Most focus group research uses purposive sampling (Miles & Huberman, 1984); select participants in each focus group who are similar in terms of whom they are as a group (farmer, pest management professional, teacher, consumer, administrator, etc.). This may help them to share ideas more freely.
Be careful if there are power differentials between the participants, as some participants may be hesitant to talk.
If your grant allows, you may wish to thank participants by providing gift certificates or a catered lunch.
Use a personalized invitation, by phone, email or in person, to invite participants and contact each person again the day before the focus group.
- Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. 1984. Qualitative data analysis: A sourcebook of new methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage