User Research

5 tips for gaining customer insights at the Fieldays.

Profile photo of Emma Campbell

Emma Maguire (née Campbell)

May 15, 2023

Overlooking the New Zealand Fieldays agriculture event.

Events like the Fieldays remain a tried-and-true way to connect with current and potential customers. However, attending an event is only half the battle - the other half is ensuring that you make the most of your time there. Attending events provides an excellent opportunity to better understand your customer's problems, pain points, motivations, behaviours and needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you effectively communicate with attendees and gather valuable insights:

Actively listen.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of simply promoting your product and not listening to your customers. Instead, make a conscious effort to ensure your visitors feel heard and give them space to speak about their challenges and desires. These conversations will provide insight into their lives and help tailor your response to how your product can solve their problems. This way, both sides leave the conversation feeling like they've gained something meaningful.

Make a short script.

While thinking on your feet and adapting to different conversations is a great skill, a short script or a list of prepared questions can give you confidence when talking with others. It'll also ensure you're gathering the most value from your conversations, especially if you want to validate specific ideas.

Be curious.

As you're having conversations, try to follow up with "why" questions to dive deeper and better understand the motivations behind your users' thinking and decision-making. For example, why do you think/feel/say that? This will help you gain a more complete understanding of your target market and their needs.

Keep a record.

Take notes during conversations or immediately afterwards while ideas are still fresh in your mind. The objective is to learn facts about your audience; you don't want to forget essential information after the event and add your own bias. Keeping a record of your conversations can also help you identify patterns and trends among your target market.

Share your insights.

After the event, share your findings to help build empathy within your team. When insights are shared across all teams, including marketing, product, engineering, and R&D, everyone better understands the customers they are solving problems for. Insights can be added to research repositories, presentations, reports, or simply summarising and sharing your top 5 takeaways.

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