First of all, this is not an easy industry. Let's get that out there right up front. It takes hard work. It takes a tough skin. It takes being very persistent. It takes time. There is no TV show, contest or licensing agent or submission company that is magically going to bring your product to market. There might be a few products they say they brought to market. Why have these products never hit the shelf? If they do, why don't you hear about how much money they make? Why aren't these winners blogging or on forums talking about it? I'll tell you why. They are under contract and can not talk about their experiences. They are under contract and can't talk about how many they have sold. Truth of the matter is these contests & TV shows don't work. They are all about entertainment. They are all about taking your money and giving you false hope. There's nothing real about reality TV. Some of these companies out there have product hunts or contests. The reason why they don't work is because they filter the ideas. They provide no feedback. You end up not building a relationship with the licensee. You would be better off contacting companies directly. Building a solid relationship with them. Sending ideas to them regularly. The way they make money is through their process. Even if they do happen to bring a product to market. Winning at retail is extremely difficult. Oh Yes, you can talk about the hard economic times we are in right now. But, winning at retail is hard at any time. Working with licensees you need to be directly involved so you have performance clauses. You can understand their sales organization and work with them if need be. Just maybe have more than one licensee because not one company can do everything.
To summarize. To be a professional in this tough industry you need to be informed and in control. Keep the middle man out. If not there is to many hands in the pie and no one ends up making any money. You will end up being more frustrated. This business is tough enough as it is. If you don't believe me and why should you, why don't you ask other successful inventors why they don't get involved with these games. Why they don't enter contests. Ask anyone that is seasoned and they know these contests, TV shows and licensing agents are for the newbies, amateurs, for the people that are not informed.
I know I will take a lot of heat and backlash but it is about time someone spoke up and gave you the truth.
Hope this information helps.