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Opinion Leaders Program Expands for the 2011 SEMA Show


  Through the Opinion Leaders Program, influential automotive enthusiasts are called upon to help industry professionals identify future trends.

After two successful years, the Opinion Leaders Program will once again expand at the 2011 SEMA Show. Through the research project, some of the nation’s most active and influential automotive enthusiasts are called upon to help industry professionals identify future trends by attending the Show and providing first-hand feedback on the products and vehicles that debut.

“The Opinion Leaders Program continues to grow each year and exceeds our expectations,” said Thomas Myroniak, SEMA vice president of marketing and member services. “Not only do we get an exceptional group of participants, but also we are able to provide exhibitors and attendees immediate and in-depth feedback based on these influencers’ preferences, attitudes and outlook toward our industry and its products.”

The 2010 program included 459 enthusiasts, who were selected through a comprehensive application process, to attend the second day of the SEMA Show. This year, the program is expected to attract more than 800 enthusiast participants. In addition to completing a pre-Show survey, participants are tasked with using social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube, to share their feedback on product, vehicle and trend highlights from the Show.

“Not only is this feedback considered invaluable research to SEMA Show exhibitors, but they also gain a great deal of exposure from the Opinion Leaders Program,” said Myroniak. “Through the use of social media platforms, the exposure is much more impactful because the information comes from a trusted source.”

In addition, onsite focus groups are conducted to provide deeper insight into enthusiasts’ perspectives and attitudes about the specialty-equipment industry. This input, combined with the social media feedback and pre-Show survey results, is captured in a comprehensive market research report and provided to exhibitors prior to being released to the industry-at-large.

“The information generated from the program is some of the best research we’ve ever done because it’s based on first-hand experience and knowledge from the influencers who help drive trends in our industry,” said Myroniak. “By giving these enthusiasts access to the newest products, we’re able to learn what resonates and what doesn’t. Exhibitor feedback indicates they find this information incredibly valuable and it undoubtedly aids in shaping future plans.”

To learn more about the SEMA Show Opinion Leaders Program, contact Megan McKernan at