants expect payment promptly after their activity is complete. Make sure, especially if your CLT is running over multiple days / weeks / months that payments are processed promptly and accurately. Keep oversight of this critical element – you don’t want to miss payments and upset a quality participant and you don’t want to overpay!
  7. Staffing. Train your staff. Good staff aren’t hard to find, or hard to train, but even a great staff member will struggle if they have not received the proper briefing about what is expected of them and when.
  8. Dealing with issues. Do this quickly. Remember, there is no good news, there is no bad news. There is just news. Share any issues with the client and the team quickly. Understand and communicate the impact that this could have. Have a few solutions at hand to discuss with the client, so a fast and appropriate solution can be implemented to keep the project on track.
  9. Check in with participants. Have a regular check in with participants to gauge their feedback. This may lead to changes in process or communication that will improve (if feedback requires improvement) future participants’ experience. If participants enjoy the experience, they are likely to recommend to friends and families (or their social media empires….) participating in projects similar to the one they have just completed. Make it enjoyable and again seamless (as much as possible).
  10. Wrap up. Have a final debrief meeting once the project has been delivered to ensure that there is alignment between the client and the operational team on how well the project was delivered. There are usually learnings to be had from a project and a meeting held within a couple of weeks of the close of a project is ideally the best time for this to take place. Memory is still fresh and opportunities for improvement are identified and discussed quickly and with optimism for the next project.


Our CRNRSTONE Soapbox nationwide panel of 105,000+ members is diverse, engaged and ready to share their opinions.

We are actively engaging our panellists and they have been extremely responsive to the many research methodologies employed by our clients; engaging in Central Location Testing, Remote Focus Groups, Online Interviews, Virtual UX testing, Community Platforms, Face to Face Focus Groups and Interviews, Collaborative Creatives, Brand Awareness, Ad Testing, PR and Comms testing and more!

For more information about running your next CLT or other research project and how CRNRSTONE and CRNRSTONE Soapbox can assist, contact Katie Ferro on katief@crnrstone.com.au or client.enquiries@crnrstone.com.au .