Every November the diving industry is myopically focused on DEMA Show. After all, it is the largest face-to-face marketing opportunity we have in diving. At no other time in the year are so many diving industry professionals gathered in one place at one time.
If you do business in this market, DEMA Show is a good investment. Politics aside, the DEMA Show has 500-600 exhibitors in the exhibit hall, making it the largest diving Trade Show in the country. With 300+ seminars and workshops run by manufacturing, training and travel companies, it also is the largest professional development conference in the country. DEMA is also the meeting grounds for many organizations, like the Women Divers Hall of Fame, The Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. the SSI Platinum Pro Foundation and too many other groups to mention. All that makes DEMA Show the conference of the year for us.
Being a big conference is a very positive thing but it has its some potential weaknesses because of that. At last count we noted that 570 exhibitors, with 1,348 booths were scheduled to exhibit at DEMA 2016. That means approximately 5,392 exhibitors will be in attendance. Of course, these numbers change as we get closer to the actual show date, so check with the latest info on the DEMA Show Exhibitor list on their web site for a more accurate count.
The show normally attracts approximately 3,500 attendees. Their time is split between the exhibit floor, seminars and meetings. In a 4 day period the exhibit floor is open for 32 hours. The good news is there is a lot to do at DEMA Show. The bad news is you can never do everything you want or need to do. That’s where the industry needs to get involved and work together to figure out how to make the trade show experience work for all of us.
There is no easy answer but we do have plenty of statistics to work with. We have an event that draws at least 8,900 industry professionals, over a 4 day period, with 32 man-hours of exhibit hall time. The questions are: 1) How can we make the exhibit hall time more productive for buying and selling? 2) How can we increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the seminar time? 3) How can we better coordinate before-hours and after-hours show time?
The things that are important to all of us are: 1) A positive and productive trade show experience. 2) Maximum buying and selling opportunities. 3) Meaningful educational seminars and workshops. 4) Productive meetings. 5) Many social activities and opportunities for social interaction. Where, when and how this can happen is up to the industry to decide.
I’m looking forward to DEMA Show next week. Please stop by Booth 4225 to say hello and drop off your business card and brochure. Safe Travels.