What are Hall Tests?

A Hall Test, otherwise know as Central Location Test (CLT), is are a useful market research methodology adopted by Vision One when we are looking to test reactions to concepts and products in a controlled and neutral environment. They typically involve hiring a venue (e.g. hotel, hall, office, pub) in a central and easily accessible location which is specially selected for the research requirements or convenient for target participants.

One of the key benefits of Hall Test market research methodologies is the ability to present respondents with stimuli – food and drink products or advertising examples for instance. Hall Tests are often used for new product testing (such as tasting new food and drink varieties), testing new packaging designs or for giving feedback on concepts – such as branding, marketing communications or other product literature. Respondents can then respond to these stimuli live, with the item in front of them, allowing much more opportunity to engage with the product alongside the researcher and brand to understand insights.

Central Location Tests are also ideal for testing television advertisements using Vision One’s AdProbe. CLTs ensure respondents can clearly see and focus on the execution, allowing them to give a fully informed reaction without the distractions of the home. During the interview, the respondent would be shown the test video (often shown in an advertising reel) and asked questions in order to understand their reactions to it. Eye-tracking and Facial Expression analysis can be included in add further System 1 emotional (non-verbal) reactions to the advertising.

Hall Test respondents are typically recruited on the day of the hall test, often on the street whilst passing the venue, before being invited to participate in the study. However, they can also be recruited in advance if the target audience is challenging. On-street recruitment is often the most cost-effective option for mainstream products and can generate a large number of respondents per day (e.g. up to 50+ per day) depending upon location, target audience and the length and complexity of the subject area.

Vision One has vast experience in completing hall and central location tests for a wide range of clients. Test venues are booked within town and city centre locations – recruiters invite passers-by, via a short screening interview, to participate in a hall test (assuming they meet the target profile). Nowadays, interviews are most frequently conducted using CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interviewing) rather than pen and paper questionnaires to ensure fast turnaround and greater accuracy. Interviews typically last 10 minutes or longer depending on the subject matter and number of respondent tasks.

Advantages of Hall Tests

  • Ability to replicate in-store shelves for imitation of purchases
  • Access to demonstrations of materials and products/services
  • Flexibility on interview timing dependent on the need
  • Ability to invite respondents across multiple days to test variants
  • Adaptability if new areas of interest can be uncovered
  • Observation of respondents behaviours and user journeys

Hall Tests can also include a qualitative element. For example, participants who vehemently like or dislike a particular product or concept can be questioned further to understand why.

For any questions about hall tests and other research methods, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or give us a call on 0203 693 3150.

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