Mobby’s Drysuit Demo Day

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The Benefits of Regional Dive Shows

The Benefits of Regional Dive Shows
By Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation

 

Regional Dive Shows are a major part of a dive businesses’ marketing strategy.  Face-to-face marketing is a cost effective way to increase sales in a concentrated time frame.  Exhibitors, Speakers and Attendees get an opportunity to meet and greet customers and colleagues they have only corresponded with or spoken to all year long.  It’s an annual opportunity to put a face with a name and a number.  No other marketing activity compares equally to face-to-face marketing shows and events.  Dollar for dollar I would have to say that you get the biggest bang for your buck.

Every year we allocat time, money and manpower to a marketing budget in order to increase sales as efficiently and cost effectively as we possibly can.  A successful business will create a marketing strategy and budget that balances the digital, print, and face-to-face marketing components.  The magic of consumer dive shows is that a smart marketer can combine all three components of an individual show by designing pre-show, at-show and post-show portions to the entire campaign.  Without such an integrated marketing approach, shows and events are never as productive and profitable as they could be.

According to Rhonda Abrams, Author of Trade Show In A Day, “Trade shows are a multibillion-dollar industry for a reason: They work.” Rhonda makes a distinction between trade and consumer shows and deals mostly with Trade Shows in her book.  In the Trade Show category, she makes an important distinction between Expositions and Conferences.  “At a trade show or expo, the primary action takes place on the exhibit hall floor.  Attendees are there to visit booths, and all non-exhibit activities are secondary.  At a conference, the opposite is true.  Attendees are there to go to seminars and educational sessions, visiting the exhibition hall only during breaks in their daily schedules.”

Regional Consumer Dive Shows are the annual events of a particular geographical region.  Beneath the Sea captures the Northeast.  Our World Underwater highlights the North Central (or Midwest) Region.  The Scuba and H2O Adventure Show appeals to Divers in the Northwest United States and Southwest Canada.  The new Lone Star State Dive and Travel Show is becoming the annual event for the South Central U.S.  Divers in California and the Southwest United States have the Scuba Show to call their own.

The Exhibit Hall:  Regional Consumer Dive Shows attract Divers who either work in the business or dive as a hobby so there will be opportunities for both trade and consumers.  Divers are interested in the Exhibit Hall to see diving equipment, specialty gear that includes underwater camera equipment, apparel and jewelry, training material and travel & resort destinations.  A big plus for certified divers is the opportunity to purchase diving equipment at these shows.  People go to shows to buy stuff.  Diving is no different.  Selling dive gear at shows is an excellent opportunity for any Retail Dive Center but they would be wise not to only focus on the immediate sale.  Retailers have the opportunity to book their scuba classes, local boat trips, and vacation travel trips.  Exhibiting at shows is also an excellent way to increase brand recognition of your dive center and capture attendee contact information.

Although diving equipment manufacturers do not, and should not, sell directly to the public, they do have a responsibility to promote their Dealers in the region.  Having a full display is a big plus for their Dealers who might not have gone to the latest DEMA Show. Manufacturing Sales Reps can schedule appointments with their local Dealers at the booth or in the Seminar rooms for wholesale transactions.  Innovative manufacturers have scheduled booth times for their local Dealers in order for them to meet with local divers.  The manufacturer pays for the booth space and sets it up.  The Sales Rep is in charge of scheduling booth times for their Dealers.  The Dealers work the booth where they have an opportunity to meet local divers and take orders for gear.  This realty is a WIN-WIN-WIN.

Seminars & Workshops:  Every Dive Show has a Professional Development aspect for people working in the business as well as an Educational or Entertainment aspect for certified divers.  Professional Development Conferences are important to our industry.  DAN and all of the Certification Agencies have Member Updates and new techniques seminars all year long.  Bringing them to a Regional Dive Show that already has the venue in place is a no-brainer.  Equipment manufacturers and service companies conduct equipment maintenance and repair workshops that take 4-8 hours.  Perfect for a two or three day show.

Where else other than a weekend dive show can you attended a 1 hour, ½ day, or full day world-class photography program like a Cathy Church Photo Workshop?  Speaking of world-class talent, our industry has a Speakers Bureau of available speakers for any size show or event.  Seminars are usually 1-2 hours in length and workshops are either ½ day, 1 day or 2 days long.  Seminars can be educational or entertaining and are usually included in the general admission price.  Workshops are usually educational.  Unless, of course it’s Cathy Church.  Then it’s always educational and entertaining! Workshops usually have an extra charge to them, although general admission to the show is not required.

A popular type of seminar is the dive travel resort seminars. Resort Destinations are bringing their professional video programs to the consumer dive show circuit and giving their audience an opportunity to see some of the best diving destinations in the world.  In the past, these travel seminars have always been conducted in the seminar rooms, but with the advances in audio-visual technology, travel seminars are sometimes conducted in the exhibit hall.  The increased sound and audience participation makes the exhibit hall seem more alive.

Film Shows:  Since the early 1970’s Film Shows, usually on Saturday Nights, were my all time favorites.   As a Scuba Instructor and a very active Diver, I went to Film Shows and watched Stan Waterman, John Stoneman and Fred Calhoun’s underwater Films and dreamt of working in the diving industry.  When Jacques and Michele Cousteau starting showing their latest underwater films, I got a personal, close up view of the best of the best in the diving industry.  To say it recharged my professional batteries every time I went to an Underwater Film Show would be a gross understatement.

Film Shows are not what they used to be, with the exception of Our World Underwater.  They understand the magic spell these films have on the diving public.  On stage, for two magnificent hours or more, you’ll see world-class talent displaying their latest film endeavors to an audience, both trade and consumer, who appreciate being the first of many to see these wonderful films and the people who produce them.

Bringing back the Saturday Night Film Festival is going to take some strategic planning on the industry’s part.  It’s the closest thing we have to Jacques Cousteau invading our living rooms with his wonderful underwater adventures.

Annual Organizational Meetings:  We all know the shows that are popular meeting grounds for the various non-profit organizations.  BTS is the undisputed leader in attracting groups to host their annual meeting at this show.  The Women Divers Hall of Fame comes to mind immediately.  If it’s March, then WDHOF is in Secaucus.

The Future of Dive Shows:  The Dive Industry Foundation has agreed to work with Jim Gentile of Our World Underwater in Chicago and the Lone Star State Dive and Travel Expo in Texas.  We are also working with Rick Stratton at the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, Washington.  Our goals are to: 1) Increase the number, quality and diversity of exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall.  2) Increase the number, the professionalism and the diversity of Seminars and Workshops, working with Industry Professionals in our Speakers Bureau. 3) Develop a National / International Film Festival format for our Saturday Evening Film Shows.  4) Develop and encourage weekend Regional Professional Development Conferences, second to none in the industry.  5) Encourage clubs & organizations to hold their annual meetings at our shows. 6) Increase attendance at the shows by creating things to learn, things to do, places to see and people to meet. 7) Create and manage a Volunteer Organization for each Regional Dive show for local divers to volunteer in the creation, execution and clean-up of their annual event.  8) Increase marketing and advertising to divers and the general public at large.  9) Involve the entire Regional Area in the creation of their largest annual dive attraction.  10) Bring in the big guns from the International Diving Community to participate in the regional shows.

For more information:  Please contact Gene Muchanski, Executive Director at the Dive Industry Foundation.  gene@diveindustry.org

 

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Editorial – March 2017

Understanding The Business of Diving
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

A large part of our pre-season marketing effort is consumer dive shows.  Every regional area should have at least one annual event that brings their Divers together to see what’s new in diving equipment, current training tips and techniques, and the ultimate diving resort destinations.  It’s also the best place to assemble samples of the world-class talent we have in our industry’s speakers bureau to see what is new and exciting in their world.  While all of this is going on, Regional Dive Shows are the venue of choice for the annual meetings of dive clubs and organizations and it’s the highlight of their social event calendar.

So if consumer dive shows are all that important and well run ones are financially cost effective to exhibit at, participate in and attend, why is our trade participation so lacking?  Partially because of decreasing budgets, a troublesome economy, declining attendance, and an ageing diving demographic with little infusion of younger divers.  To be honest with you though, our problem is mostly because of arrogance, ignorance and the industry’s inability to play well with others.  In the past two years, the industry has witnessed changes in the ownership of a number of manufacturers and certification agencies.  A number of Sales Reps have retired or been replaced.  Quite a few Dive Stores have gone out of business.  Our Industry Professionals are not getting any younger and the senior management at many companies in all sectors of the industry are not degreed or even educated in proper business disciplines.  No one to my knowledge is attempting to document the vast experience of our current industry professionals nor are they creating Advisory Boards to help them understand the current strengths and weaknesses and the future opportunities and threats of our industry. Individual dive companies are lacking in proper Business Plans, Marketing Plans and Exit Strategies.

No one can save an industry.  And to be honest with you, no one should try.  It’s like trying to teach a Pig how to dance.  You’ll quickly find out that it’s a frustrating experience and it irritates the Pig.  But thankfully, there are a number of bright Entrepreneurs in our industry who understand and appreciate the benefits of Mastering The Business of Diving.  It’s for these companies that we spend time, money and manpower to improve our businesses, increase our marketing reach and effectiveness, and carve out market shares that help our companies be more competitive and successful. It is more productive to work with companies that can and want to make positive changes in their own companies, and because of that, our industry, then to try to convince diving hobbyists that running a successful and profitable business is their ticket to a more enjoyable career.  A career that is rewarding, enjoyable, filled with perks and rewards and a career that allows us to do what we love to do.

The Dive Industry Foundation is a tax exempt, non-profit, charitable and educational organization that is dedicated to understanding and improving the economic development of the diving industry.  We specialize in helping Entrepreneurs and their Employees to Start, Run and Succeed in their water sports related businesses.  Our marketing article for March is all about the advantages and opportunities of participating in Regional Dive Shows.  We put all the pieces together that makes attending, speaking, exhibiting and volunteering understandable.  It’s an annual opportunity that everyone in a select geographical area can participation in and benefit from.

Don’t just be a casual observer in your industry and not participate in it.  Take advantage of the growing synergy around you and do your part of grow your business, your hobby and your industry.  Participate in your Regional Dive Show this year.

 

 

 

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DIA Members To Exhibit in Tacoma, WA

by Gene Muchanski,
Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show on March 31 – April 2, 2017 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center in Tacoma, WA.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members FIRST.

 

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits & Associations

Media, Shows & Events, Retail Services

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$5 OFF DAILY ADMISSION

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Buddy Dive Dominica Proudly Presents: Ned & Anna Deloach

BUDDY DIVE DOMINICA PROUDLY PRESENTS: NED & ANNA DELOACH

Dominica, Caribbean (March 3, 2017) Buddy Dive Dominica is happy to announce that Ned & Anna DeLoach, authors of the Reef Fish Identification and Behavior books, will visit Dominica in the first 2 weeks of June, 2017.

Ned & Anna DeLoach are long time guests of Buddy Dive; during the last 12 years they visited Bonaire on a yearly basis. Instead of diving the familiar turquoise waters of Bonaire, this year Ned & Anna are very excited to explore the pristine underwater world of Dominica with the Buddy Dive team from June 3rd till June 18th, 2017.

Ned & Anna will host the Marine Life Education weeks on Dominica; 2 weeks to learn all about life on the reefs and the underwater wildlife. During these weeks they will join our team and guests for boat dives, give a presentation about Reef & Fish ID and share their knowledge. The Reef ID books will be for sale at a discounted price and Ned & Anna will sign books during a Rum Punch get together.

“ We have been to Dominica before and we know what a beautiful underwater life the island has to offer. We are happy that we can share our knowledge and make divers more aware of what they see during their dives.” Anna says.

Guests who book one of the Buddy Dive Dominica dive packages during these 2 weeks will receive three 1-tank boat dives Free plus a $75 food credit per room.
CLICK HERE for more information and the program.

The well-known Marine Life Education weeks at Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire in August and September will continue as usual. Divers travelling to Bonaire during this period will have the advantage of the 2nd diver diving for free at Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire. The Buddy Dive Staff on Bonaire is fully trained on Fish & Reef ID.

***END***

About Buddy Dive Dominica
Buddy Dive on Dominica is a PADI 5 Star Universal Referral center and DAN member, located on the premises of the Fort Young Hotel. The capital city of Roseau is only 5 minutes walking distance away with its many sites and attractions. The hotel offers the old charm of the fort, complete with a restaurant, three bars, a spa and gym, Jacuzzi and swimming pool overlooking the ocean. The dive shop is located right at the waterfront, offering daily boat dives on the 2 custom boats, equipment rental, retail store, dive courses, whale watch trips and snorkel trips. The activity center can arrange all the activities Dominica has to offer; from visiting waterfalls, hiking the rainforest, swimming in hot pools, canyoning, bird watching and much more. For more information visit www.buddydivedominica.com  For PR enquiries or other pr related questions, please contact marketing@sapiasbv.com

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DIA Members to Exhibit at Beneath the Sea 2017

BTS-100by Gene Muchanski Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at Beneath The Sea on March 24-26, 2017 at the New Jersey Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members FIRST.

Retail Dive Centers

Dive Operators

Dive Clubs

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits & Associations

Media, Shows & Events, Retail Services

Commercial Diving Schools

  • CDA Technical Institute – Booth 611 – www.cda.edu
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Capt. Gary Kulisek – New General Manager at Beqa Lagoon Fiji

beqa

 

Beqa Lagoon Resort, Fiji’s premier
dive resort, announces the appointment
of Capt. Gary Kulisek as General Manager

WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO HAVE CAPT. KULISEK ONBOARD AND ADVANCING OUR RESORT TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN CUSTOMER SERVICE AND PROVIDING EACH GUEST WITH AN OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCE.

Capt. Kulisek is a consummate dive and resort industry professional with many decades of international experience. He has been most fortunate to spend his life in both the alpine ski and dive industries/resorts.His work experience covers many years and spans the globe; Canada, U.S.A, Carib, Europe, Asia and currently the South Pacific. As a bonus he is fluent in several languages. Gary has owned and managed resorts and companies ranging from mega resorts to boutique hotels, as well as, and managed resorts and companies ranging from mega resorts to boutique hotels, as well as, dive live aboard vessels. Capt. Kulisek’s responsibilities ran the gamut ranging from boat captain and top level instructor all the way up to senior corporate management.

Capt. Kulisek says, “I am absolutely thrilled to finally have this opportunity to come to Fiji, the true island paradise in the Pacific. There is no question Beqa Lagoon has some of the best diving in the world and I look forward to refining the operations and services so that our guests can enjoy this unique diving environment to its utmost.”

His expertise has allowed him to support resorts in all areas of operations including day to day activities, human resources, management and of course guest services and dive operations. With Gary’s assistance, we will be enhancing our honeymoon and wedding programs, our family and kid’s activities, new sports /adventure programs, not to mention featuring the best and truly authentic Fijian cultural environment.

He is passionate about providing the total Beqa Island experience and embraces a “doing it right” philosophy. He sums up his approach with the mantra “”Quis vir est a vir quisnam does non planto is universitas melior” (What man is a man who does not make this world better.)

WELCOME ABOARD CAPTAIN GARY!

+ 679 733 3960 (Fiji Islands)
+ 1-800-542-FIJI (3454) (Las Vegas)
www.beqalagoonresort.com
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Discount Ticket to Our World Underwater – Feb 24-26, 2017

Discount Coupon
OUR WORLD UNDERWATER

CHICAGO DIVE & TRAVEL EXPO

VISIT DIVE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, INC.
at the
Our World-Underwater Dive & Travel Expo
February 24-26, 2017 
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
5555 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

VISIT US AT BOOTH # 211 – 213

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ENJOY $5.00 OFF ADMISSION
Compliments of Dive Industry Association, Inc.
Authorized by Jim Gentile, Our World-Underwater
Print and present the coupon at the door.
Good for February 24-26, 2017

————————————————————————————————–

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Our World-Underwater – February 24-26, 2017

wow-200

Our World Underwater – Rosemont, IL
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The 47th Annual Our World-Underwater Dive and Travel Exposition will be held on February 24-26, 2017 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.  Just 5 minutes from the Chicago O’Hare International Airport this event is easy to get to and enjoyable to stay at.  The Host Hotel, the Hyatt Regency O’Hare is connected to the Convention Center by a “Gerbil Tube” so you never have to walk outdoors.  Parking is convenient.  OWU is the largest diving event in the North Central United States.  It is one of the top 4 Dive Shows in the Country and has been for many years.

This year’s show will feature over 50 Seminars and workshops, a Friday Party With a Purpose, a Meet & Greet with the Presenters and Exhibitors, a Saturday evening Film Festival and an Exhibit Hall on Saturday and Sunday with a total of 105 Exhibitors in 150 Booths filled with the latest and greatest Diving Equipment, Apparel, Jewelry, Travel Destination, Training Information and Products and Non-Profit and Environmental information.

The Dive Industry Association is offering a $5.00 OFF Daily Rate Coupon that you can download and bring to the show.

For more information:  www.OurWorldUnderwater.com

 

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