Identifying experts is a core activity for any market researcher. Every industry has its share of "key individuals" who can speak with authority on current and future trends, emerging technologies, or even emerging companies that will soon be your competitors. It is up to you to identify them first. There are several sources to explore.
-Research centers: often associated with universities, research centers can be interesting sources of experts. Ideally, we should look for the people in charge of an incubator who are the link between applied research and the "early adopters" of an industry because they can guide us on the innovative processes that are or will be entering a field very soon.
-Conferences: frequently associated with a major event, the conference/training program gives an important place to key players in a field (consultants, normative leaders, etc.).
-Professional magazines: these publications generally give an important place to advisors able to bring a critical view on the changes in progress of a sector.
More broadly, professional social networks can also help you identify interesting profiles, as can professional associations, quality circles, certain public technology institutions, etc.
Then, judging the credibility of an expert is sometimes necessary to maintain the quality of the monitoring process. If the expert in question publishes regularly in specialized journals and university publications, if he or she supports companies in the field, if he or she can claim professional recognition or titles, then you can refer to his or her words. A central point in the validation of this credibility lies in the expert's network: because of his position in a research center, his recent work, his dissemination of knowledge, the expert must know his counterparts. If he does not refer to peers, you may wonder about his real position in the industry.
Finally, don't forget that you can also ask these experts to give their opinion on an innovation or on an emerging trend. Indeed, any expert can be asked to play the role of curator in your monitoring system.