ESOMAR Congress: A pre-event review

The 70th Anniversary ESOMAR Congress is fast approaching. Carl Wong, Co-founder and CEO and Sophie Goddard, Business Development Director, will be representing LivingLens at the event. Here they share their thoughts on what they are looking forward to, what they hope to learn and what they don’t want to miss.

Why ESOMAR Congress?


In its 70th year, it’s been pitched as the biggest event for our sector. More importantly it’s where ‘creativity, innovation and insights collide’. This really resonates with me and the path my career and LivingLens has taken. With its start-up culture, LivingLens is proud to be a technology innovator. However, technology is just the enabler, how you apply it in your business is the real game changer. We wanted to give brands and agencies the power to unlock the insight within video. So, for me ESOMAR is a celebration of the industry as it continues to take strides forward. It’s a positive arena that I have found to embrace innovation, challenge the status quo and strive for excellence. Long may it continue.


The ESOMAR Congress is often seen as the go-to event in the research calendar. It represents the ideal opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and hear inspiring speakers. The website talks of ‘the most pioneering insights professionals and global brands out there’, which is my experience has been true. You often hear about innovative brands such as Apple or Uber, but I particularly like the Congress as you can be wowed by brands that you may not have instinctively put into this bracket, proving that innovation has many guises.

It’s also energizing to take a step back and take time to reflect and learn. Everyone seems so busy and the industry is moving so quickly. It’s easy to fall into the trap of focussing inwardly too much. It’s good to have some dedicated time like this to get up to speed with the industry as a whole, explore new options and opportunities, and to have our current thinking challenged.

What are you looking forward to?


As a researcher, I’m looking forward to seeing how the insight world continues to grow and develop. Not only in relation to tools and techniques, but also in terms of attitudes and behaviour. I believe it’s an exciting time to be working in research and insight. Consumer behaviour and the way brands interact with their customers continues to shift, which means we have to adapt too.

More specifically, I’m also always on the lookout to understand people’s perception towards video in research. I’m obviously a huge advocate, but it’s good to talk to people first-hand about where they are on their video journey. Hearing about experiences, good and bad can be a real eye-opener. I also really enjoy meeting those who have yet to try out video. It’s a great opportunity to share with them the learnings and successes we’ve had along the way, and showing them how easy it is to get started!


There is a packed agenda covering everything from case studies to the latest techniques, so there is sure to be something for everyone. What I also love about ESOMAR is that it’s exclusive content, so I always see something different and learn something new. It’s refreshing to get a different perspective.

I also can’t wait for the inspiring conversations I know I will have over the 4 days. There are attendees from all over the globe, from every industry.  Working in an emerging sector, discussions are sure to reveal new use cases for the LivingLens platform.

What’s top of the agenda?


As a technology provider, we’re always interested in seeing what new tools and techniques are out there. The Shiny New Tools segment is right up my street. LivingLens was born out of seeing how valuable video could be, but also experiencing the frustrations that came along with it. I’m intrigued to see what other technology is out there and how it can also help move research and insight generation forward.

This year I’m not surprised to see Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality on the agenda, but it will be fascinating to see the latest applications.


As well as the technology side of things, as a business, we’re passionate about storytelling. Technology can only take you so far. That’s why the session ‘Why visionary researchers must embrace their inner comedian’ peaked my interest. It’s hard to get comedy right so this struck me as a brave choice. It’s one that I’m keen to see, but will probably avoid the front row!

If you are attending ESOMAR in Amsterdam this September, stop by Stand 13 to have a chat with Carl and Sophie to compare notes and see if it's living up to expectations.

To make the most of your time, why not pre-arrange a meeting to find out how to incorporate video into your research and how the LivingLens platform can help you effortlessly reveal consumer insight from video content.

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If you aren't able to make the event itself, you can watch the presentations live for free -