After conducting 200 extensive surveys during PLASA and LDI, Wybron and Acromatics have begun the second phase of market development research on the performance lighting industry. The ongoing research program will consist of monthly online questionnaires, with access to surveys being as close as the nearest computer. The monthly surveys will cover a variety of subjects including product usage habits and industry hot topics, with results to be shared with the industry.

To access January's survey, click here. Wybron will be giving away two new 30GB Apple iPods ™ to two winners selected randomly from a drawing of all participants of the January survey.

The first phase of research, sponsored by Wybron, was accomplished at PLASA in London and LDI in Orlando. Executed by New York-based Acromatics, it involved a combination of one-on-one interviews and computer questionnaires. "The idea of the monthly online surveys was a result of the overwhelming response we got from the respondents in London and Orlando," says marketing guru Stuart Agres, who spearheaded the project. "We heard repeatedly that the research questions really made them think about things in a new way, and many offered to participate in future research projects."

Acromatics president Margie White points out the benefits of the online surveys for individuals unable to participate in the interviews last fall. "The interviews were very in-depth and took up to an hour to complete, which limited the number of people we could speak with at each show," she explains. "The online surveys are accessible to everyone, they're short, generally 10 minutes or less, and can be completed from any computer at any time during the month."

Each month, Wybron will be giving away a new 30GB Apple iPod™ to one person selected randomly from a drawing of all participants of the survey that month. But aside from the prize, everyone has an opportunity to contribute his or her expertise and opinions. In addition, the results will be posted online, so the entire lighting community will have access to those viewpoints. While many online forums around today provide a valuable exchange of information, the open format can sometimes lead to a lack of focus. A given topic may only generate a handful of responses.

Keny Whitright, founder and president of Wybron, is looking forward to the continuous input from the industry. "This research program is already providing Wybron with a focus on product development for the short term as well as with an integrated vision of the longer-term industry requirements," he says. "With the online surveys we'll see a wider range of opinions, giving us a good indicator of trends in this business."

Keep an eye on the Live Design website for regular updates and survey results.