My husband just did his first focus group. Here's how it went:
He signed up to participate in focus groups a few months ago and received his first call on Saturday. He was asked whether he was interested in participating in a focus group on the upcoming Tuesday. The focus group would last 1 hour and he would be compensated $50. He said he was, so they asked him a few questions. The questions were about his age, occupation, household income, what I do for a living and what his role is in grocery shopping. He was also asked if he could be on a reality show, which would it be. I think he may have said The Bachelor if I wasn't in the room :) They asked what session he was available for and was told that the sessions during the day paid more - $65. He choose a day session as he was available. They called back an hour later to give him the address for the group. On Monday he got a confirmation call.
He arrived at the office 20 minutes early and checked in with reception. They asked him a few questions - if he is comfortable speaking in small or large groups. Then he showed his ID. At the start time, he was escorted into a large room. The group was pretty big, about 50 people. That's a really big focus group. Most I've been to were 8-10 people.
All participants were given handheld devices to record their answers and were shown two commercials for a product. Then they were asked a number of questions about the commercials.
Afterwards, a few people were selected to stay longer to answer more questions. They would be paid extra. My husband wasn't selected.
He signed and received his payment - $65 for 50 minutes of his time. Not bad. He said he would be willing to do it again.
You may be selected to participate in focus groups if you have signed up to take surveys with the companies on SavvySeekers. I have seen three focus group invitations in the past few months, but it will definitely depend on where you live. On two of these occasions, the email looked like a regular survey. You just never know what you will be offered when you click on a survey link.