At the time of this writing in early June, we here at Quirk’s have just made the transition back to the office after nearly 15 months away. While I’ll miss many aspects of working from home, the fact that we are back in the office is a sign that things are slowly getting back to normal. There’s still a long way to go in terms of vaccinations and herd immunity but each day it feels like in-person interaction is less and less fraught – which has me excited for the return of in-person Quirk’s Events.

We were perhaps a bit too optimistic and ambitious when we first announced that our 2021 slate of events in London, New York and Chicago would mark a return to in-person gatherings. Indeed, earlier this year we rescheduled the London event from July to October when it became clear that a summer meeting wasn’t in the cards.

But from where we now sit, it appears the world will be ready in the fall. Along with large-scale conventions and business gatherings, concert tours and other cultural events are starting to creep back into our schedules, with late summer and early autumn looking wonderfully busy.

With that as a preamble, here’s an update on our plans for the 2021 Quirk’s Events ( (Rest assured that all safety precautions will be observed and the events will follow local- and facility-imposed procedures and practices related to COVID-19.)

Chicago (September 30-October 1): Our inaugural 2019 Chicago event drew over 1,300 attendees and our 2020 event had over 1,500 registrations before it was cancelled due to COVID-19. We expect at minimum 600 registrations this year but are shooting for between 750 and 1,000. It is possible, however, that due to pent-up demand and a new, more central downtown Chicago location (Hyatt Regency Chicago), we could match or exceed our earlier numbers. Data from the first year in Chicago indicated that about 60% of our attendees were from the Chicago area and commuted from home. So even if there are still corporate travel bans in the autumn, we’re hoping the majority of our attendees will be able to attend. With a price point of around $100 for end-client registrations for all of our events, cost should not be an obstacle to registration either!

London (October 13-14): The 2020 London event had more than 1,375 registrations, a nearly 10% increase over our inaugural London 2019 event. As with Chicago, we’re aiming for a minimum of 600 registrations this year but are targeting 750 to 1,000. Even in regular, non-pandemic years, the London audience registers late – generally in the final three weeks before the event. About 80% of past London attendees were from the London area so, again, even with corporate travel bans, we assume most will be able to make it. And the low-cost end-client registration fees (around £100) are manageable even if companies have cut back on funding for professional development.

New York (November 2-3): The 2020 Brooklyn event – held in March just before the COVID-driven shutdown – was a sellout – over 1,375 registrations – our highest attendance on record. For 2021, we’ve moved out of Brooklyn to Manhattan’s Javits Center. Past-event data for New York shows that about 70% of attendees were from the New York metro area. Fingers crossed here too that any existing late-autumn corporate travel bans won’t stop researchers from attending. Nor should the price!

Openings for presenters 

While our client-side speaking slots are filling up nicely, we do still have some openings for presenters at all three events, so please let me know if you are interested in speaking. Sessions are 30 minutes and just about anything related to life and work as a corporate marketing researcher is fair game as a topic.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!