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Take an all-Inclusive trip to China to tour factories and learn manufacturing overseas. 

With our DRTV Summit quickly approaching, most of the talk around the water cooler here at InventionHome has been about the latest infomercial products… (honestly, can you believe that Happy Hot Dog Man??).  While we’ve been busy searching for inventions with the “Wow! Factor”, the United Inventors Association (UIA) has teamed up with China-2-West to wow us with an inventor’s dream trip. 

Any inventor interested in manufacturing his or her product should seriously consider signing up. The first 20 inventors will have the opportunity to learn about off shore manufacturing first hand through factory visits, educational seminars, and entry to the world’s largest product tradeshow in Canton.

When:  October 20 – 30, 2011

Includes:

o       Round trip airfare between New York or San Francisco and Hong Kong

o       Transportation in China

o       All hotel accommodations in 4 & 5 star hotels

o       3 meals per day

o       All access pass to Canton Products Show

o       Factory Tours

o       Inventor Education Seminars

o       Local Sight Seeing and Cultural Visits

The educational value alone would be worth the expense, but add the cultural experience of China to an already unbelievable deal and Wow! you have the trip of a lifetime! 

For More Information or to save your spot – Contact Eric Bouldin by email on eric.bouldin@china2west.com or by phone on 650-921-3088.

 

 

 

For help with your invention or patent call 1-866-844-6512

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In light of our upcoming DRTV Product Summit (September 28, 2011), we thought a few words here on what makes a great product “pitch” would be beneficial to our readers.

In preparation for the Summit, we put together some guidelines specific to the Direct Response (infomercial) industry, but in reality many of these tips can apply across all categories.  Bottom line is…if you are meeting with a company in order to pitch your invention, whether it be a household gadget or a medical whatzit, proper preparation will increase your chances of success. 

First tip:  EDUCATE YOURSELF.  This means know the category/market into which your invention falls.  Clearly understand the “problem solved” and consider objectively just how big that problem is.  Research other products that solve the same problem and know their shortcomings. 

Second tip:  KNOW YOUR PRODUCT.  Know the patent status of your invention (and for that matter, of any competitive products/prior art, too).  Clearly define the benefits and features of your product and compare/contrast with your competition.  If you have sales history, be prepared to share.  If you have (or can obtain) manufacturing costs, be prepared to share.

Third tip:  PITCH LIKE A PRO.  Be enthusiastic, but remain factual…to say that “my invention is the only one of its kind”, or “this is a million dollar idea” don’t really help your credibility.  Tell your story…define the problem…but keep it brief (not boring!).  If your invention is conducive to an on-site demo, practice it at home and have all the props organized for a smooth presentation.  If you can’t demo on-site (maybe your invention requires a hot oven as a prop), can you provide a video? 

Should you find yourself face-to-face with a company evaluating your invention, we hope these tips come in handy and wish you much success.

2011 DRTV Product Summit - Private pitch sessions with 6 leading infomercial companies in one location  CLICK TO SUBMIT

Click here to download the DRTV Product Summit Tip-Sheet.

As an inventor, I’m sure you have watched Shark Tank on T.V and thought, “I really wish I had the opportunity to get my invention in front of decision makers at big innovation companies.” I bet you have thought about your product being sold on the shelves of department stores, seeing young and old use your product with smiles on their faces, and of course making some money in the process. 

As your mind starts to daydream about all the possibilities you can have if you just had ONE shot at pitching your product in front of the right people, Mr. Reality steps in and rears his ugly head! You start thinking about how many steps you need to take to get on a television show…or how much money you need to spend going to multiple trade shows all over the place, and knowing you have a slim chance of anyone important even seeing your product. You then realize another scary thought; what if your dream does come true…a company has interest in your product….now what? 

Well, I’m about to tell you some AWESOME news. Just think of me as your “Invention Jiminy Cricket.” The chance you have been waiting for is here! InventionHome is pleased to announce their first DRTV Product Summit, September 28, 2011 at Robert Morris University, located in Pittsburgh, PA. Twenty-four inventors will have 10 minutes to pitch their product to SIX of the top DRTV industry leaders!

So you are wondering, what’s so great about that? Oh, ye have little faith my friends – let me tell you the top benefits. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite word – FREE!!! That’s right, you heard me, it’s FREE to submit your idea here. Our team of professionals at InventionHome, responsible for licensing over 100 products, will review submissions and select 24 products that best fit the DRTV Category. If you are in the top 24, you get 10 minutes ONE on ONE, undisturbed time with each company. These are big companies people…ever hear of a little product called “Snuggie” or “Topsy Turvey”? InventionHome is bringing you the cream of the crop! Oh, and again our favorite word – FREE! There is no cost to you to attend the DRTV Product Summit, only your travel costs.

Another big-time benefit is that if a company has interest (which is the goal, right?), InventionHome will be with you every step of the way as your agent. That means we help negotiate contracts, follow up with the company and answer any questions you have along the way. InventionHome receives a commission only if the license or distribution agreements are signed by all parties involved.

So what are you waiting for? This is your chance! Go here for all the details: http://signup.inventionhome.com/product-summit/drtv/. Be sure to stay in touch by being our Facebook friend and following us on Twitter.  Oh and don’t forget what Jiminy said, “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Marketing Director Colleen Kelly oversees signing of License Agreement at the National Hardware Show.

The snow has melted, the flowers are in bloom, and the spring trade show season has come to a close.  Our sponsorship of the inventors’ areas at three big shows (Housewares, Response Expo, and Hardware) culminated with the signing of a licensing agreement on the floor of the National Hardware Show (NHS).  Executives from Crown Bolt met with inventor Richard Bushey at the InventionHome booth to execute an agreement for the Flip-Down Doorstop.  What a great way to symbolize the exceptional value of the “show within a show”, the area on the floor where inventors meet face-to-face with companies looking for new products.

Traffic at the NHS’s “Inventors Spotlight” was brisk, making the aisles difficult to maneuver at times as over ninety inventors demonstrated their products to an inquisitive audience.   The InventionHome booth located at the front of the area was busy as well, showcasing a dozen or so clients’ products as the InventionHome staff met with existing member companies and new companies interested in finding innovative products.

Elsewhere on the show floor, several products previously licensed through InventionHome were on display in the Licensees’ booths.  These included the Bi-light, Captails, Wurkpads and the Saw Through Saw Horse.  Initial response to these items has been excellent!

Inventors exhibiting or attending the show were invited to a free seminar presented by the United Inventors Association (UIA).  InventionHome was pleased to sponsor the presenters’ luncheon where guests included AJ Khubani, CEO of Telebrands Corp., and Dave Kappos, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

The UIA also awarded prizes to inventors that exhibited for Best Product Concept, Best Market Research, and Best Overall Product.

Summer will be in mid-stride before the dust from the spring shows settles.   The more successful the show, the more work to do following up on product interest and company contacts when we return.  The InventionHome staff is looking forward to a nice, tall drink by the pool sometime in August!

Need help with your Invention - Submit your idea or call toll free 1-866-844-6512.

Chances are that if you own a television set, you have witnessed the phenomenon known as DRTV.  Called “direct-response television”, DRTV advertisements have the goal of generating instant action by the viewers, and they typically include a toll-free number and website address to facilitate orders.  Some famous examples of DRTV spots include the Snuggie®, PedEgg®, and who can forget the Ginsu Knife ads of the 1970’s?

If you are considering presenting your invention to a DRTV company, take some time to learn about the industry, develop your presentation to address their market needs, and also set yourself some appropriate expectations.  Here are some tips…

  1. Understand the market.  There are certain qualities that most DRTV products share.  Consider how your invention will stack up to these criteria and address them head-on in your presentation:
    • They fall in categories that appeal to very broad audiences, such as housewares/kitchen, cleaning devices, tools, fitness/exercise, weight-loss, and personal care.
    • DRTV products can be easily demonstrated, and that demonstration usually depicts some sort of problem-resolution…like demonstrating how one can become more beautiful, happier, skinnier, and the like. 
    • Price point is extremely important.   A product that sells on DRTV for $19.99 will ideally cost $4.00 or less to manufacture.   

 

  1. Put your best foot forward.  Convincing a DRTV company that your invention is the next multi-million dollar Snuggie is the goal.  The question is; are you putting your best foot forward to convince them to invest in your invention, which could potentially cost a DRTV company thousands in developing, manufacturing and marketing your invention, depending on where you are in the process. If your invention is not already developed, your best bet is to have either a high quality virtual design or working prototype, which can tangibly demonstrate your invention.   Even a basic or crude video of your invention can help in catching these companies’ attention.
  1. Be willing to let go.  Some inventors want to dictate the design, materials, even what factory the potential DRTV company must use.  Don’t let this be your downfall!  As mentioned above, DRTV products have extremely demanding price models due to the large sums of money spent both on developing the commercial and buying the television media/spots.  In most cases, the DRTV companies can achieve more competitive pricing from their factories than inventors can provide, based both on the companies’ clout and the sheer volume of product that they can potentially order.  Other things like product features, manufacturing materials, and accessories can also play a significant role in determining price, giving companies even more reason to maintain product control.

 

  1. Have Realistic Expectations!  Along with their well-defined pricing model, most DRTV companies have standardized license agreements for inventors with very little wiggle-room on royalty percentages.  Although their royalty levels may appear on the low end, consider these factors before saying no to a deal: 
    • Are you comparing apples to oranges?  There could be a BIG difference in how DRTV royalties are paid versus more “traditional” product royalties.  Since most royalties (at least in my experience) are based on net revenues, let’s consider what that means.
      • For a “traditional” distribution model, there could be many middlemen.  A company might sell their widget to a distributor for $8.  The distributor might sell to a retailer for $10.  The retailer might sell to consumer for $19.99.  In this example, an inventor royalty is based on the only cost the company actually controls, which is their net revenue of $8 (less any agreeable fees).
      • For a DRTV distribution model, the DRTV company might sell their gadget through a television ad, which targets the consumer directly, for $19.99.  Guess what?  In this scenario, the inventor royalty is based on $19.99! 
    • Consider the volume of product sold!  Successful infomercial products don’t just sell hundreds…or thousands of products.  They sell MILLIONS.  Enough said?

 

  1. Prepare yourself.  It’s widely understood in the DRTV industry that a large majority of products tested will actually fail, which is the nature of the business.  Many DRTV companies will say that “9 out of 10” products they test will fail, which is why they are interested in market testing many products to see which will ultimately succeed.  If you enter the deal with this knowledge and understand the odds, you could save yourself a lot of heartache if your product doesn’t ultimately succeed.

 

Best of luck to you as you navigate the DRTV arena!

Need help protecting, designing or marketing your invention?  Call 1-866-844-6512.

Not too long ago, inventors and entrepreneurs had limited options available to them in regards to exhibiting their products at tradeshows.

They could either attend one of the smaller inventor-related tradeshows, or they could go to a large national product tradeshow and exhibit alongside large, established companies.

The first option offered very limited exposure for their product, and the second option was both expensive and difficult, requiring professional booth design, collateral materials, and a well-thought tradeshow strategy.

Today, the landscape for inventors is changing.  Inventor only tradeshows and exhibiting in the main areas of large national product tradeshows is fading away fast and being replaced with the new “micro-show” trend in the tradeshow industry.

Many of the national tradeshows such as the International Home and Housewares Show (IHHS), National Hardware Show (NHS), Response Expo and the Specialty Retail Entrepreneur Expo (SPREE) have adopted the “micro-show” concept, offering huge benefits by allowing independent inventors to exhibit in a consolidated area designed specifically for inventors and entrepreneurs.  These inventor areas concentrate inventors in one specific location of the overall tradeshow, making it easier for companies attending the show to find them.  These areas become a “destination point” for companies, providing far more exposure to inventors.  In addition, it is much cheaper to exhibit as an inventor in these areas than it would be to obtain a larger booth on the main tradeshow floor.  The Inventors booths are a turnkey solution to inventors which includes furniture, signage, and marketing of the booth location.  In addition, these shows have inventor area organizers (Brainchild Marketing at IHHS and Response Expo and the United Inventors Association at NHS and SPREE) on site to help the inventors with show details and act as a trusted source of information throughout the show.

As these large national tradeshows realize the added value that inventors bring to their overall show, they are looking for ways to entice more inventors to attend.   To increase the overall value for inventors, many shows now offer inventor education seminars and face-to-face opportunities for inventors to “pitch” their products to key companies in attendance.

InventionHome is sponsoring inventors’ areas at the upcoming SPREE show, Response Expo and National Hardware Show (NHS).  Response and the NHS both include educational sessions for inventor exhibitors with invaluable advice from industry experts and the chance for the exhibitors to pitch their products directly to companies who actively seek new inventions.   In addition, these shows have found creative ways to give inventors more bang for their buck…

If you are considering exhibiting at one of these show you should consider having a patent application on file with the USPTO (either a provisional or non-provisional application) before exhibiting.  In addition, in order to maximize opportunities at the show, you should also have a good, demonstrable prototype or finished product presentation for buyers to evaluate.

For more information on these shows see below…

Response Expo, May 3-5, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, CA – Click to Learn More

 

National Hardware Show, May 10-12, Las Vegas Convention Center, NV – Click to Learn More

 

Specialty Retail Entrepreneur Expo (SPREE), April 12-14, Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas – Click to Learn More

 

For help with your invention call 1-866-844-6512!

InventionHome is pleased to announce it will once again sponsor the Inventors Pavilion at the 2011 Response Expo, the premiere event for direct response marketers from across the country.

The Inventors Pavilion gives exhibitors the unique opportunity to present their product in person to those decision-makers responsible for selling products on TV.   Exhibitors are also invited to attend the Inventor/Entrepreneur educational track day and have unlimited access to the show floor.  Unique to this show is inclusion in the networking events after the trade floor closes.  Inventors are invited to mingle with DRTV professionals at three special events that provide a relaxed setting for continued networking after hours.

Should you attend the show?

Anyone with a product that would do well in an infomercial should consider attending.  Your invention should be easy to demonstrate and have a prototype or a professional product presentation.

What you get…

  • Space to display your invention information
  • All-access pass that includes amazing networking events (a $750 value)
  • A day of education taught by DRTV product experts
  • A chance to pitch your product one-on-one to a DRTV product representative looking to take the right products straight to TV!
  • Opportunity to meet John Abdo, the inventor of The AB-DOer®, former Olympic Coach and TV personality.

Reserve your space today by contacting Lori Posey at Brainchild Marketing: info@brainchildmarketing.biz or (724) 972-1149. (Patent protection is recommended for exhibiting.)

When: May 3 – 5   /   Where: Hilton San Diego Bayfront, California

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