Why Dive Industry Association Joined ScubaBoard

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

DIALogo-tag-200Some people are early adapters while others are hopeless laggards when it comes to new technology.  What I can’t figure out is how I can be both at the same time!  Although I don’t consider myself to be a tech savey individual, I do have a passion for new technology if it improves my daily business life and makes me more professional, productive and profitable.  Just like I’ve always embraced the latest and greatest in diving equipment because it made my dives easier and more enjoyable.  So when I met Pete (NetDoc) Murray five years ago at the Surf Expo I knew I wanted to connect with ScubaBoard. His concept seemed right on target and years ahead of its time.  Imagine, an open forum where divers from around the world can discuss every imaginable aspect of scuba diving.  It was the industry soap box for all of us to express our opinions, learn from others and maybe, just maybe establish a spirit of cooperation to move our recreation forward.  Well, I got an account on ScubaBoard but never really mastered the social media concept of it, while I looked for other ways to connect to the industry.

Fast forward five years and you’ll see that I’ve come full circle and am back to the conclusion that NetDoc was right and that he had the solution to our problems all along.  I guess now that the student is ready, the teacher has appeared!  So what led DIA to revisit ScubaBoard?

Dive Industry Association needed to first connect with the trade sector of the dive industry to show them better ways to start, grow and succeed in their business by using better tools and techniques. Rather than purchase ad space on someone else’s marketing vehicle we decided to create our own. We developed Directories, Newsletters, and a Weekly Press Release service.  We had websites built and learned how to make changes and add content.  We formed strategic business partnerships with some amazing companies and took our marketing tools on the road to dive, surf and adventure travel shows. We become an industry sponsor of the two Surf Expos and the six Travel & Adventure Shows.  We developed relationships with Show & Event Organizers of Regional and Local Dive Shows and exhibited at their shows.  In Chicago we sponsored a number of seminars and in Tacoma we co-sponsored two successful Industry Luncheons.  During our twelve years of service while acquiring 327 Members, we learned that our mission in the watersports community was to communicate our Members’ message to the general public and grow the Industry.  We do that by putting our Members on a pedestal and showcasing their products and services to the world.

A few weeks ago we created a Daily Blog (you’re reading it now) that links to our Monthly Newlstter and our Weekly Press Releases, which are auto-linked to our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.  Our industry communication is now integrated.  Our articles and communication is about diving, and the diving products and services the industry sells for a living.  It’s about telling the world what we do as an industry and inviting them to enjoy the recreation with us.  Promoting our members and growing the industry is our number one priority.  That is the realization that led us back to ScubaBoard.com

After all, that’s what ScubaBoard is all about – Diving.  And isn’t ScubaBoard the ultimate Social Media Platform? Of course it is.  ScubaBoard is the kind of Social Media that attracts divers and those who want to become divers.  It’s a great central meeting place for our industry.  Dive Industry Association is excited to be a part of ScubaBoard’s forums.  We are expecting great things.

Here is Pete (NetDoc) Murray’s original letter about his thoughts on Dive Industry Association.

by Pete (NetDoc) Murray,
(originally published on ScubaBoard September 18, 2008).

ScubaBoardLet’s be real:  The diving industry as we know it is in trouble.  A half a dozen shops have closed in my area alone in the past few years, and I know of only ONE which has opened… or at least is about to open.

If the rest of the country is having the same issues that Orlando is having, then we have lost a significant portion of our retailers and with the downturn of the DOW in the last couple of days, life looks bleak.  Getting tanks filled is getting increasingly hard and the variety of gear available to us locally has also declined.  This is something that has bothered me for some time, and yet it seems that many  of the industry “leaders” either don’t get it, or just don’t care!

So, as I was walking through the Surf Expo here in Orlando this past week I was surprised to see the Dive Industry Association there with a few retailers in tow with him.  As far as I can tell, they were the ONLY Scuba related exhibitor in the entire show.  Sure, I saw a few CEOs and Industry Reps walking around, but the only exhibiting was done by those who crossed into the resort or surfing industry.  There were a few clothing and wet suit companies, but they didn’t have their scuba stuff out for us to look at.

So I had to ask Gene Muchanski, the president and evil genius behind the Dive Industry Association, why he was bucking the tide here at the Surf Expo.  We talked for an hour or more and I have to say it was very enlightening.  It seems that his presence at the Surf Expo was not an accident.  He goes to many of these non-scuba shows just to promote diving! WHOA, what a concept!  While others pander to those already addicted to Scuba, Gene is going out to promote Scuba in other sports, and WHY THE HELL NOT?

Well sure, Gene gave me a whole long list of reasons why I should join Dive Industry Association.  They are all great and valid reasons and the $100/year dues is way small compared to these benefits.  But I joined because I finally saw someone doing something to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our industry.  He is cross promoting Scuba better than any other association out there: He still has the passion!

So please: If you are a part of Scuba Diving, from being a mere diver to even DEMA, you owe it to yourself and to the entire industry to support Gene as he works hard to attract others to OUR sport.  He is a beacon in the dark and can do so much more if we only give him a chance.  Click on this link to become a Dive Industry Association Member today:  dive Industry Association Application

BTW, I have offered Gene a spot here on ScubaBoard.  We would love for him to be part of our tribe and tell us everything he is doing for our sport! You can encourage him to do this by e-mailing him: Gene@DiveIndustry.net

About Gene Muchanski

Executive Director at Dive Industry Association. Board Member at Dive Industry Foundation. Marketing Consultant to the Diving Industry. I have been a certified Scuba Diver since I was 15 years old and have been a passionate waterman for as long as I can remember.
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