Field Reports1 Jul, 2008 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response
Inventors Showcase New Ideas to Nearly 1,500 Attendees
By Thomas Haire ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
PITTSBURGH — On June 11-14, the annual Invention & New Product Exposition (INPEX) drew more than 300 exhibitors and nearly 1,500 attendees to the stunning David L. Lawrence Convention Center, overlooking the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. The event included a number of special events for attendees, as well as the opportunity for inventors to present their latest and greatest ideas to a slew of product marketing companies, direct response experts and other curious attendees.
Inventors were able to present their products to producers from "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" for a special segment on the late-night TV show.
"We were very pleased at the amount of business attendees and exhibitors at INPEX this year," says Nicole Hait, director of INPEX. "We had 17 countries represented, as well as more than 1,500 inventions on display. We are about to start following up with our exhibitors, and plans are already underway for INPEX 2009."
Representatives of major branders, such as Everlast, Bosch, Irwin Tools, Tupperware and Hasbro, met with inventors as part of the always tough competition to find the "next big thing." Also on hand were representatives of NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," who filmed exhibitor product demonstrations for a segment on the well-known late-night program. At the same time, inventors were able to pick the brains of a number of product marketing experts, including many from the direct response world.
INPEX team members Susie Rich, Nicole Hait and Jenny Lawlor — and Lawlor's husband Joe — welcome attendees to a special cocktail reception on the rooftop deck of the Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh on June 12.
As part of the event schedule, Response Magazine sponsored and co-hosted a panel on Friday, June 13 where qualified inventors were able to present their products to direct response experts. The panels, moderated by the Direct Response Academy's Greg Sarnow and Response Editor-in-Chief Thomas Haire, gave feedback to inventors and suggested which DR outlets — from TV to radio to home shopping to catalog — might give the inventor the best opportunity to break into the DR marketplace.
During the event, the INPEX team hosted select VIP attendees in a luxury suite at beautiful PNC Park on the evening of July 11 for a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. Attendees were also treated to a cocktail reception on the rooftop deck of the Lawrence Convention Center on July 12.
Broadcast Networks Sell $9.2 Billion in Upfront Ads
By Jacqueline Renfrow ( email@example.com)
NEW YORK — Advertisers have agreed to $9.2 billion in primetime broadcast television media time for the 2008-2009 TV season, mostly to avoid price hikes in the fall, reported AdAge.com.
With fears of worsening economic conditions, networks such as CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW committed large amounts of time that were either the same or slightly higher than last year's upfront ad commitments.
Experts warn that spending more upfront is not an indicator of how the networks will do financially for the year. Many advertisers are taking money they would have used for "scatter" ad time (ads purchased closer to air time) and spending it before they are forced to invest more money to try and meet quotas during rating declines.
TV networks "would rather have the money upfront, and they'll play the scatter game later," says Ed Atorino, a media analyst with The Benchmark Co. "What advertisers are doing is locking in, [but] by taking it out of scatter, they're leaving a potential hole in the market."
CBS sold the same amount of inventory as in the 2007-08 season, making it one of the only networks not to sell additional time in order to drive volume. CBS secured about $2.5 billion in commitments (compared with $2.45 billion last year).
NBC sold slightly more of its inventory than last year, 80 percent, to secure $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion a year ago. ABC similarly sold between 80 and 85 percent of its inventory, compared with 77 to 82 percent of its market last year. For ABC, that's about $2.5 billion in commitments, up from $2.4 billion.