MRF board chairman Bill Wilson introduces a panel.

MRF Board Meeting: Innovating Connections

ANNUAL GATHERING DRAWS BIG DATA’S BEST …

Market Research Foundation’s annual board of directors meeting was held in Leesburg, Virginia this month. The daylong gathering attracted a diverse group of participants including top data scientists, pollsters, corporate technology executives, political CIOs, journalists, grassroots activists, elected officials and other interested parties.

Graduates of the MRF program were also on hand – soaking up invaluable insights and networking with attendees and speakers.

Among those giving presentations? Erin Norman – who provided a detailed review of new swing state data related to lapsed and non-registered voters.

Obviously these particular universes are solid gold real estate for anti-establishment candidates who are looking to tap into the pervasive distrust of politicians of both parties in the upcoming election cycle.

As for effective methods of engaging these (and other) universes, Tommy Swanson gave a far-ranging presentation addressing the constantly evolving world of social media – while expert panelists Jim Hamilton, Steve Hillion and Bob Ellsworth offered their insights on how to build a winning tech structure.

Sasha Issenberg, author of the critically acclaimed book “Victory Lab,” delivered the keynote address at the board meeting – urging attendees to be skeptical of the promises made by data purveyors and rigorous in their itemization and evaluation of the cost and effectiveness of specific data-driven initiatives.

Aside from the fruitful discussions generated by this year’s conference, the event was an unqualified success in terms of its primary objective: Facilitating new connections between individuals of wide-ranging skill sets from all over the country.

Stay tuned for more from this year’s event.  In the meantime, here are some photos from the gathering …