Ron Popeil, famed American inventor, pitchman, television star and creator of the television “infomercial,” will headline four days of events in the Inventors Revue during the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show, March 15-18 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The events include inventor education presentations and product evaluation through “Pitch to the Pros” panels.
Popeil, famous for phrases such as “Set it and Forget it,” will discuss the entire process of invention and marketing, including problems inventors might encounter, in his keynote presentation “Inventing & Marketing—Don’t ‘Set It and Forget It’” at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15. The education programs begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with Debra Mednick of The NPD Group exploring the “Latest Trends and Influencers in the Housewares Industry.”
The Inventors Revue is adjacent to the Inventors Corner Pavilion in the Clean, Contain + Sustain Expo in the North Building. It is sponsored by the International Housewares Association along with Invention Home, Inventors Digest and Women Inventorz.
“Pitch to the Pros” panels will be held each day, offering Inventors Corner exhibitors valuable product evaluation that serves as both an education and, sometimes, a rough introduction to the highly competitive world of merchandising. It’s a fast-paced give and take with immediate impact. The panels will include representatives from QVC, HSN, Skymall, ShopHQ (formerly ShopNBC), The Grommet, Livelink TV and as well as direct response experts, designers and housewares manufacturers.
In its 10-year history, the Inventors Corner has evolved into a destination at the Show, growing from a dozen participants in the beginning to 60 this year, a testament to its spreading influence as housewares companies and retailers look outside their own walls for products with appeal. This concept, formally known as “open innovation,” has taken hold as, over the years, more and more products that debuted at the Inventors Corner have made it to market.
“The Show cares about the inventor, takes care of the inventor and the exposure is unequalled,” says Stephanie James, the Inventors Corner pavilion coordinator and a past participant whose Corn Cob’R debuted there, was licensed by a housewares company and went on to be a big-seller with its own booth on the Show floor. James has since had two other products licensed.
“The opportunities are there. For so many inventors who don’t know how to find avenues to search out what’s best for their product, the Inventors Corner and Inventors Revue offers assistance,” she says.
For complete listings of exhibitors and Inventors Revue events, go to www.housewares.org/