More Than 500 Enthusiasts Spread Top Trends from 2009 SEMA Show

  SEMA Show Enthusiast Research Program
  The Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Program offered 527 auto enthusiasts admission to the 2009 SEMA Show in exchange for their reportage on top products and trends to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In an effort to better analyze the tastes and preferences of today’s auto enthusiasts, SEMA, in coordination with Ford, launched the Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Program at the 2009 SEMA Show.

The program invited 527 enthusiasts, selected through a rigorous application process, to the second day of the Show and tasked them with using social media, including Twitter and Facebook, to broadcast their personal product and trend highlights of the Show.

Beginning with the New Products Showcase, these opinion leaders were asked to post 10 product highlights to personal Twitter accounts. Their activity actually led to the SEMA Show entering Twitter’s top 10 global trends for that day of the Show (November 4, 2009).

Nearly half of the enthusiasts selected (49%) were between the ages of 25 and 44 and were active users of social media; 44% said they updated their personal sites daily. Not only are they hands-on with their computers and smartphones, but they also turn wrenches; 42% said they work on their cars and trucks themselves, and 55% do both their own work, but also use professional installation services.

Nearly nine in 10 (89%) had done performance upgrades to their vehicle, 86% had added wheels and/or tires, and 81% had done an engine swap or upgrade. Truck/SUV modifiers (62%) slightly outweighed street-performance/musclecar modifiers (57%). Almost half of the enthusiasts owned a GM vehicle (48%), edging out Ford owners (36%).

Read more about the Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Program in the February issue of SEMA News.