Editorial – April 2019

Creating a Market Place
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

As a Business School Undergrad, majoring in Marketing, I was taught that you cannot create a market for a product.  You can stimulate a market but you cannot create one.  With the number of new products and new technologies being created in the past 40 years, I will leave that debate to a younger generation to discuss the difference between creating a need for a product and creating a market for a product.  What I am convinced of is that you can create a marketplace for a product that meets the needs of a person.

In the past month, I have been working on Key People Listings of Industry Professionals in the Equipment, Training and Travel Sectors of our industry.  Because we are creating a program that brings Buyers and Sellers together, the project actually expanded into creating Key People Lists for Dive Retailers, Non-Profit Organizations, Shows & Events Professionals and Industry Media Companies.  Here is what we learned.

Let’s say that a Market is a place where Buyers and Sellers meet to exchange programs, products and services for compensation.  We call this a Marketplace.  The job of setting up the market and bringing Buyers and Sellers together falls on us Marketing Professionals.  That means we have to arrange a venue that is conducive to sales, easy for Sellers to get to and centrally located for a sufficient number of Buyers to attend.  Wow.  Just like a Trade Show or a Consumer Dive Show.

A consumer or trade show is nothing more than a market place that is created to bring buyers and sellers together. Exhibitors buy booth space and come to sell products to the attendees.  Speakers and film makers come to offer a service to the attendees.  They are either selling their service to the show producer for compensation or they are selling a book, a dive trip or a photographic service to the attendees.  They could also be selling their presenter service at no cost to enhance their resume and professional experience.  Either way, there is a Buyer – Seller relationship there.

Now, who’s responsibility is it to bring in the attendees?  Number one, it’s the person who is charging the attendees a fee for coming to the show.  The Show Producers  are selling tickets to attendees in exchange for workshops, seminars, film festivals, exhibit hall vendors and social activities.  Although it is not the exhibitor’s responsibility to bring in attendees, it is smart trade show marketing to do everything you can, prior to a show, to get as many of your current, former and future customers to come to the show and see you.  Remember, exhibitors are selling products, not show tickets.

Where does the money come from to advertise Shows & Events to potential attendees?  It comes from the Exhibitors, Attendees and Sponsors.  If you ask the “old school” show producers, they will tell you that exhibitor booth sales pay for the venue, sponsors pay for the advertising and the money you get from ticket sales is profit.  I would argue with that a little.  I believe that Exhibitor fees, Sponsorship revenue and ticket sales should all go toward the venue, marketing, advertising, scholarships, show equipment upgrades and an investment in the local diving community where the show is held.

It’s time to change the way we think about the way we create market places and why we create them the way we do.  It’s time to focus on bringing Buyers and Sellers together for mutual gratification.  It’s time to match the Buyer types with the correct Sellers.  It’s time to let the Sellers know where their money is going and who it is intended to support.  If we don’t do that now, I am afraid our Sellers will go set up their own market place!  And if the Sellers leave, why would the Buyers return?

Posted in Editorials, Events & Activities, Industry | Leave a comment

Looking For Mermaids

Dive Industry Foundation
Non-profit 501(c)(3)
GeneMuchanski, ExecutiveDirector

The Dive Industry Foundation is looking for Mermaids in our industry who like to work with non-profit, environmental organizations.  One of our friends in the industry has worked with Mermaids in the past and needs our help identifying Mermaids, Mermaid Organizations and Non-profit Environmental Organizations.  Dive Industry Foundation accepts that challenge and we need your help.

The Foundation already has an industry database that contains many non-profit, marine & environmental organizations and their Key People.  We are now looking to add Mermaids and their companies to our database.  If you can help us identify this group, please have them send their picture, bio, contact information and any recent press releases they have to gene@diveindustry.org We will showcase one Mermaid and the work they do, every week, in Dive Industry Association’s Weekly News. 

Let’s have fun with this and give some credit where credit is due.

Posted in Environment, Press Release | Leave a comment

Diving’s Key Industry Professionals

Key Industry Professionals In Diving
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

The Dive Industry Foundation is working on a research project to  identify Key Industry Professionals in the diving equipment manufacturing, dive training and dive travel sectors of our diving community.   Invitations were sent to Industry Professionals in the manufacturing and training sectors, to identify their National Corporate Executives and Regional Sales Reps.  The response was better than expected.   So far, 33 companies have responded with their information.  Updated lists have already been provided to each participant.

Industry Professionals were asked to identify their company’s General Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Manger and their Regional Sales Reps. The purpose of the project is to identify Key People in the various sectors in order to increase business opportunities for Buyers and Sellers.  Knowing the proper people to connect with, prior to a sale will result in more direct referrals, increased sales and less unnecessary emails for both Buyers and Sellers.  The Dive Industry Foundation will follow-up with the Industry’s Key Professionals to verify their full contact information and offer our support for direct referrals.

The projects third invitation will now go out to the Travel Industry.  We are looking for travel companies to identify their Corporate Owner, General Manager, Marketing Manager and Sales Manager.  We are also looking to identify their Reservations Representative and their Regional Sales & Marketing Reps.  The Foundation has over 800 Travel Industry Professionals from 900 dive travel companies in its database.  Again, the results will be shared with each participant for their unrestricted use.

Identifying the Key Industry People in the equipment, training and travel sectors will help us start a referral program to refer more business to the industry suppliers in these sectors.  It is our hope that all providers of diving equipment, training and travel, will realize that they can never make a sufficient number of sales if the final consumer doesn’t know you exist or how to reach you.

The second part of this three-part program will be to identify and validate the Industry Professionals who are our Wholesalers ad Resellers of diving equipment, training and travel.  Many times, this group is neglected in the industry’s main chain of distribution, by the Industry Suppliers.  Working with wholesalers is a very cost effective way of doing business and reaching a larger percentage of the general population.  There are two obstacles to growth that will be addressed in the outcome of this project and should result in increased industry efficiency, economies of scale, more sales and industry growth.

Obstacle #1:  In our niche market of the recreational industry, there are too many suppliers of diving equipment, training and travel.  Many suppliers don’t advertise, don’t exhibit at trade and consumer dive and travel shows, and don’t have adequate regional sales support.  They also don’t have access to the necessary modern marketing tools and technologies necessary to reach and acquire a sufficient number of profitable clients.   In the 21st Century business climate, having a website, a facebook page and an email address is not sufficient to run a successful business in this very selective and competitive market.

Obstacle #2: Our Industry Wholesalers and Resellers are very similar to many of their Suppliers.   They don’t advertise, they don’t exhibit at their Regional Dive Shows, and they spend way too little time on the business side of diving.   Instead of managing a successful business that sells equipment, training and travel, they would rather be the person who is diving, teaching and traveling.  Aside from that core fault of not focusing on their business, too many wholesalers fail to assert themselves as the pivotal link between the Providers and Consumers of the industry’s Equipment, Training and Travel.  The first step of making the necessary paradigm shift from Vendor Dependency to Leadership, the industry has to get a better hold on identifying the wholesalers in our industry, determine who the Key People in this sector are and showcasing the Best Practices that make the more successful wholesalers successful.

When the second part of our project is complete, we will be ready to begin the third part of our project – identifying and reaching the final consumer of diving equipment, training and travel.  But a lot of work has to be accomplished before we reach that point.

If you are a Supplier of Travel (Resort, Liveaboard, Dive Operator, Resort Destination  Dive Center, etc) please look for our email invitation in your in-box.  If you are in the Wholesale Sector, be ready in a week or two to help us with Part II.

Sincere thanks to all current participants of this project and thank you in advance to the rest of the industry that is willing to help Build a Better Industry.

For more information, Contact Gene Muchanski at gene@diveindustry.org

Posted in Business Improvement | Leave a comment

DIA Members to Exhibit at Scuba Show 2019

Dive Industry Association Members at Scuba Show
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at Scuba Show on May 4-5, 2019 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members for Great Show Specials.

Local Dive Operators

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profit Organizations

Posted in Events & Activities, Shows & Events | Leave a comment

DIA Members to Exhibit at Beneath the Sea 2019

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

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at Beneath The Sea on March 29-31, 2019 at the New Jersey Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ.  Visit our DIA Members for information & Great Show Specials.

Retail Dive Centers

Dive Operators

Dive Clubs

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits & Associations

Media, Shows & Events, Retail Services

Posted in Shows & Events | Leave a comment

DIA Members to Exhibit at Boston Sea Rovers 2019

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the Annual Boston Sea Rovers in Danvers, MA on March 8-10, 2019 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Boston North Shore, Danvers, MA. Visit our DIA Members for information and show specials.  www.bostonsearovers.com

Dive Stores

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits

Posted in Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Editorial – March 2019

Where Is All This Cooperation Coming From?
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

Last month I talked about how the industry has its defining moments and its current need of unity.  From what I saw last month, I believe that our defining moment is now. Either the industry has woken up and decided that the way we did things in the past is not bringing us the outcomes we are looking for or our Association has hit the tipping point from all of our support, promotion and hard work over the past 18 years.

My message for the year is that we can grow our businesses and the industry by becoming more professional, productive and profitable.  The underlining foundation of our industry is based on the sale of diving equipment, training and travel.  The front-line dive industry professionals who account for the sales are the local dive stores, dive boats and dive instructors.  The companies that profit the most from these sales are the diving equipment manufacturers, certification agencies and travel companies.  Many other diving related businesses and organizations profit from a growing and healthy industry.  They are the service companies, non-profit organizations, shows & events producers and industry media.  Because and only because of a strong economic diving market, many industry celebrities, opinion leaders and influencers get to enjoy a healthy and robust social life based on the successful activities of our recreation.

The Dive Industry Association is the only Marketing & Trade Association in our community dedicated to building economic development by working individually with all of the industries specializing in diving and diving related activities.  Our focus is on the industry’s supply-side and demand-side of the market.  Our Goal is to bring Buyers and Sellers together using print, digital and face-to-face marketing techniques.  We perform our Mission by studying the market in its entirety and understanding how diving programs, products and services move through the industry’s channel of distribution from product conception to consumption.  We are, in essence, the Industry’s Marketing Team.  Our performance is judged on how well we understand the supply side and the demand side of our market and how we use that information to convert marketing efforts to sales.

A project we started this past week is to identify the industry’s Key Corporate Leaders and the Regional Sales Representatives in the Manufacturing and Training Sectors.  The Travel Sector will be next.  The purpose of the project is to identify the current Key Industry Professionals, nationally and regionally.  This will help the industry contact the correct person when connecting with a buyer or seller  We first asked 122 Dive Industry Association members and then 150 equipment manufacturing professionals for their input.   To our surprise we received complete responses from 22 companies in the first day of our project.  That is very encouraging.

We are giving this project one week to complete and will then send an updated listing to each participant.  The file will be updated throughout the year and made available to all participants.  To complete the supply side of the market, we will focus on the Travel Sector next week.  The second half of the project will be to identify the buyers and resellers before we move on to the demand side of the equation.

I want to thank all of the industry professionals who are participating in our industry surveys and projects.  Collectively we have the tools and talents to make our businesses better and grow our industry.  See you at Beneath the Sea.

 

Posted in Editorials | Leave a comment

Little Cayman Beach Resort Celebrates Grand Reopening

Little Cayman Beach Resort Celebrates Grand Reopening
Company’s Reception and Restaurant Remodeling Projects are Latest in Planned Resort
Upgrades and Improvements

BLOSSOM VILLAGE, LITTLE CAYMAN – February 20, 2019 – Today the Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts held a grand reopening of their Little Cayman Beach Resort slightly more than 25 years after the resort first opened in June 1993.  Company directors Michael Tibbetts and Emily (Tibbetts) Allenbach cut the ribbon with Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism of the Cayman Islands.  The audience included project teams, guests, and other dignitaries. Following the ceremonies resort staff conducted tours showing off major updates including a new reception and lobby area, a beautiful outdoor atrium with fountain, and an expanded dining room and outdoor pavilion.

“Our rooms thankfully remain at nearly full occupancy by divers year-round,” stated Resort Manager Mick Maher. “We’ve had dining room capacity challenges when most guests chose to come to meals at the same time. Moving our front desk to the new reception center and converting the entire space into a modern environment for enjoying meals gives us the ability to seat large groups together plus smaller groups and individuals all at the same time – so everyone will be happy.”

The new facility also includes a bar open to dinner guests during evening meal service. The screened outdoor pavilion is available for those who prefer al fresco dining.

“This is another step in our multi-year master plan to improve our resorts,” according to Michael Tibbetts, the company’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “We are 100% devoted to promoting tourism in the Cayman Islands and see upgrading our facilities as a way to make the islands and our resorts top choices when consumers are planning dive vacations. We want to provide outstanding experiences so guests return year after year, bringing more friends and family on future visits.”

Within the past few years, the company has also made significant improvements to their other family-owned resorts and dive operation, Reef Divers:

  • Remodeling the rooms at Cayman Brac Beach Resort and reshaping the property to include the addition of a 4,000 square foot beach entry pool, hot tub and three-level bar with upper deck that provides great views of the Caribbean.
  • Acquiring Cobalt Coast Resort on Grand Cayman, upgrading the rooms, pool area, and dining facilities, and constructing a dock-level shore diving station.
  • Expanding the world’s largest fleet of Newtown dive boats (now 12 total) with the purchase of two Newton 46’ custom-built boats in 2018.

Future projects remain in the planning stages, but the company is already lookin ahead to expansion of both their Little Cayman Beach Resort and Cayman Brac Beach Resort.

“Through these and other projects, we work toward our mission of becoming the preeminent dive resort and dive operator in the world,” noted Jason Belport, General Manager of all Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts. “Our facilities provide the stage, but it’s truly our resort and Reef Divers staff who are the stars by virtue of the exceptional service they deliver, which guests cite as the reason they return again and again.”

“My sisters and I come from a long line of Caymanians, dating back to the early 1700s,” stated Michael Tibbetts. “Our grandfather Linton Tibbets was instrumental in the early growth of tourism and economic development in the Cayman Islands.  Our father Dan Tibbetts carried on this legacy by founding Reef Divers and constructing the Little Cayman Beach Resort.”

“Unfortunately, our Dad passed away in 2006, but we have inherited his passion for the islands. His dream is now also ours, and our children already love the Caymans as much as we do. I’m confident this company has a long and bright future ahead.”

###

About the company:

Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts is a family-owned business with operations dating back to 1978 when Linton Tibbetts built the first of two dive resorts on Cayman Brac. They are the only company with resort and dive operations on all three Cayman Islands. These include Little Cayman Beach Resort, Cayman Brac Beach Resort, Cobalt Coast Resort on Grand Cayman, and Reef Divers locations at each resort. Their corporate offices are located in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Press Contact:

For more information on the company, contact Debbie Speer, Director of Marketing, at 727-323-8727 or Marketing@ClearlyCayman.com.

Consumer information about the resorts and services is available on our websites:

https://www.littlecayman.com/

https://www.caymanbracbeachresort.com/

https://www.cobaltcoast.com/

Posted in Adventure Travel, Press Release, Travel Destinations | Leave a comment

2019 North American Rolex Scholar Announced

February 16, 2019

Dear OWUSS Friends,

It is my privilege and great pleasure to announce that Ms. Neha Acharya-Patel, of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada has been selected to be the 2019 North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society. Interviews were conducted by the Selection Panel in Chicago on February 10th.

The Selection Panel feels confident that Neha is highly qualified to excel in her role representing the Scholarship Society and that she has the passion, vision, competence, and spirit to be a positive influence on the future of the underwater world. We are pleased to have Neha as our first Rolex Scholar from Canada.

Neha earned a BS in Biology with a Marine Specialization from the University of British Columbia. She is not only a qualified Scientific Diver with experience working at a marine lab and an aquarium, but she served as a Divemaster and ran a research program in Malawi. She is currently a scientific diver and technician at the Hakai Research Institute on the central coast of British Columbia and is especially interested in diving physiology in both humans and animals.

I am sure you will all wish to join me in welcoming Neha to the Scholarship Society family and wish her success in her upcoming year of challenge, exploration, and learning. She can be reached at nehaacharya.patel@gmail.com. Please see Neha’s bio and photo, below.

With kindest regards,

Robin MacFadden Parish
VP – North American Operations
Class of 2019
1976 Rolex Scholar

______________

Neha Acharya-Patel Named 2019 North American Rolex Scholar

Neha Acharya-Patel      

Growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Neha, now 24, spent much of her summers exploring the lakes and rivers that make up the Great Canadian Shield. Comfortable in the water from a young age, and ever curious about her surroundings, Neha’s interest in aquatic environments naturally extended to the sea. In high school she first took the plunge, and learnt to dive in a snowy little “dive park” – essentially a pond with a collection of sunken refrigerators and toilets.

She did not dive again until 5 years later when she moved to the west coast to attend the University of British Columbia to study Biology with a Marine specialization. There, she was exposed to one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems in the world, and there was no going back. Through university she completed her Scientific Diver training, receiving her CAUS certification, and subsequently participated in a marine ecology course at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Center on Vancouver Island. At this station she also did a study examining elasmobranch cardiorespiratory regulation, which inspired her interest in animal and diving physiology, and resulted in her first academic publication. Following her undergraduate degree, Neha worked as a diver and interpreter in a small catch and release aquarium, where she realised the value of effective science communication, something she hopes to hone this upcoming year.

Neha also completed her PADI divemaster training, which facilitated her next job as a research assistant and divemaster at a research center in Malawi, diving in one of the great African lakes, and monitoring the biodiversity of the evolutionarily fascinating cichlid fish. Through this, she gained technical field and project management skills, and experienced first hand the challenges of running a research program in a developing country with very different cultural expectations. As a second-generation immigrant and avid traveller she believes that true conservation efforts can be made only when certain cultural nuances are understood and acknowledged.

Following her work in Africa, she began working as a research diver and technician with the Hakai Research Institute studying rates of change in temperate coastal ecosystems in the context of an anthropomorphically influenced world. Working there has allowed her to further nurture her passion for the marine world, and cultivate her diving skills.

Becoming this year’s North American Rolex Scholar is a dream come true for Neha.  As an aspiring scientist she hopes the scholarship will allow her to explore different research avenues, diving technology, and prioritize communication with the general population in order to inspire change from a wider diversity of people. She aims to take away a well-informed picture of the environmental challenges being faced globally and use this information to make a meaningful contribution to marine conservation.

Neha can be reached at nehaacharya.patel@gmail.com

 

Posted in Industry Profile, Non-Profits | Leave a comment

Dive Industry Foundation to Exhibit at OWU 2019

Dive Industry Foundation
Non-profit 501(c)(3)
Our World Underwater Dive Show
Booth 14
February 16-17, 2019

Please stop by our Booth 14 at the Our World Underwater Dive & Travel Show.  Our talking points this year are all about our 12-step Business Improvement Program.  Let us help you Start, Operate and Grow your dive business successfully.

Here is what you will see at our booth.

  • 12-Step Business Improvement Program
    • FREE Blog Subscription
    • FREE Dive Industry Weekly Dive News Subscription
    • FREE The Dive Industry Professional Monthly Subscription
    • Retail & Sales Rep Survey Forms
    • Information on DIVE LOCAL Campaign
    • How to get involved in Industry Networks
    • How to Submit FREE Press Releases
    • How to submit articles for publication
    • Making Donations to Dive Industry Foundation
    • Volunteering with Non-Profits
    • How to join Specialty Advisory Groups
    • How to Participate in on-Line Webinars
  • Free Business Consulting
  • Industry Trade Directory / Buyers Guide
  • Retail Dive Center Survey
  • Manufacturing Sales Rep Survey
  • Business Course – Hypergrow Your Business
  • Dive Industry Foundation – Business Consultancy Services
  • Free Marketing Tips on using Social Media, Press Releases & Trade Shows
  • JOIN “Friends of the Industry” for $25 Donation

For more information, contact:
Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
email: gene@diveindustry.org
Cell:  832-247-5315

Posted in Shows & Events | Leave a comment