Participate in Future On-Line Webinars and Digital Summit Meetings
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.
Step 12 to uniting the diving industry is to Participate in Future On-Line Webinars and Digital Summit Meetings. Once a Team of Advisers is set up in a company or an industry, the next questions become; How often are they going to meet, Where are they going to meet, and What are they going to discuss (accomplish). If they are not going to meet in a physical location, the question is, How are they going to communicate? Thank God for 21st Century Technology. In the past few years I have participated in digital meetings hosted by other industries, like the Travel Industry and the Meetings & Events Industry. I’ve seen very few diving organizations adopt this type of technology, but with the lack of sharing that goes on in diving, I would not be surprised if someone, somewhere is doing it.
Face-to-face marketing is a very important part of our overall marketing strategy. At least it was in the 20th century. Maybe with the introduction of digital meetings and video conferencing, face-to-face marketing will transform itself into a new and exciting form of communication in the 21st century. As we design our strategy of uniting the diving industry, step 12 brings us to a point that is new to us. Being the eternal optimist, I do not see this point in our strategy as a dead end. I see it as a new beginning. I see it as a way to expand on the programs we currently have and to add some new ones.
On-Line Webinars are a very popular way of bringing education to the general public. It’s a great way to reach many people from one central location. The presenter puts an educational program together, invites his audience to the presentation, and assuming they can all access their own computers at that time, the presentation takes place. On-line webinars can be supported by text, PowerPoints, images, sound and video. Webinars are a great way of getting a message out and putting a large number of people on the same page of any topic worth discussing.
I believe that digital group meetings can be better attended and are definitely more cost effective than physical meetings. The Dive Industry Foundation co-sponsored three industry summit meetings in 2016. The Dallas and Chicago summits drew about 25 people each and the Secaucus Summit had 50 attendees. The Speakers at all three summits were excellent and the discussions we had with the attendees were exactly what we were looking for. Had we added a GoToMeeting type of on-line meeting program to the Summit Meetings, we could have increased our audience tremendously and we could have followed-up with the same audiences a few months later.
The Summit Meetings produced a certain amount of success but the physical in-person concept alone did not have sustainability. It doesn’t make sense to hold an annual meeting to complain about the problems of the industry and then do nothing about it until the following year. Rather than conduct an annual in-person summit meeting in conjunction with a consumer dive show, maybe a series of short, specifically targeted, digital meetings throughout the year would be better. The discussion format would be simple: 1) Identify the Industry’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. 2) Suggest possible solutions to the problems. 3) Create a plan that uses the best solutions to the problems. 4) Delegate assignments and implement the plan. 5) Follow-up. It is also important to record what was suggested, what was implemented and what was accomplished. Having a history of what worked and what didn’t is critical to the following year’s plan of action.
That concludes our Twelve Steps to Unifying the Diving Industry. I hope we have been clear about the necessity and the methods of unifying the industry. It all starts with step 1 of subscribing to our blog and continues through step 12 of participating in digital regional summit meetings. I am confident that following these steps will unite the industry and show us how to cooperatively work together toward mutually agreed upon goals. I see the process as a way to un-fragment the industry and put all Dive Industry Professionals on the same page, so to speak. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
For more information, contact:
Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
2294 Botanica Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904