The Snuggie. OxiClean. Insanity. Proactiv. They’re all coming, Las Vegas.
Next week, the conference center at Wynn Las Vegas will house the who’s who of infomercial products as the $350 billion “As Seen on TV” industry heads to Las Vegas for its annual conference.
The direct-response television industry will meet Tuesday through Thursday at Wynn Las Vegas during the annual Electronic Retailing Association D2C conference, which is expected to draw about 3,500 people, including inventors and marketers. About 119 exhibitors including fulfillment services, product development and manufacturing companies will be on the show floor encompassing 10,000 net square feet.
Of the attendees, 15 percent are international, with the largest contingents coming from Europe, Asia and Latin America.
“Almost everyone we do business with, aside from our domestic retail partners, attends the show,” said AJ Khubani, CEO and President, TeleBrands.
Khubani’s New Jersey-based company is responsible for the “As Seen on TV” logo and products such as the Ped Egg and Aluma Wallet. TeleBrands has about 30 products that it’s actively marketing sold in over 100 countries around the world.
Bill McAlister, president of Media Enterprises also is exhibiting with his company, which is responsible for products including Pasta Pro and Quick-Brite.
“This particular ERA show is where most of the international distributors are,” he said.
Two years ago, Media Enterprises didn’t ship much internationally, but McAlister said international distribution is growing by almost 50 percent a year for the industry. In 2012, 4 percent of his business was devoted to international markets. This year the share increased to 10 percent. At the show, McAlister said he’ll be targeting China as a potential growth sector for the company. It makes sense, he said, because the country now has an infrastructure to handle increased distribution, with new superhighways and presence from UPS and FedEx.
“To me this is the most important (show) because our international business seems to be a way that we can grow. That’s what I’m going to the show for,” McAlister said.
He said he also sees the internet as another growth category, but that his customers still are dialing those 800 numbers to buy products.
“The typical direct-response consumer is a Wal-Mart consumer,” he said.
Certain products sell 70 percent via the Web, but the only way people know to go there is through infomercials on television.
“The TV is still the driver of the business right now,” McAlister said.
Julie Coons, the president and CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association, said industry wide though, there is a movement of product from TV to retail stores.
At TeleBrands, Khubani and company continue to expand into new retailers. Media Enterprises’ products too, can be found in stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens.
“Once you have a hit you have to get the product right to retail. You don’t get a lot of time,” McAlister said. “Competitive is an understatement. Within five minutes of my product testing it’s knocked off.”
Khubani said his biggest challenge right now is figuring how to get messages out effectively, because the way people are viewing video content is changing. He recently hired eight people to focus solely on internet marketing.
“There’s a big decline in people calling 800 numbers, which you would expect. People’s habits are changing,” Khubani said. “The moment they see something of interest on TV, they go to the smart phone.”
As part of his efforts, Khubani is focused on placing pre-roll ads on YouTube to market products like Stone Wave, a microwavable piece of stoneware cookware.
“This capitalizes on a big trend of people wanting to get away from plastic,” he said. “It’s proving to be a much bigger trend than we anticipated.”
As a result, TeleBrands is developing an entire line of stoneware for the microwave.
In his 30 years in the industry, Khubani said he’s developed a pretty good sense of what might work, but he’s still only right one out of 10 times.
“In this business if you’re only right one out of 10 times you’re considered a genius,” he said.
Inventors and locals interested in the direct-response television business can register for the show onsite. Cost for the floor only is $300 or $1,700 for an all-access pass per nonmember. For more information visit d2cshow.org.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.