|At this year's Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Project, to be held at the SEMA Show, influential automotive enthusiasts will help industry professionals identify future trends.|
With overwhelming support from the SEMA Show Committee, last year’s Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Project will expand at the 2010 SEMA Show. Through the program, the nation’s most active and influential automotive enthusiasts will be called upon to help industry professionals identify future trends by providing firsthand feedback on the products and vehicles debuting at the SEMA Show.
“The results of last year’s inaugural Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Project exceeded our expectations,” said Thomas Myroniak, vice president of marketing and member services. “Not only did we get an exceptional group of participants, but through their efforts we were able to provide exhibitors and attendees immediate and in-depth feedback about their preferences, attitudes and outlook towards our industry and its products.”
The 2009 program invited 527 enthusiasts, selected through a rigorous application process, to attend the second day of the SEMA Show. In addition to completing a comprehensive pre-Show survey, participants were tasked with using social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube, to share their feedback on product, vehicle and trend highlights from the Show. The level of activity was significant enough that it led to the SEMA Show entering Twitter’s top 10 global trends for that day (November 4, 2009).
“Through the exercise, SEMA Show exhibitors gained a great deal of exposure from the Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Program,” said Myroniak. “By using social media platforms, the exposure is much more impactful because the information is shared from a trusted source.”
In addition, onsite focus groups were conducted to provide deeper insight into enthusiasts’ attitudes and outlooks about our industry. This input, combined with the social media feedback and pre-Show survey results, was captured in a series of comprehensive market research reports and provided to exhibitors prior to being released to the industry at large.
“The information generated from the program is unlike anything else we’ve ever done before,” said Myroniak. “By providing the country’s most knowledgeable and influential enthusiasts with access to the newest products, we’re able to learn what resonates and what doesn’t. Exhibitors who’ve reviewed the reports have indicated that they are incredibly valuable and will undoubtedly aid in shaping future plans.”