Copenhagen Open 2017

The CPN Open is so large that it almost shut’s down areas of Copenhagen city for five days in the month of August. The fact that the city is happy to allow such an event to take over such large areas is unfathomable to most skateboarders, which is why the event draws an international crowd from all four corners of the globe. As a researcher these key events provide doorstep opportunities to gather a rich source of qualitative research data including interviews, observations and visual analysis via photographic and film recordings. Heading out for four days with a support team of four I conducted five interviews, attended daily events and captured an array of information from industry professionals and attendees.

The visit was a valuable opportunity for a number of reasons. I had recognised in previous interviews, that I had become over friendly with my participants. Having been on tours or knowing individuals had resulted in conversations that slipped into a jaunt down memory lane. In this instance the interviews provided a space in which to test structured interviews where the same questions were asked of all the individuals. Devising a series of open ended questions, the research allowed for personal opinion and additional questions should I feel a perspective required further unpicking. The key strategy here was to ensure that while there was flexibility within the interviews the same series of questions could be recorded for authority, interpretation and finally for perspective.

The research examined a cross section of professional individuals from the skateboard industry including a photographer, a team manager, two sponsored skateboarder’s and a director of a skateboard brand.  The sample was specifically selected to investigate responses from across industry perspective. Part of the coding process will be to examine the content of the responses, scan experiences and analyse language. The research set out to look for repetitive words and phrases most commonly used by the respondents, to compare and contrast similarities and differences based on the contributor’s answers.

By testing my methods, I was able to observe and measure the experience of each contributing individual from body language to feedback at the end of the interview. I emailed each participant one week after the event for further comment discussing the nature of the interview questions and their personal responses. At the core of this email I wanted to gauge if the participant felt comfortable with the questions, were happy with their responses or felt like there was any part of the interview they would prefer redacted.

Testing these interviews provided a foundation for a larger research case study I intended to undertake in summer 2018. Addressing these approaches now will underpin my approach ensuring the data I return with is sound and generated ethically.