Are you interested in learning more about your customers in order to improve sales? Conducting a focus group might be your best bet! Focus groups began in the 1930s as a means of gauging the impact of World War II on American citizens, and since then they’ve been incredibly helpful to the companies that use them. Focus groups provide a snapshot into the lives of customers, and rather than brainstorming about what people want, you can hear it straight from their mouths.

Focus groups can benefit your organization, too! But, there are many variables that contribute to a successful group, so that also means there are plenty of ways for it to go wrong. Continue reading to make sure your focus group goes off without a hitch:

Determine the Purpose

If you go into your focus group without a particular purpose, you will definitely end up feeling like it was pointless. Hearing what your customers have to say is important, but without direction, your group could easily end up on a tangential discussion that has no relevance to your business. Think of your focus group as an experiment, where you’re trying to get a specific question answered. In other words, what do you want to accomplish? “Make more money” is a great goal, but it isn’t necessarily specific. For example, Do you want to increase individual sales or repeat business? Asking probing questions can help start you in the right direction.

Find Your Demographic

If your business is lucky, you have a diverse array of customers from all backgrounds and walks of life. However, for a focus group, the opposite is true; the less diverse, the better. Participants will likely feel more comfortable speaking openly with people they identify with, and you’re sure to get a clearer picture of what that demographic needs. For example, if your broader demographic is people with children, you might end up with a target audience like “mothers over 30 in New York City.” Like with your purpose, try to be as specific as possible to ensure success.

Recruit Your Group

Now that you’ve figured out who you want to reach out to, you must create a strategy for recruiting participants. First and foremost, consider how your target demographic prefers to communicate. If email is their preferred form of contact, stick to that; otherwise, you could end up annoying potential attendees with phone calls. Social media is also a great tool for finding participants, because you can learn what they’re interested in and contact them directly. It won’t be easy to find people to volunteer their free time for your company, so offer an incentive, like a gift card, to entice them.

Design the Questions

According to the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching, there are three major types of questions you can ask: engagement, exploration, and exit questions. Engagement questions introduce your attendees to the subject and get their general opinion on it. During exploration, offer prompts that allow your participants to dig deeper into the topic so that you can learn more about their perspective. Avoid yes or no questions, because these answers can often leave conversation stagnant. Exit questions are the most important of the three, because you open up the floor to your attendees to tell you anything else they have on their mind. This is extremely useful because you can possibly cover topics you overlooked or forgot about.

Find Your Venue

To guarantee that your focus group is impartial and successful, host it in an offsite facility rather than your company offices. If participants see what company is hosting the focus group, they may feel pressure to change or edit the answers they give to your questions. This is the one of the worst things that can happen, because it means that your results won’t be accurate, thus rendering the group pointless. You also want them to feel comfortable, so try for spaces with inviting atmospheres. There are many beautifully designed corporate event venues in NYC that can be rented out so your participants can enjoy themselves, and your company can remain anonymous.


If you’re looking for a meeting space rental in NYC to host your next focus group, look no further than SoHoSoleil!

SoHoSoleil’s three historic lofts, CornerLight, SereneSite, and MeetingSite, are located in the heart of New York City’s SoHo-Cast Iron District. Each space is fashioned with stylish decor, modern furniture, and large windows for natural lighting, resulting in a creative and artistically inspiring environment. We also provide office essentials like WiFi and A/V setup to ensure that attendees can always stay connected.

Head over to our website for more information on our corporate event venues in NYC!