Lots has changed quickly over the past few years which inevitably leads to new ways of doing things and businesses learning to adapt.

At Aspect, the only stream of business that carried on during lockdown was the healthcare research as it was deemed essential. This led us to consider the type of space we offer clients and how we might meet their needs best.

We decided to refurbish Studio 2 into a hospital simulation suite to assist clients with their healthcare research needs.

Aspect provides a medical simulation training suite where specialist training equipment is used to recreate clinical situations. This allows medical trainees in many specialities to practice rare and critical scenarios in a safe environment.

The trainees learn, practise and repeat procedures, improve their skills, fine-tune techniques, and master clinical protocols designed to improve outcomes before seeing patients.
It has proved a popular addition to our offering and the feedback has been fantastic. The suite can be mocked up as requested and equipment sourced on your behalf. We also have a lovely medical mannequin who is very amenable!

Outside of the healthcare sector, our other studios are back to life with consumer face-to-face research. So nice to engage with clients and participants and see the research projects unfold.

If you have particular needs for the studio layout then we are always happy to help. We have done Christmas in June, festival vibes, kids’ yoga studio, and are open to much more!

Anything that helps to bring out the best in people and provide great insight is always top of our minds.

We started 2023 with some fantastic feedback:

I just wanted to email to thank Aspect (and in particular Lorraine and Jo) for all your help and support on my project.

I was so incredibly nervous as it was my first in person groups since pre covid, plus my team wasn’t able to come up and join in person from London leaving me working solo. But the ladies were so supportive, helpful, nothing was too much to ask, and they felt like my mini team for the whole two evenings. They even helped me get home safe, and wouldn’t let me run out to my taxi until we had eyes on it (which was a woman doing late night groups alone is definitely something I need to consider).

The facility was really well set up for what we needed, as well as spotlessly clean/tidy and I would without second thought book my next in person project at Aspect Stockport and recommend to others. I forgot how valuable in person research is after spending two years behind a laptop screen and I think the insights gained from my groups will be really impactful in terms of shaping our future marketing strategy.

Thank you so so much and I can’t wait to see you again soon 🙂

Please get in touch and find out how we can work to bring your study to life at our award-winning viewing facility.

This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.

With 2023 already upon us, it feels like the only certainty is uncertainty. For many, the end of 2022 was a chance to reflect on the past few years and try and draw breath. In a moment of reflection, you might have been left wondering what on earth has happened, how it has impacted and what that means going forward?

Whilst the landscape for face-to-face research has shifted beyond recognition since 2019, one constant that has always remained the same, is the benefits of doing it. We know that there have been barriers in the way of allowing people back in-person as quickly as they might have otherwise liked (travel issues, budget constraints, nervousness around changing rules etc.) but it’s fantastic to see people starting 2023 and embracing being back in the room with clients and participants alike.

So much can be gleaned from close physical interaction, seeing body language, watching micro-facial movements and having natural, unmoderated, free-flowing conversations between participants with a shared interest (have you ever seen a group of mums in full flow?!). And don’t underestimate the power of simply getting people away from their own environment and distractions: screaming children, WhatsApp messaging popping up on their phone mid-interview, poor lighting or cameras that can be turned off!

We know that some interactive exercises can only be done face-to-face, such as product mapping or guided fantasies and as an industry, we don’t want research that is constrained by its medium. In addition, there are more specialist areas that need to be run face-to-face. Aspect launched its much sort after Hospital Simulation Suite last year, which allows Healthcare Professionals and Patients to be in a simulated healthcare environment, either physically interacting with new devices, or being immersed in a contextually appropriate environment, in order to produce more accurate insights.

So, whether you want to get close to the people and gain that lightbulb moment for your study, or you want to immerse yourself in the environment closest to the real thing, Aspect Viewing Facility can provide you with what you need. You will receive the warmest of welcomes and be looked after to the highest standard allowing you to focus on the important tasks. Aspect also offer a great range of fantastic foods to keep your energy levels high. We recommend trying the pies from the Great North Pie company – they are amazing! Whatever you need Aspect can sort, so book in today.


Stockport’s not s**t!

As 2023 is upon us, you may be wondering if there are some under-the-radar places you can explore … well look no further than Stockport. Yes, I said Stockport! Earlier this month the Guardian described Stockport as having “something special in the air” It goes on to say …

“It is the DIY, grassroots activity in food, fashion, art and music found in the architecturally striking old town, that is exciting early adopters and generating media notices about, “one of the coolest little corners of the country”.

I may be predisposed to agree, being born and bred in Stockport, but also may be one of its harshest critics, guilty of not seeing or engaging with the newfound indie vibe Stockport is creating. I haven’t been to “Where the Light gets in” restaurant or walked to the independent shops of Underbank. I am even guilty of not having been to the Polish bakery in the beautiful old market hall – I am told it is mind-blowing.

This is all good news for businesses like ours trying to attract the London client. Often overshadowed by Manchester, only 6 miles north, Stockport has struggled to gain traction as a destination town. Aspect Viewing Facility with purpose-built studios for market research lies a mile south of Stockport town centre. With a diverse population at its door and all trains from London to Manchester stopping at Stockport (it’s true, by an Act of Parliament in 1840, it was decreed that all through-trains using Stockport Viaduct must stop at Stockport Station), it offers clients, not only great insight from the local population but also an interesting and fun place to visit.

The Guardian concludes with……

“For Benji Taylor, co-founder of Bask (a bar, gig venue, comedy club and late-night, DJ-led hang-out), the contrast with the Stockport of his youth is profound. It came 12th in an early-2000s poll for the book Crap Towns, so it is “great to see it turning full circle”.

He adds: “We did a run of ‘Stockport Isn’t Shit’ bags with Hug & Co. They sold out in a day. People are as proud of Stockport as they’ve ever been.”

Book your projects into Aspect and come and see what Stockport has to offer. Our attentive and friendly staff will assist with any enquiries and help with local suggestions and directions.

Besides its location, Aspect has consistently been voted as one of the Best Viewing facilities in the country with this year being no exception, with Aspect winning the coveted ‘Best Viewing Facility, Technology and Innovation’ award at the Market Research Society Operation Awards.

Anywhere but London? Why not Stockport?

As London becomes more of an island, separate from the rest of England, it becomes of paramount importance to represent and include the opinions of the wider population. With train strikes and the cost of living making it difficult to access the capital, it becomes more distant and irrelevant to the 85% of the population who live outside. The Government it seems, talk endlessly about “levelling up” and even has a dedicated minister, but what does that mean and how is it being implemented? Brands need to make sure they are appealing to these core consumers who spend in the economy and make choices about who gets their spend, every day. It could be argued that the explosion of online focus groups means that a national representation can be easily included and this is true, but how does that underrepresented person in Stockport engage in these discussions without perhaps feeling they want to air their different opinion, feel shy or that they don’t actually belong in that session.

Using Viewing Facilities like Aspect in Stockport, South Manchester, means that you get valuable insight from fresh participants living in the wider community. Stockport is a great example of a Northern town with a diverse population. From blue-collar workers to mums on mat leave, all types of participants can be sourced. It is also only 6 miles from Manchester city centre so can host urban dwellers too. Also, it is on the fringe of the “Golden Triangle” of Cheshire. The “Golden Triangle” (sometimes called the footballer belt) refers to an affluent area of Cheshire towns and villages including Alderley Edge, Prestbury and Wilmslow. This allows access to an affluent market of participants who differ from their London counterparts.

Aspect will assist from beginning to end with venue, recruitment and hosting. For our attentive and friendly staff, nothing is too much trouble and you will be glad you made the trip. Besides its fabulous location, Aspect has also consistently been rated as one of the Best Viewing Facilities in the country. This year was no exception with Aspect winning ‘Best Viewing Facility, Technology and Innovation’ in the Market Research Society Operations Awards.

View Stockport on the 2021 census data from the ONS


Winners: Best Viewing Facility – Technology and Innovation

We are thrilled to announce that Aspect won the MRS Operations Award for Best Viewing Facility – Technology and Innovation. This was in recognition of our recently launched Healthcare Suite which replicates a number of hospital settings so that medical professionals and researchers alike, can feel immersed in a familiar environment.

The suite is filled with familiar items, such as our functional hospital bed, life-sized mannequin/patient, saline drips and the other stainless steel furnishings you’d expect in a healthcare setting. The benefit of this is that it provides a real-world context for any healthcare research. Medical professionals don’t have to imagine or explain the tools they use, human factor studies on new devices are done with participants in the surroundings they would normally be in. The overall effect is that researchers can be certain they are gaining deeper, more authentic insights than in a traditional viewing facility setting, giving them greater confidence in their findings.

However, this award means more to us than just the additional service offering. For us, this award, is also recognition for the creation of the suite itself. Our Healthcare Suite was not something that could be bought off the shelf. Likewise it wasn’t designed or built by external contractors following a brief. Our Healthcare Suite was conceived by our team, designed by our team and built by those same people too. This award means as much to us for how it was created, as much as it does for all the wonderful feedback we receive on the finished product.

For more information on our Healthcare Suite please contact the team at enquiries@aspectviewingfacilities.com

By Gareth Dyson

The Latest Guidance on COVID safety at Aspect

The British Government has recently announced some important changes on the Covid precautions which will come into effect on Monday 19th of July. In line with this we wanted to let you know how these changes will apply to the way you can conduct research at Aspect.

As always the safety of everyone who attends research at Aspect is our primary concern. In addition to following the advice from the government we’re also in constant contact with the MRS to ensure that we can continue to deliver our services to you, in accordance with best practice principles to safeguard the welfare of all involved.

COVID19 Preparedness

This document is available for download via this link.