Why an awards program?

Marketing research sits at the center of the goal of integrating the customer’s voice into every aspect of an organization. Yet even as customer-centricity grows in importance as a business best practice, the marketing research and insights function still doesn’t get all the acclaim it deserves.  


The Excellence Awards are here to change that.


Powered by Quirk’s Media – the industry’s most respected provider of content, events and resources for marketing researchers – the awards shine a much-deserved spotlight on the researchers, vendors and products and services that are adding value and impact to marketing research. 


Why is it a live event?

Marketing research and insights is a critical business function that deserves more recognition. We need to celebrate together as an industry and what better way than with a live awards ceremony to honor the finalists and winners? It is our hope that we can still meet in person in 2020. If, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are no longer able to meet in New York City to celebrate, we will provide information on a virtual event! 

What is Quirk's response to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 we are NOT requiring finalists to attend the award ceremony and accept the awards in person. Please be assured that the safety of our guests is our first priority and Quirk’s is continuing to monitor guidelines and travel advice from the CDC and the WHO. This website will be updated as we get closer to the gala dates and new guidelines are made available.


Who can nominate?

You can nominate yourself, your co-worker(s), your company or your clients so long as they meet the judging criteria for the category.


Where can I find the rules of entry?

The rules of entry can be found at quirksawards.com/rules-of-entry.


Do you have to be based in the United States to participate?

No. The awards are open to all researchers worldwide.


Why should I enter the awards? 

Whether you’re an agency or a client-side researcher, if you win, you’ll bask in the adulation and approval of a ballroom full of your peers and go home with a beautiful award as proof of your achievement. Even if you’re nominated but don’t win, you’ll be part of an event designed to boost the visibility and value of marketing research by celebrating some of the people and organizations that are raising the bar for the whole profession.


Who is judging the awards? How can I be sure about the integrity of the awards?

To avoid a popularity contest or the issuing of awards that are not based on merit, the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards will be judged by either the Quirk’s editorial staff or end-client and/or vendor researchers. All judges must sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to judging awards. Judges will not be allowed to judge categories in which they are nominated. And all attempts will be made to ensure the judging is blind so that the judges do not know the name or company they are evaluating. A list of judges can be found here.


What are the deadlines and important dates of the awards?

  March 30, 2020 – Entry period opens
  EXTENDED to May 29, 2020 – Early entry pricing ends

  July 8, 2020 – Entry period closes at 5 p.m. EDT

  September 1, 2020 – Gala tickets go on sale

  Early September 2020 – Finalists announced
  November 9, 2020 – Awards show – winners announced


Why do some awards have a nomination fee?

We are charging a nomination fee on certain awards to discourage frivolous entries. Also, the fee helps ensure that people do not stuff the nomination box with as many nominations as possible. Lastly, the judging software is robust but also very expensive. The administration fee helps offset the cost of the software as well as the time our editors incur to set up and manage the awards.



Corporate/end-client only categories:

Early-bird entry fee: $0 (March 30 - May 29, 2020) 

Standard entry fee: $75 (May 30 - June 30, 2020)

Late entry fee: $150 (July 1 - July 8, 2020)


Supplier/project categories: 

Early-bird entry fee: $150 (March 30 - May 29, 2020) 

Standard entry fee: $250 (May 30 - June 30, 2020)

Late entry fee: $375 (July 1 - July 8, 2020)

Categories that fall under corporate/end-client pricing include: Researcher of the Year (end-client), Client-Side Team (department of 10 or more researchers), Client-Side Team (department with less than 10 researchers), Research ROI and Fearless Leader (end-client). 

Categories that fall under supplier, project and product/service pricing include: Researcher of the Year (supplier), Marketing Research Supplier (2019 revenue at or above $10 million), Research Supplier (2019 revenue below $10 million), Panel Company, Nonprofit/Social Enterprise Research Project, Global Marketing Research Project, Groundbreaking Research Project, Advertising Research Project, Health Care/Pharmaceutical Research Project, Customer Experience Project, B2B Research Project, Qualitative Research Impact, Best New Product/Service Innovation, Technology Impact, Client/Supplier Collaboration and Outstanding Young Researcher. 

Quirk's is waving all nomination fees for submissions to the MREF Everyday Hero and MREF Philanthropic Company of the Year categories. 

Do nominees need to be present to win the award?Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 we are NOT requiring finalists to attend the award ceremony and accept the award in person. We will continue to monitor guidelines and travel advice from the CDC and the WHO and, if the gala is able to take place, finalists will receive a single complimentary gala ticket (nominee can designate someone to attend in their place). In the event an in-person gala cannot take place, finalists will be provided with information regarding a virtual awards ceremony. 

Do winners get to/have to speak?

No. No time is allotted for winners to make remarks. The winners will be brought on stage to receive their awards and will return to their seats after being recognized by the audience. 


When will I hear if my nomination is a finalist?

Finalists will be announced and contacted in September.


How can I change my entry?

No changes can be made to your entry after you have submitted your nomination as final. 


Can I withdraw my entry? Will I get a refund?

You may withdraw your entry up to July 8, 2020. After that, nominations cannot be withdrawn. Once submitted, nominations cannot be refunded for any reason.


How do I get help submitting a nomination?

Once you select a submission opportunity, you must then create a free Submittable account to get started. Your account will allow you to save/review your work before submitting and view your application status. Here is a quick how-to on creating an account: http://help.submittable.com/knowledgebase/articles/225218-how-do-i-submit 


Is it possible to receive the judges’ ratings and comments for my entry?

Due to the volume of entries, we will not offer individual comments to entrants. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding them.


How do I attend the awards ceremony?

Finalists will be given one free ticket to the gala. All others will have to purchase a ticket or table to be able to attend the awards gala. If, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are no longer able to gather in-person, we will update this website with details on a virtual event that will celebrate all finalists and winners! 


Is the awards gala really a black-tie event and what does that mean?

Yes. We believe that it is important to not only recognize the best in our industry but to celebrate it in a suitably stylish fashion. Black-tie attire means that attendees should wear a tuxedo, dark suit, a formal gown or cocktail dress.


Why should I buy a table at the gala?

The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence awards is a great opportunity to wine and dine your New York-area clients. A champagne reception, three-course dinner and open bar are included. Buying a table of 10 saves you $50 per person and lets you impress your clients with a fabulous night out celebrating the industry.


If tickets are purchased separately, can we still sit together? 

No. If you are not purchasing a full table but would like to sit next to a coworker or peer, tickets must be purchased together. We cannot accommodate seating requests if tickets are purchased separately.  It is also not possible to accommodate group seating requests at the door the night of the gala. 


Who will I sit with if a buy a ticket but not a table?

If you buy a single ticket or less than a table of tickets, Quirk’s will assign you to a table of other researchers who also purchased single tickets.


Can I choose where I sit at the awards gala?

No. Quirk’s will assign seating based on registration.


What is included with my awards ticket?

Opening champagne/cocktail reception, a three-course meal, open bar during the gala and a celebration immediately after the award ceremony.


What is the schedule on the evening of the awards gala?

 6:30 p.m. - Champagne/cocktail reception

 7:15 p.m. - Dinner

 8:15 p.m. - Award ceremony

 9:15 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Post-award cocktail celebration


How can I sponsor the awards?

If you are interested in being considered as a sponsor of The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, contact Steve Quirk.

Copyright © 1986–2020 Quirk Enterprises, Inc.  For Questions /  Contact us at info@quirks.com

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