Station Breaks

Screen Test

If you have a product you want to sell via DRTV, you must first catch the attention of direct TV marketers. One way to do this is by attending the annual conference put on by DRTV Expo & Conference. The two-day show offers seminars and workshops that educate entrepreneurs on what makes a good DRTV product.

"We wanted to teach inventors what DRTV is and how [DRTV marketing companies] work with products," says Marti Wolf, a marketing consultant for DRTV Expo & Conference. "One of the things that often happens is that an inventor gets an idea and creates [an unsuccessful] product in a vacuum that, with a little guidance, might have become a great consumer product. Inventors really need to know the kind of profit margins needed and what kind of products are appealing so they'll have a better idea how to make a living in this industry."

At the 1998 DRTV Expo in Long Beach, California, in April, the organizers added a new feature to the event: an International Product Search. "To serve exhibitors at the DRTV show, we decided to act as a catalyst for bringing new products to them," says Wolf. "We did this by placing ads in publications like Inventors' Digest, as well as on the Internet."

Inventors' responses to this new expo offering have been very promising, says Wolf. "The inventors we've been able to contact so far are really excited about the potential for DRTV as a way to market products," she says. "Those inventors that came to the show and displayed their products made many great contacts, and several people are now in negotiations to get their products to market." The next DRTV Expo is set for April 20-21, 1999, in Anaheim, California.

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This article was originally published in the September 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Station Breaks.

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