Editorial – January 2019

You Have to Want to be Successful.
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

The New Year has arrived and much of the Diving Industry has already hit the ground running.  We started the year with our 2019 Membership Renewal Campaign and so far it has been highly successful.  So many of our members are renewing early to help jump start our 2019 activities and get our network in motion.  Perhaps you’ve seen them on www.facebook.com/diveindustry ?  The Surf Expo held their January Expo and, as usual, it was very successful.  We haven’t heard from the Paris International Dive Show yet, but I am sure it did well this year also.  John Golica, CEO of the Travel and Adventure is already celebrating his successful travel show attendance in Chicago.  Boot Dusseldorf  is currently in progress.  All of these events are optimistic, if not confident in their success.  A year ago they wanted a successful event this year and they planned for it.  I am confident they will succeed because they wanted to be successful.  You have to want to succeed to make it happen.

In less than a month from now, we will be at the 49th Annual Our World Underwater Dive and Travel Show.  I’m doing what I can to assist Jim Gentile, the Show Producer.  As we know, there are many components to having a successful consumer dive show.  First of all, you need the support of the local diving community, which only happens if the show producers and organizers support the local diving community.  You need a great venue that has an exhibit hall, seminar rooms, attractive and reasonably priced hotel rooms, access to great restaurants and is easy to get to and park your car.  Jim Gentile has all that.  Then you need a program that attracts a high number of attendees.  You start with  Great World Class Speakers, who give talks and show images and videos of interesting diving and diving related subjects.  And only the best shows have a Saturday Evening Film Festival featuring the latest and greatest undersea exploits of our world class explorers.  Jim Gentile has that too.  As an attendee, if you’re not at a seminar during a dive show, we know you’ll be on the Exhibit Floor looking at the latest Diving Equipment, Dive Training and Dive Travel Destinations.  The key here is Quality, not Quantity.  When I look at the exhibitors that Our World Underwater Dive and Travel Show has lined up, I’d have to say they have the quality and enough quantity.  Attendees can expect to find great diving equipment from the Dive Retailers and Dive Manufacturers present.  There is no doubt that traveling divers will find the best dive trips at world class dive destinations from the exhibiting Dive Travel Wholesalers, Dive Resort Destinations and Dive Operators.

Working with Jim Gentile in the past few months has given me a few new talking points for the year that ties in perfectly with this month’s editorial title, You Have to Want to be Successful.  In the past, our industry was always chasing the quantity of vendors while  ignoring the quantity of customers.  In today’s digital age of communications we can focus on the quality of vendors and the quantity of customers.  And what better way to achieve this than limit ourselves to a smaller group of vendors who want to be successful and ignore the less successfully inclined B-Team who doesn’t?  Sure, we would like to work with as many industry professionals as possible, but if they are not inclined to improve their professional ability, then who are we to try to change them?  Let’s work to increase market share for vendors who give their customers their money’s worth and show them they want their business.

In our collective network of Industry Professionals, we know what successful businesses are doing to be successful and we know why so many other businesses are not doing as well.  It’s our job to share best practices with our network members to give them the competitive edge.  Our biggest challenge is to learn how to identify successful businesses who are not currently in our network and reach out to them.  As a local dive community industry professional, you can be a big help.  Who are the best Dive Stores in your local community?  Who are the best Sales Reps?  How about the outstanding manufacturers?  Are there any worth us pursuing?  Who would you suggest we work with, knowing that you just can’t work with everyone out there.  Unfortunately, you can only work with business leaders who want to succeed by working with others.

So, in the coming year, I pledge to work with as many Industry Professionals who want to succeed and are open to improving their professional ability.  It’s been said that 20% of the businesses in our industry capture 80% of the market.  And there is a reason for that.  The way I see it, there’s nothing wrong with having 80% of the market.  But to be in that 20% you need to know how to sell the right products to the right customers.  You need to learn how to communicate what you sell to your potential customers before someone else does.  You need to develop the market you’re in.  Acquire, Retain and Recapture.  You need to be able to combine and balance your electronic, print and face-to-face marketing.  I can go on and on… and this year, I promise I will.

Let’s talk about your plans to succeed this year.  I’ll been in Chicago on February 15-18, 2019, coincidentally at the 49th Annual Our World Underwater Dive and Travel Show.

See you at Booth 14.  Safe Travels.

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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