Frequently Asked Questions


What are the requirements to be an Iowa Opinion Panel member?
In order to become an Iowa Opinion Panel (IOP) member, you must register online and provide certain personal information, which will be kept confidential and never sold. Panel members are required to truthfully provide all information. The IOP Team reserves the right to restrict or prohibit your use of, access to, and/or participation in the panel. If the IOP Team reasonably suspects that you have provided information that is untrue, inaccurate, not current, or incomplete, we have the right to block your account from the panel. You agree to not use spiders, robots, or other automated data mining techniques to catalog, download, store, or otherwise reproduce or distribute data or content available in connection with the services, or to manipulate the results of any survey.

Do I have to be in a certain demographic to join the panel?
You must be 18 years or older and reside in Iowa.

What happens if I want to stop participating in the Iowa Opinion Panel?
Panel members may opt out from being on the panel at any time by: (i) clicking the unsubscribe button in any invitation received from the IOP team or (ii) sending an email with a request to unsubscribe to Please allow 1-2 weeks for the complete removal of contact information from IOP communication or contact lists.

What is done with the information from the surveys?
Your survey responses are used to either help us select participants for focus groups or interviews or to answer client questions.

Is my information sold?
No, we do not sell your information. Your survey responses are used to select focus groups or help answer client questions.

Do IOP members ever get to see results from the surveys?
If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you will see that we post some survey results. Stay connected to the IOP community, and see how the rest of the members answered!

How do I refer a friend?
It is simple, and we encourage it. Simply log into your account and click the “Invite A Friend” button on the right side of the Dashboard or the “Invite Now” button in any other section. This gives you the opportunity to invite friends and, if they become an active member, you get 100 points for referring them!

Do you ever do focus groups/interviews over skype/web chat services?
Sometimes we conduct individual interviews by phone, but usually we have interviews or focus groups in person. Usually, these are held at our Cedar Rapids facility, but we have also traveled to many other locations around the state of Iowa.


What types of surveys does the panel offer?
You could be invited to many types of surveys, from local to global studies, covering a wide range of industries.

How do I get invited to take a survey?
If you are selected to take a survey, you will receive a survey invitation via email. Please add to your “safe senders” list so you will receive all of our survey invitations and emails.

How often will I receive invitations to participate in surveys?
This varies depending on how many clients we have at any given time using the panel, but you could receive one to three invitations per month.

How long does it take to complete a survey?
Typically, completing a survey takes 5 to 15 minutes.

How do I get more surveys?
The best way to continue getting surveys is by making sure your email address is correct and your IOP profile is filled out completely.

Why do I disqualify from surveys?
This depends on the survey requirements and varies from survey to survey. Having a completed IOP profile helps reduce the amount of inappropriate survey invitations you will receive. However, the Iowa Opinion Panel rewards you with points for every survey you attempt, so even if you don’t qualify, you’re still getting points!

Do I have to take every survey that I am invited to participate in?
No. You can pick and choose which surveys you want to take. We do encourage participants to take all surveys offered so that businesses/organizations get the best possible insights. Remember, the more surveys you take, the more points you earn!

Are my survey answers reviewed by the IOP team?
Believe it or not, the IOP team reviews every answer you submit to make certain members are giving quality responses. Clients count on Vernon Research Group to give them results they can trust for making their big decisions.

How are focus group participants chosen?
This depends on the requirements from the client. We try to recruit a variety of people as restrictions allow.


How do I earn electronic gift cards?
It’s simple — just complete surveys for us! Each survey is given a point value, typically between 25 and 250 points. When you reach 1,000 points, go to your IOP account Rewards page and choose a $20 electronic gift card. You will receive the electronic gift card via email. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to process the request. Another easy way to earn points is to refer a friend! If they become an active member, you will receive 100 points for referring them!

How can I check how many points I have?
Once you log into the Iowa Opinion Panel member portal at, you are able to see your accumulated points no matter which section you are in.

How do I redeem my gift card?
When you log into the IOP website, the website will tell you how many points you have earned. Once you have reached 500 points, you are eligible for the smallest gift card we have available. To see all of the available reward options and to request a reward, click “Rewards” at the top of the page. The Rewards page lists all of the gift cards and how many points each reward costs. Once you select a reward, we will verify that you are eligible before sending you an email with all of the information required to use the electronic gift card. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to process the request.

Do I have to use my points on an gift code, or can I redeem them for something else?
We have a number of other electronic gift cards available, including AMC Theatres, Barnes & Noble, Chili's, Fandango, Papa John’s, Starbucks, and Walmart.

Can I earn more than one electronic gift card?
Yes! You earn an electronic gift card every time you reach 1,000 points. Once you achieve 1,000 points, you start at zero again and can work your way up to earn another electronic gift card.

Do I have to complete the survey to earn points?
Unlike other panels, the Iowa Opinion Panel awards you for just trying. If you find that you do not fit the survey’s requirements, you will still earn points for participating in the survey.

Why does it take so long to get to my 1,000 IOP points?
It can appear that it is taking long to get to your 1,000 points, but we send as many surveys as we can that are available in your town or county. Referring a friend to the IOP is a quick way of earning 100 points!

Could the 1,000 points be lowered?
The 1,000-point goal was carefully chosen and cannot be changed at this time. There is one reward option that only requires 500 points to redeem.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?
If you still have questions about our survey program, please email us at
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