DIA Members To Exhibit at DEMA Show 2019

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the DEMA Show on November 13-16, 2019 at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, FL.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members for Great Show Specials.

Manufacturers

Retail Services & Software

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Certification Agencies

Non-Profits

Associations, Media and Shows & Events

SEMINARS

  • Friday, Nov 15 – 11:00 am – Room W304B – Bill Beard Costa Rica
  • Saturday, Nov 16 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm – NAUI Worldwide – Visual Cylinder Inspection
Posted in Events & Activities, Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Editorial – August 2019

Old Dog – New Tricks – 
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

It’s August now.  This is when the entire diving industry starts getting ready for the DEMA Show.  Basically.  The show starts just 98 Days from today, which means that we have 98 days of do our pre-show marketing.  That will be followed by 4 Days of at-show marketing and then 45 Days of post-show follow-up, minus 3 days for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  Most of us in the industry know this by heart because we are the “Old Dogs” in the business and this is definitely not our first Rodeo.  But even Old Dogs lose their usefulness unless they can learn New Tricks.

What prompted this month’s editorial topic was an email I received from a dear friend in the diving industry who was writing about many negative things happening in his business.  He talked about his sales being down by 10-15%, students not buying gear, smaller margins on equipment, boat dive attendance being lower, new divers not making equipment purchases, older dives not wanting to do local dives, and of course, the internet and internet sales.  My heart went out to this Old Dog because it seems that his business and his enthusiasm for the business of diving has gone to poop.  Then I compared him to four other Old Dogs I know who are ruffly the same age he is.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  They are the same age, have the same experience, are in the same industry, and doing business in the same economy.  The things that are different about them is they learned new things along the way, they changed with the times, they grew and now they are succeeding in today’s industry.  Old Dogs – New Tricks.

History tells us that things always change.  You wouldn’t think of fighting new wars with the old weapons of the past.  Why would you use old business tools to engage in today’s business environment?  In Jon Acuff’s book, Start, the author talks about the five stages on the road to awesome.  In our 20’s we are Learning.  In our 30’s we are Editing what we know.  In our 40’s we are Mastering our skills.  In our 50’s we are Harvesting what we have planted and in our 60’s we are Guiding others to walk down the path we have already been on.  I read that 6 years ago and have seen this focus work in my life.   I learned that you find the Fountain of Youth by going back to your 20’s and learning new things.  That is what keeps you young, renewed and alive.

Now I am taking Jon’s five  steps and putting them into the accelerated and compressed time frame of the present day business environment.  I discovered that all five stages still happen one at a time, but within a compressed time frame.  Every time I face a business challenge, I learn a new skill to solve it (Learn), make it work for me in my industry (Edit), and then keep doing it until I Master the technique (Master).   Those three steps help me to overcome the challenge and make it into a financially successful opportunity (Harvest) that I can then pass along (Guiding) to my peers.  I may not know many new things intuitively, but with a book, some practice, editing and refining I can learn and master new tricks.

Time is a cruel companion.  It can be a great Teacher but it always wants to take the upper hand.  Well, I prefer to be the Master of Time instead of its Whipping Boy.  As we grow older and hopefully wiser, things should become clearer and more focused for us.  If we learn to maximize our individual strengths and minimize our weaknesses, we can accomplish more with less effort.  This happens all the time now.

As an example, two weeks ago we went on a FAM Trip to Belize.  It was a cooperative effort to bring Buyers and Sellers of dive equipment, training and travel together.  Our Association worked with a Travel Wholesaler to bring a group of Retail Travel Specialists to a new Dive Resort while we introduced everyone to a new group of equipment manufacturers and service providers.  We got an excellent deal for the trip, offered it to seasoned travel buyers,  included a companion option in the package, raised over $7,000 in Gift Bags items and presented our participants with the best SWAG Gift Bag I’ve seen in our industry.  We met new Buyers and introduced new Sellers.  We launched a pre-trip, on-trip and post-trip marketing campaign and I can tell you that all of us got a much bigger bang for our buck than other FAM Trips.  And we learned a few things along the way.  Next FAM Trip will be even better.

This recent new campaign added another component to a business model  we have been working on this year.  The components are:  1) Focusing on the sale of dive equipment, training and travel.  2) Working to bring Buyers and Sellers together.  3) Getting the industry and the consuming public to focus on; a) Learning to Dive  b) Buying their Gear  c) Going Diving and  d) Staying Active.  4) Working together by integrating sales and marketing techniques among all business entities within a specific “Chanel of Distribution.”

Membership in an active Association has its privileges.  Working within a Network has its advantages.  Going it alone, with “your own thing”, is so 20th Century thinking.  Remember that doing what you’ve always done, may get you what you always got.  Or worse, doing what you’ve done in the past, may not even work any more.  Welcome to the 21st Century.  Let’s work together.

For more information on working with a 21st Century Member-Centric Association, contact:
Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.
Phone: 321-914-3778
email: gene@diveindustry.net
Web: www.diveindustry.net

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Editorial – July 2019

Integrating All The Pieces Into One – 
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

My Grandmother used to say, “Too soon old, too late smart.”  I think I resemble that remark, but I have to add “It’s better late, then never.”  I’ve been working in the diving industry for over fifty years now and I have met so many talented people in our community throughout the years.  We all had great ideas, or thought we did, but the means we needed to express our thoughts and share them with others, didn’t exist at the time.  Not like they do now.

In the old days, before the digitization of images, computerized graphics and streaming electronic messages, all we had was a handful of old books about Scuba Diving, Skin Diver Magazine and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau on TV.  And even though Dive Shops at the time didn’t have much marketing capability, Cousteau sparked an interest in our recreation and the general public fell in love with scuba diving and the marine environment.  Scuba diving as a recreation boomed and an interest in the world’s oceans was born.

The Dive Industry Association has been “Building a Better Industry, One Member at a Time.” for nineteen years now.  Four Hundred and Four Member Businesses have joined our industry network and worked together to increase their sales.  They knew that if businesses wanted to be successful, they had to continually focus on being more professional, productive and profitable.  These early pioneers believed they could learn more from networking with their peers than by going it alone.  We now know that working closely with your peers is also what makes an industry grow.

Over the years we learned about and hopefully mastered new marketing techniques and  vehicles that enable us to formulate and send messages to prospect clients who have the need, desire and means to obtain the major products of the diving industry – dive equipment, training and travel products.  We believe that a message the general public will accept and act upon is: 1) Learn to Dive  2) Buy Your Gear  3) Go Diving  4) Stay Active.  We believe that if we learn how to network and cooperate with our peers in the diving industry, our businesses will become more successful and the industry will grow.

So we have our work cut out for us.   We must master the tools that capture the sounds, images and actions of our recreation.  We have to consistently refine our abilities of editing and producing our messages to our potential customers.  We need to apply our knowledge and understanding of the modern marketing vehicles that deliver our messages and we have to develop and maintain business relationships with our customers and clients in order to recommend and provide programs, products and services that are in their best interest to have.  There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle and Integrating all these pieces into one strategy is the way to do it.

For the past two years we have been researching and writing white papers that tackle the issue of bringing Buyers & Sellers together to increase sales, increase customer satisfaction and grow the industry. Our first white paper, Uniting the Diving Industry, gave us the road-map for putting Industry Professionals on the same page, communicative wise.  The white paper we fished yesterday, The Dive Industry Association Membership Manuel & Guide, gave us the step-by-step guide to what we do and why.  Now it’s time to put our ideas to the test and show you what happens when we work together to bring Buyers & Sellers together.

Two weeks from now we will take part in a FAM Trip to introduce a New Dive Resort to a group of 35 Retail Dive Centers and Dive Travel Specialists.  We put together a SWAG Gift Bag together for the Retailers and the Resort Operators that includes environmentally safe suntan lotions and shampoos, natural inspect repellents, sunglasses, custom mouthpieces, and a number of new environmentally correct products and programs.  This trip will be more than merely introducing 35 potential buyers to a new seller of travel.  It will be about matching new buyers to new sellers with new products and unique vacation / recreation concepts.  With our pre-trip, on-trip and post-trip media campaign, this 5 day FAM Trip will be about introducing the power of networking and cooperation, the industry has never seen before.

Will this concept work?  I don’t know.  It’s never been done before.  But if you subscribe to our blog on www.diveindustry.net you’ll be one of first to know.  If you become a member of the Dive Industry Association you can become one of the first to participate in these programs.  Request a Member Application from gene@diveindustry.net today.

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Posted in Adventure Travel, Editorials, Industry | Leave a comment

Let Us Be Your Ambassador For A Day

Introduce Yourself With a SWAG Bag Item – 
by Gene Muchanski,
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional. 

Wholesale selling is all about relationships.  Relationships develop and grow from Introductions, Common Ground and Relationship Development.  I’m in the Business Relationship Business.  As a Trade Association Executive Director my Mission is to bring Buyers and Sellers together.  My job is to introduce buyers and sellers who have the potential to do business together.  We do that at trade shows, consumer shows and visits to their physical locations.

Our Association participates in Travel FAM Trips.  We work with Tourism Bureaus, Travel Wholesalers, Resort Destinations, Dive Operators, Resort Retailers, and Qualified Dive Travel Specialists.  When we put a FAM Trip together, it’s usually at the request of one or more Dive Destinations.  I personally know many of them because I’ve seen them at the DEMA Show but not all of them go to DEMA.  I also know many of the Retail Travel Buyers because I’ve seen them at DEMA or at their Regional Dive Show.  Again, I know many of them, but not all, because not all Retailers go to DEMA or their Regional Dive Show.

I do know of most of the Resort Destinations, Travel Wholesalers and Retail Dive Center Owners in the Industry, Worldwide.  Probably because I’ve acquired their contact information somewhere along the way from their business card or email correspondence.  Thousands of Dive Industry Professionals have visited our websites or subscribed to our Weekly News Press Releases, Blogs, and our Monthly Newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional.  My Number One Goal in Life is to put a face together with a name of the 8,000 Dive Industry Professionals in my database.

When we invite qualified Retail Travel Buyers to attend a FAM Trip with us, we are working with the best of the best in Dive Retailing.  Most, if not all of them are very successful at what they do. They sell gear, teach diving and plan group trips.  Let me ask you.  When was the last time your Regional Rep visited your Key Accounts?

When we fly off to a Dive Destination with a group of Key Travel Buyers, we want to take them to the best locations we represent.  Again, these are the most successful Resort Operators in the industry.  They have great resorts, fine food, and usually the best diving in their area.  I have another question for you.  When was the last time your Regional Rep visited your best Dive Destinations and Dive Operators?  Does your Caribbean Rep see his major accounts often?  If not, then I could be your Company Ambassador for the Day.

Here is one thing we do to bring Buyers & Sellers together.  On all of our FAM Trips from now on, we plan to put a SWAG Bag together for each FAM Trip Participant and for each Dive Destination and Dive Operator we visit.  A gift for each participant for joining us and a thank you gift for each of our hosts.   We will share your gift and contact information with our participants and we will share their contact information with you.  To be fair to all of our Members, there are a few restrictions.

SWAG Bag Items – Disclaimer – Items subject to approval

  • SWAG Bag Item source must to a current Member in Dive Industry Association.
  • Item must be a true sample or actual line item.  We are not delivering only brochures and price lists !
  • Samples cannot compete against the Sponsors of the FAM Trip.  (Our other six Travel Wholesalers can’t participate if the trip is run by one Travel Wholesaler but all Travel Wholesales can participate if the FAM Trip is run by a Tourism Board).
  • Competing Resorts of the Participating Resorts are forbidden.
  • Must be able to provide one sample per person.  Some FAM Trips have 4 people and 1 Resort Destination.  Some have 20 people and 6 Dive Destinations.  They all differ.
  • Offer is valid depending on size and weight limitations of airline baggage.

What makes a good SWAG Bag Item?  Something small, something useful, something that you normally sell that a client can reorder.  Something for diving or diving related.  Diving equipment or personal item.  Trade Show Bags with your Logo on it.  Amazon Gift Cards for $1,000 – Just kidding!  So far we have companies who have committed Reef Safe Suntan Lotion, Natural Insect Repellent, Sunglasses, and a Custom Mouthpiece product.  Whatever you choose, we will give you full details and quantities during the sign in process.

Our next FAM Trip is to Belize on July 19-23, 2019.  The FAM Trip is Sponsored by Roatan Charter.  The Resort Destination is Belize Dive Haven, Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

For more information contact:
Gene Muchanski, Dive Travel Specialist
Dive Industry Association, Inc.
Email: gene@diveindustry.net
Web: www.diveindustry.net 

 

 

Posted in Adventure Travel, FAM Trips | Leave a comment

Group Discount at Eden Beach Resort Bonaire

Eden Beach Resort Bonaire
Group Travel Packages

Eden Beach Resort Bonaire is currently offering groups 5% OFF dive packages with our onsite dive shop Wannadive.  Price starts at just $689 per person based on quad occupancy.

Package Includes

  • 7 nights’ accommodations
  • 6 days UNLIMITED shore diving
  • 7 day rental vehicle (without insurance)
  • Daily breakfast
  • Nitrox
  • Wi-Fi
  • Rinse tanks & lockers available 24/7
  • * Reduced group comps for every 7 paid divers / 8th is FREE
  • * Comps responsible for taxes
  • * Option to add on boat dives & meals
  • * Some restrictions apply

To take advantage of this special book before June 15th
Call: 805-228-4644 or 781-821-4243
or Email: Jen@travelmarketing.com

Posted in Press Release, Travel Destinations, Travel Special | Leave a comment

Adaptive Diving at Turquoise Bay Resort, Roatan

Adaptive Diving Association offering a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity for Adaptive SCUBA Divers

“Adaptive Freedom Dive”

On September 28th, 2019, an incredible group of Adaptive SCUBA Divers (amputees, spinal cord injured individuals) trained by Adaptive Diving Association with their experienced volunteers will be arriving at the Island of Roatan located in the Western Caribbean Islands to experience adaptive diving the island as to offer!

This dive trip has been made possible by both Turquoise Bay Resort & Roatan Charter through their sponsorship, assistance and generosity which enabled our adaptive divers, their caregivers, along with our dive & volunteer staff to afford to participate.

Turquoise Bay Resort has made great strides to accommodate mobility challenged individuals by renovating their facility to improve accessibility to their rooms and other facilities. They are actively seeking to provide individuals with adaptive needs the opportunity to enjoy the sport of SCUBA diving and other activities at their resort.

For more information, press only:

PR Contact: Kenneth J. Hoser, Exec. Director of Adaptive Diving Association

Phone number: 832-232-3483

Email: adaptivedivingassociation.gmail.com

Website:  www.adaptivedivingassociation.org

 

Posted in Press Release, Travel Destinations | Leave a comment

Editorial – June 2019

Build Your Own “Circle of Influence” – 
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

I’ve been in the diving industry all my life.  What’s more important to you is that I’ve been in the Business of Diving all my life.  Now, with almost 50 years in the trade behind me,  I am using my education and experience to help diving businesses gain and keep a competitive edge in this small, and sometimes declining, competitive market.  And do you know what?  It’s easier than you think.  The market is there.  You just have to know how and where to look.

The Dive Industry Association sells Membership in our Trade Association.  That is the only thing we have in common with the other agencies and associations.  We are far different and we are better at what we do for our Members.  For a small annual fee, our Members are joining an industry network that focuses on their success, not on their patronage.  Our Members are our Members, not our customers.  We don’t charge them an annual fee for the privilege of buying products from us.  Your annual dues are spent on marketing tools that bring you more customers so you can do what you do best – sell diving equipment, training and travel products. As soon as that sinks in, you will owe it to yourself and your business to find out more.

Allow me to give you a quick blast as to how and why that is important to you.  In the past 50 years, I’ve worked for a major Training Agency, two of the best Equipment Manufacturers, and a number of Travel companies.  I worked in Dive Retailing for ten years and owned my own store for seven of them.  As you know, I’ve been very active in Trade Associations, Non-Profits, and Dive Media for my whole career.  I’ve seen business relationships from different view points and I know all about each sectors’ private Circles of Influence and I know how and why they were created.  I learned about business at major Universities and gained experience at applying sales and marketing concepts inside and outside of the diving industry.  I admit that I am very opinionated when it comes to the Business of Diving because of my personal environment, education and experience, but I have always been open to new or different ways of doing things.  Old Dog – New Tricks.

This editorial cannot cover everything you need to know about the Business of DivingThe core idea to your success is your ability to develop your own Circle of Influence.   It’s based on a number of key assumptions.   1) Support the concept of requiring your business consultants to know the products, know the customer and know the market.  Any thing less does you no good at all.  2) Your success and the success of the industry is based on the sale of diving equipment, training and travel.  3)  The foundation of the diving industry is the full time and part time Industry Professional who works in the business every day.  They are the Dive Retailers and Dive Instructors.  We  call them the Industry Front-Line Ambassadors.  4) The Industry Sectors that benefit the most from the work of these front line ambassadors are the Equipment Manufacturers, Training Agencies and Travel Destinations.  5) The Industry Sectors that need a robust diving economy to survive are the Non-Profit Organizations, Diving Media, Dive Boats, Dive Clubs and Service Providers.  6) Our Industry and Recreation will only grow if people Learn to Dive, Buy Their Gear, Go Diving and Stay Active.

Now – How do we do that?  Each active Dive Industry Professional must create and maintain their own Circle of Influence.  To begin with, each Industry Professional who is teaching diving, selling equipment or selling travel is the center of their own circle of influence.  Every great World Leader has talked about the power of the individual.  If one person can change the world, certainly one person can change the diving industry.  So, draw a circle and put yourself in the center of it.  Next, teach someone to dive or sell someone dive gear, or take someone diving.  Now put that person in your inner circle.  Record their personal contact information in some type of database that you can access and use it to keep in touch with that person all year long.  When you have a new class or new equipment or another trip planned, contact that person and invite them to join you.  You now have a Circle of Influence of one and you are at the center of that circle.  You’re the Leader.  You’re the Boss.  The people in your inner circle are your current customers.  Repeat the process as often as you can this year to grow your circle.

Starting in your second year, you will need to add an Outer Circle for the people who have not purchased from you in 12 months.  The purpose is to keep the people in your inner circle active and identify and work with the people in your outer circle.  The people in your outer circle are now your former customers and your job is to reclaim their business.  Remember that working with former customers is not as difficult or expensive as finding new customers.  They know who you are and they did business with you once.  They very well may again.  It’s all up to you.  You know how to contact them.

You may need help building your Circle of Influence.  The Dive Industry Association can help you prospect for new customers, retain the customers you have, and recapture your former customers.  We can help you with referrals, promotions, marketing and advertising.  We can help you network with the people who matter the most to you.

As an Active Dive Industry Professional you now have a Circle of Influence that you are in the center of.  I can speak from experience when I say that you are now a force to be reckoned with.  Equipment Manufacturers, Training Agencies and Travel Destinations all want to know how big your Circle of Influence is.  The bigger it is, the more in demand you become.  The big equipment brands will want your business, the certification agencies will want your certs and the travel destinations will want you to book group trips with them.  I know that when we take travel buyers on FAM Trips, we are always looking for the major players who book group trips.  Now that could be you.

Let’s digress a minute.  We talked about you being in the center of your own circle of influence.  Do you know what the opposite of that is?  YOU being in the circle of someone else’s Circle of Influence !!!  That may be OK if you are an active Diver with no circle of your own, but as a Business Person, the more influence you have, the less you pay, the more your make and the more you have to negotiate with.   As a Business Person myself, the best thing I can say is:  If you write the checks, you have the power.  When I say power, I mean the power to be in the center of your own Circle of Influence, where you are in charge.  Not in someone else’s inner circle, where you are a customer.

If you have or are working on your own Circle of Influence, I would like to have a conversation with you about the Dive Industry Association.  We can help you break free of Vendor Dependence and help you grow your influence and leadership in the diving industry.  If you are already established and an Industry Leader, we want you on our Team.  We are more interested in helping you sell more diving equipment, training and travel than us selling you products.

For more information, contact Gene Muchanski at gene@diveindustry.net

 

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Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society 2019 Scholars and Interns

(l to r) Kim Hildebrandt, Neha Acharya-Patel, Joanna Smart, Benjamin Farmer, Kyra Jean Cipolla, Abigail Dias, Elizabeth Hasan (missing: Michael Langhans)

The Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® introduces its 2019 class of Scholars and Interns.

On April 13, 2019, three new Rolex Scholars and five new interns were presented at the 45th Annual Awards Ceremony of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society®, held at the New York Yacht Club in New York City.

Since 1974, the Society has provided firsthand experiences in underwater-related disciplines to young people considering careers in the underwater world. For 45 years, founding partner Rolex has been the Society’s partner in education, with the Society annually selecting three Rolex Scholars – one each from North America, Europe, and Australasia. Each Scholar, working closely with leaders in marine-related fields, spends a year immersed in a wide variety of hands-on activities that further the Scholar’s knowledge and experience of the underwater realm. The range of experiences may include active participation in field studies, underwater research, scientific expeditions, laboratory assignments, equipment testing and design, photographic instruction, and other specialized assignments. The Scholars receive funding for travel and living expenses during their Scholarship year.

(l to r) Kim Hildebrandt, Joanna Smart, Neha Acharya-Patel

The 2019 Rolex Scholars are:

Neha Acharya-Patel is the 2019 North American Rolex Scholar

Kim Hildebrandt is the 2019 European Rolex Scholar

Joanna Smart is the 2019 Australasian Rolex Scholar

 

 

In addition to the scholarship program, since 1995, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society has offered a variety of experience-based internships that are 1 to 3 months in length. Internship recipients receive an educational grant to help fund travel to and from the internship site, room and board, and a stipend to cover living expenses. The sponsor organizations that host the internships are leaders in their fields.

(l to r) Benjamin Farmer, Elizabeth Hasan, Kyra Jean Cipolla, Michael Langhans, Abigail Dias

The 2019 Interns are:

Kyra Jean Cipolla – Dr. Lee H. Somers American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scientific Diving Internship

Abigail Dias – Divers Alert Network (DAN) Diver’s Safety Education Internship

Benjamin Farmer – Dr. Jamie L. King Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Marine Conservation Internship

Elizabeth Hasan – American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Mitchell Scientific Diving Research Internship

Michael Langhans – National Park Service Research Internship

 

To learn more about each of the Scholars:
visit:  https://www.owuscholarship.org/scholarships/current

To learn more about each of the Interns:
visit:  https://owuscholarship.org/internships

For more information about the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society: visit:  www.owuscholarship.org

 

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Get Ready For Shows & Events 2020

Get Ready For Shows & Events 2020
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

Shows and Events, or face-to-face Marketing as we call it, is a big part of the Industry’s Marketing efforts.  Trade and Consumer Shows in the diving industry are market places created to bring Buyers and Sellers together.   The diving community has a fifty year history exhibiting and attending trade and consumer shows but we need to have a new look at the reasons we support these shows as sponsors, advertisers, exhibitors, speakers and attendees.  It may help to think of what we are doing as trying to get a 21st Century perspective on a 20th Century concept.

First of all, Dive Industry Association monitors trade and consumer shows that are important to the diving industry.  A Shows & Events Calendar is posted and updated on our website on a continual basis.  If you are responsible for exhibiting, attending or participating at trade or consumer shows, you may want to Bookmark this page.  See Shows & Events

Shows & Events Categories:  The categories that attract divers and diving businesses are Dive Shows, Surf Expos, Travel Shows, Outdoor Sporting Goods Shows and Boat Shows.  They include domestic shows and popular international shows.  In all these categories, we have consumer and non-consumer shows.  Consumer shows feature educational and entertainment seminars and have exhibitors who show their products and exhibitors who sell their products.  Non-consumer shows either focus on exhibits or seminars.  We call a non-consumer show that focuses on exhibits a Trade Show or Expo.  If the focus is on seminars, we call it a Professional Development Conference.  Rhonda Abrams’s book Trade Show In A Day, sums it up best.  “At a trade show or expo, the primary action takes place on the exhibit hall floor.  Attendees are there to visit booths, and all non-exhibit activities are secondary.  At a conference, the opposite is true.  Attendees are there to go to seminars and educational sessions, visiting the exhibition hall only during breaks in their daily schedules.”

Priorities: Let’s look at Trade Shows & Expos first.  It is best to prioritize your involvement at Trade Shows by looking at the Buyers and Sellers of these marketplaces.  If you are a Seller (Exhibitor) then you will want to exhibit where you can interact with the most buyers.  Will your buyers be there in sufficient quantity to make it cost effective for you to be there?  If you are a Buyer, you’ll want to look at the list of exhibitors to determine if you will be reaching the businesses that supply the dive equipment, training and travel products you re-sell.

At consumer shows, it’s all about the attendees (buyers).  Are they coming to attend seminars, look at exhibit booths or just to socialize?  It’s good to ask the show producers about the focus of their marketing and advertising.  Who are they target marketing?  Are they active divers, prospective divers or old time divers who don’t dive, buy gear or travel anymore?  It’s good to know if the active divers are currently in the market for new dive equipment, training or travel products.  Is there a way you can capture the contact information of the attending buyers?  With all this information, you should be able to tell if this marketplace being created for a weekend will be productive for you.

What about Dive, Surf, Boat, Outdoor, or Travel Shows?  A good way to prioritize the shows you exhibit at is to look at the concentration of the type of attendees.  What percentage of the attendees are likely to be your customers.  A  dive show with 5,000 diver attendees may be more cost effective than exhibiting at a show that has 20,000 attendees when only 1,000 of them are divers.  It’s not the raw numbers of attendees that is the most important factor.  It’s the total number of qualified buyers interested in your products.

Domestic & International Shows:  Prioritizing domestic versus international shows all depends on the number of perspective buyers that will be in attendance.  Is it cost effective to be there?  Do you have the budget and the personnel for it?

Hire a Trade Show Marketing Specialist:  Why not make all your Trade Shows count?  Our Trade Show Professionals at Dive Industry Association can help you pick the right shows, create annual budgeting estimates, and create a marketing strategy that covers pre-show, at-show and post-show activities.  We’ll advise your staff on your marketing materials, booth merchandising, and achieving planned outcomes.  We’ll assist you with customer follow-up after the show and evaluating your performance at the show.

For more information, contact:  Gene Muchanski at gene@diveindustry.net

Posted in Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Editorial – May 2019

Having Referral-Ready Contact Information
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

The primary mission of the Dive Industry Association is to bring Buyers and Sellers together.  Knowing who the sellers are, what they sell  and how to get a hold of them are our primary challenges, and therefore, essential components to the successful completion of our mission.  A good deal of the Association’s work is behind the scenes. We gather information, knowledge and experience about the industry’s diving equipment, training and travel.  These are the three most important categories that contribute to the industry’s economic development.  In short, this is what the industry sells.  The second thing we do is maintain an industry database that includes the current contact information of the buyers and sellers of diving programs, products and services.  Again, this is an industry service that, in itself, is not an income generator for the Association but is vital information to the industry.  The third thing we do is facilitate exchanges between the buyers and sellers.

Purchasing decisions are made when a customer with a need decides to purchase a program, product or service to satiate that need, after they have completed their research into the vast array of products that will solve their need and the competitive sellers who provide those products.  Referrals from Trade Associations make the purchasing decision quicker, easier and less risky for the consumer.  Based on our experience in the industry and the market place, we are familiar with the products and the suppliers.  We understand how the products are used and why they satiate certain physical, psychological, social, and recreational needs.  Many times, our Members and our Staff are currently using the products that the potential consumer is considering.  Our credibility, integrity and professional relationships with both the buyers and sellers far outweigh any trust issues a consumer may have with a unknown sales person.  Especially if the seller does not have a current professional relationship with the buyer.

Believe it or not, many times we cannot make a referral to a willing customer because the supplier of that product does not have their current contact information in our system.  They may have moved, gone out of business, or opted out of our requests for information.  Many times they don’t have current information about their products, no catalogs, no brochures, don’t have business cards or have changed the name of their companies. Many of them have outdated or no websites at all.  The only thing our industry can do for these businesses is either help them become more professional, productive and profitable or just not promote them and their products to the consumer market.

For our Association to successfully promote the industry and refer good sellers to potential buyers we need good, current information.  We are asking the industry to send us your current catalog & dealer price lists.  It would also be helpful if your send us your current brochure and business cards for your Key People.  When we conduct industry surveys, it would help all of us if you participated.  Needless to say, opting in to our Weekly News and Monthly Newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with what we are doing in and for the diving industry.  Our contact information is listed below.

Psycographics is the study of why people make purchasing decisions.  Achieving a successful sales outcome takes a lot more than knowing why people buy.  As providers of programs, product and services, we have to know why people buy what they buy, where they buy products and when they are most likely to make purchases.  A successful Seller has to be accessible to the customer when they choose to act on their buying decision.

A single ad in an on-line newsletter is not going to take a consumer through the entire purchasing decision making process.  Rather, it takes a coordinated process of press releases, product advertisements, endorsements, demonstrations, recommendations, referrals and a strong, genuine and timely call to act.  That’s how sales are made.  And depending on the value of the product in question,  you may have to use more than one type of communication.  Combining print, digital and face-to-face marketing vehicles works very well in getting to a successful sales outcome.

That is why the Dive Industry Association takes its role in the industry to bring Buyers and Sellers together so seriously.  We know the products, the sellers, the buyers, the marketing messages, the marketing vehicles and the market places.  We know that the industry’s growth is primarily because of the sale of diving equipment, training and travel.  We know that the majority of recreational diving programs, products and services are sold by Retail Dive Centers and Scuba Instructors.  We also know that to grow the industry we have to focus on teaching people to dive, selling them gear, taking them diving and keeping them active.

Think of the diving industry as a very big boat with thousands of oars.  The boat is not going to get very far if we all aren’t rowing together, and in the same direction!

Now that the Scuba Show in Long Beach has concluded for the year, it’s time for half the industry to get to work (Retailers, Dive Operators, Instructors, Travel Destinations) and the other half to take a much needed vacation and then get ready for the 2020 season.  In the mean time, have a great 2019 season and we’ll see you at Dema Show (Booth 447).

For more information contact: Gene Muchanski, Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, 2294 Botanica Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.  Phone: 321-914-3778.  email: gene@diveindustry.net  Web: www.diveindustry.net

 

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