Editorial – October 2017

October is Time For Review
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

You might be tempted to think that October is time to get ready for the DEMA Show.  Although there is a lot of DEMA prep going on this month, October is more than just that.  This month should be dedicated to finalizing your plans to meet face to face with your current customers, former customers and future customers at the largest trade event this industry has.  It is also time to review the programs, products and services your company sells in the market place.  What you sell and who you sell it to is the primary focus of your business.  How you sell is a part of your marketing strategy.

Going to DEMA Show as an attendee or exhibitor is a decision you make based on your sales and marketing strategy.  Exhibitors decided last November that they were going to exhibit at this year’s show and signed their contact at last year’s show to get the best possible booth location.  During the past year, hotels were reserved, airfare was purchase and plans were made to be away from the business for a week or more this fall.  The booth display was chosen, upgraded or purchased and staff was picked to work the booth. The main focus of exhibiting at a show is to sell something, prospect for new clients, gather leads or educate prospective clients.  The best way to do that is to make appointments with your clients during the pre-show phase of your campaign.

Attendees going to the DEMA Show have many reasons to plan early.  It makes sense to make airline and hotel reservations early to get the best prices and availability.  It gives you plenty of time to ask your equipment vendors if they are exhibiting at DEMA, if they plan on having a DEMA Special, and are conducting any seminars or workshops.  It’s a good idea to know if your Sales Rep is going to go to the show and when you can make an appointment with them.

DEMA is the time to touch bases with your Travel Wholesaler to see if they have any new Resort Clients.  Are they offering any FAM trips you might qualify for?  Are they running any travel seminars at the show?

Certification Agencies make great use of the DEMA Show venue.  For such a small number of exhibitors, they account for a large number of booths and a larger number of seminar man-hours.  Store Owners need to plan their time at the show very carefully to ensure they have scheduled their exhibit hall time and their professional development commitments proportionately.

So what should exhibitors be doing in the month of October?  Go through your exhibiting checklist.  Do you have everything you need to show off your new or key products?  Is your booth ready to go?  When is it shipping?  Does your staff have everything they need in terms of airfare, hotel, and food allowance?  Are they trained to focus on the goals set by your sales & marketing department?  Have you set appointments with your current customers?  Have you emailed all of your clients and given them your booth location and Dema Show Special.  How many appointments do you have?  How many of your clients are attending Dema Show?  Can the ones who are not attending get the Dema Show Special now? Have you read Rhonda Abrams book, Trade Show In A Day?

Have you made an appointment with the Dive Industry Foundation (Booth 1502) and pledged a Tax Deductible Donation for this year? Please stop by our booth and give us your Business Card.  We’d like to show you a few ways to have a good year in 2018.   If you have a few extra business cards, we’ll make you two luggage tags at the show.  See you in Orlando.

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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