HVM uses focus groups to test a product, service or societal challenge with those who have a stake in the issue either because they work in the field, or they are affected in some way by any solutions to the challenge. Focus groups are conducted in short one-off sessions. They are particularly useful when swift front of mind thoughts need to be gathered on people's views, experiences or beliefs. HVM employs focus groups for example, to test reactions to a public performance, to gain initial thoughts on an issue for a community and/ or to give immediate reactions to a stakeholder consultation process.
HVM runs focus groups in venues appropriate for the group selected for the discussion. Sometimes this includes doing Walk & Talk focus groups in an area of interest for the commissioning body. Working with techniques also used in community mapping the team literally takes the group for a walk discussing the issue. This too is helpful for immediate thoughts and reactions to an issue, service or product which they have experienced in that space.
For examples of HVM's work using focus groups visit the Library or Projects areas. The primary tool for HVM's work is effective and empathetic facilitation. At HVM we facilitate engagement to gain insight - for us this is the key to being effective in all our research and engagement programmes.