As an AIRINC researcher, I travel to new cities every few months and absorb as much as I can in my time onsite. It is often a researchers’ first, and potentially only time in that city, so we must navigate with flexibility and confidence to collect all the required data.   

Occasionally, we have the opportunity to meet with clients and take them alongside our journey for a day to experience a snippet of how we obtain our research on the ground. I was able to meet with a client contact in Brussels in November 2023 and spend the day together as we traversed the unofficial Capital of Europe.

  • 10:00 – Met at a café, Paul near De Brouckère, to go over the day’s itinerary and answer any research-related questions
  • 11:00 – Took a bus to interview a trusted housing source on Avenue Louise in Ixelles about the expatriate rental market
  • 13:00 – Took the train to Woluwe Shopping Center for lunch and data collection
  • 14:00 – At Woluwe, collected prices for specific items across many predetermined stores, from clothing to technology to household items
  • 17:00 – Break for the day over biscuits and tea at Maison Dandoy to answer any questions regarding the experience

Before the day took place there was preparation from both sides and, although scheduled to flow seamlessly, there is always chance of a disruption. The mishap this particular day was a train that switched routes in the middle of the trip. Announcements were made, but not in my native English. Thankfully this was easily fixed by transferring to the correct train.  

The end result was a good insight into AIRINC’s onsite fieldwork, and the client contact was able to get answers about our data collection process directly from a researcher. 

After tagging along with me for data collection, the contact had meetings with the client engagement team in the Brussels office where they discussed methodology, data analysis, and how we can optimize the client’s experience. 

The client left the AIRINC Brussels office with a great experience, got to know the AIRINC staff better, and was impressed by the level of detail regarding the research and data analysis that is happening behind the scenes! 

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