Why Are Dive Stores So Important?

DIRA – Dive Industry Retailers Association
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The Dive Retailers Sector of the Dive Industry Association was formed to address the problems, issues and needs  that are relevant to the modern day Retail Dive Center, or as I like to call them, Scuba Diving Adventure Centers.  The Association is open to all Professional Retail Watersport Stores regardless of their membership or affiliation with any Manufacturer, Training Agency or Travel Wholesaler.

Retail Scuba Diving Adventure Centers are critically important to the health and growth of our recreation.  As we saw in our “Dive Local” campaign, stores perform the four main functions of the industry.  They teach people how to dive, sell them equipment, take them diving and keep them active in the recreation.  Stores are the focal point of every diving community.  Primarily, they are open to the public and serve as the first point of contact a person has with scuba diving.  They are our industry ambassadors as well as our service representatives and local experts on everything that has to do with diving.

First Point of Contact:  People come in contact with scuba diving in many ways.  A Retail business should make sure they are covering as many of them as they can.  First point of contact could be having a commercial location that people can patronize. Personal contact also means meeting people at dive shows and introducing them to your store.  Having a good web site is a very important means of first contact, with the new generation as is having a strong, active presence on social media. Having an aggressive outreach campaign using the phones and email is a big plus.  Being known as the local diving expert in your community is the best industry builder we have.  We are all Dive Industry Ambassadors.  Now we just have to get excited about it.

Teaching People to Dive:  Teaching scuba diving classes and continuing education is a big part of dive retailing.  There is so much to learn in pursuit of our recreation.  Entry level courses and advanced diver training makes us more knowledgeable in diving and hopefully a safer diver.  Photography and other specialty course keeps that interest going.

Selling Equipment:  You can’t scuba dive without gear. Making sure your scuba student learns about the equipment is at least 1/3 of the training.  Scuba Divers who invest in their own equipment, dive more often.  Occasional divers have a tendency to rent their gear.  Either way, equipping our Divers is a major function of dive retailing.

Go Diving:  Once you learn to dive and buy your gear, it’s time to go diving.  Local diving is the logical way to begin.  A successful dive store will have a dive club that customers can participate in.  Local dives, boat dives and vacation trips are all good ways to keep your divers diving.  It’s important to remember, having an active diving calendar at your store gives your customers a reason to purchase diving equipment.  People only buy gear when they have a reason to do so.

Stay Active:  A successful dive store keeps their customers active.  Active customers, buy gear, they enroll in continuing education, they go on trips and they refer their friends to you.  There are many ways to stay active in the recreation.  Continuing education is one.  Participating in a Dive Club is another.  Subscribing to dive magazine is a great one.  And my favorite is attending the annual dive show in your territory.

In summary, that’s why Scuba Diving Adventure Centers are important to the diving industry.  Our Retailers are the local diving experts and ambassadors.  They work in the business on a full or part-time basis.  They teach diving, sell equipment, go diving and keep people active.  That’s what they do for the industry.  But, what does the Industry do for them?  Rather than say, “Nothing” or “We sell them a lot of equipment” or “We sell them a lot of Certifications” or “We charge them annual dues to buy stuff from us” , let’s  mention the things we can do to help them succeed and grow the industry.

Partner with them at Regional Dive Shows:  Manufacturers, Certification Agencies, and Travel Wholesalers should sponsor their local retailers at dive and travel shows.  The price of a booth may be cost prohibitive for a single Retail Store but is well within the budget for a vendor who has many Dealers in a region.  The perfect co-op happens when the vendor pays for the booth and the freight for the display, the Local Sales Representative organizes and manages the staffing schedule, and the local dive store personnel staff the booth.  That’s a WIN – WIN – WIN.

Sponsor a Regional Meeting and Party for your Dealers:  How often do you meet with your Dealers?  Once a year at DEMA?  More if your Rep visits them in person and pays his own way.  My question is, “How many times do YOU meet with your Dealers?”  I asked a large manufacturer who used to throw a DEMA Party for their Dealers, why they didn’t do it anymore.  Their answer was that it cost a lot of money and it didn’t seem important to their Dealers.  Of course, we all know that if the Dealers stopped their orders until they got a party, there would be a lot more Dealer Parties at the DEMA Show.

More Co-Op Advertising:  There is a dangerous trend of vendors going directly to the consumer to sell programs, products and services.  Not only is it time consuming and expensive, it undermines the Dealer.  Co-Op advertising is just that, cooperative.  Creating a marketing campaign that ties in the Dealer is far more successful when both partners do their fair share in the campaign.  Changing your channel of distribution is foolish if it undermines your supply chain.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due:  A vendor’s reputation becomes what it is because of the way their Dealers promote them.  In my old Southern California Territory, my customers were loyal Scubapro & NAUI Divers or Scubapro & PADI Divers based on the amount of sales, marketing, advertising and promotion I did.  Our store helped make the vendors what they were in our territory based on our promotions to our customers, not because their national efforts.  I’ve seen major companies rise and fall in sales and reputation based on the amount of local support and promotion they received in a given territory.  It’s very foolish, indeed, to think that your company is smarter or bigger than the power of the local dealers.

Give Your Local Dealers a Great Imagine To Live Up To:  You promote your company by promoting your local dealers.  It’s a smart company that puts their Dealers on a pedestal and promotes them to the local market.  People do business with people, not companies.  They build relationships with people and loyalty with companies that serve their interests.

Make your company the company people want to do business with because of the people you have in your network.  Support your local Dealers, Sales Reps, Product Ambassadors and Mavens.  

Posted in Industry, Newsletter - The Dive Industry Professionals | Leave a comment

Editorial – December 2017

December is Time To Celebrate…Maybe
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

I love December.  Always have and hopefully always will.  As we look back on the past eleven months, how many of us in the diving industry can honestly say they had a great year because they understood the market, did what was necessary to prosper and succeeded?  I don’t see all of your hands going up.  I saw the ones who had a good year in 2017.  They were at the trade and consumer shows, either as exhibitors, attendees or support organizations.    They were giving lecturers on the joys of diving and their own personal experiences.  They wrote articles and books about all kinds of diving.  They traveled to their favorite dive sites, whether it was their local quarry or some exotic resort destination.  They were spending time with their customers keeping the excitement of diving alive.  I saw them at the beach and on local boat dives.  I dove with them at dive resorts in the Caribbean and the South Pacific.  They were out there and they were active.  Among this group, the business of diving was alive and well. And so were their customers.

I could spend hours writing about what I didn’t see and the groups and sectors who did little or nothing to promote diving, even to their customers.  I could tell you about the many diving businesses that worked hard at maximizing their income while cutting back on  their marketing and advertising expenditures.  But in the true spirit of Christmas and the Holiday Season, in addition to my belief that every Dive Industry Leader should be more like Dale Carnegie (never criticize, condemn or complain), I will not go negative on you.  Instead, I would like to focus on what can be done to support our customers, increase opportunities for them and grow the industry.

Scuba Diving is a social recreation.  It all starts out because one person thinks it’s cool and goes diving.  Then they get their family and friends involved.  One thing leads to another and they buy their diving gear and make plans to either join a club or find an active dive store that dives a lot.  I’ve noticed that people tend to first become divers if they know someone else who dives.  They stay actively involved in the recreation if there are a sufficient number of planned dives and shows & events to attend.  Keeping people actively involved in scuba diving is all based on activities and relationships.

I’ve been a diving Cheerleader all my life.  I loved scuba diving from the first time I put my head underwater and drew breathe from a regulator.  There weren’t a lot a divers back in 1967 in Connecticut.  In my High School of 1,200 kids there were 2.  I made it 3.  Soon there were dozens. My philosophy was, “Let’s Go Diving.”  If you don’t know how, I’ll teach you.  If you don’t have gear, I’ll lend you one of my extra sets until you buy your own.  Either way, I’m going diving every weekend, with or without you.  For the next 30 years I was never without a dive buddy.  Now at the age of 65 I no longer lead the charge or rally the troops from the front lines.  That torch has been passed on to a younger generation.  I’m content to enjoy my “Princess Diving” (warm, clear, shallow, with lots of fish) with my Best Dive Buddy while I rally the new troops from my computer (from Florida or at a Dive Resort in Saint Somewhere).

What will make scuba diving popular again?  If you are already certified, go diving.  Invite a friend to go with you.  Get your un-certified friends to take lessons.  Build your inner circle of diving buddies and go out and have fun.  Find a dive store that is active.  Join a club that does things.  Find a Travel Agent who knows the best dive destinations.  Visit our blogs, websites and social media publications to see how many diving opportunities are out there for active dive industry professionals.  We’ll introduce you to who you need to know to get connected.  There’s a lot of potential out there for you.

The Dive Industry Association and it’s non-profit organization, The Dive Industry Foundation, are in the business of knowing the diving industry and making recommendations to divers and non-divers alike, so they can: 1) Learn to Dive.  2) Buy their gear.  3) Go Diving.  and 4) Stay Active.  The Dive Industry Association does its work through business memberships and the Dive Industry Foundation does its work through donations from Industry Professionals like yourself.  Help grow the diving industry and our recreation.   Support these two organizations.  Happy Holidays.  GO Diving.

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

Posted in Editorials | Leave a comment

Industrial Revolution (Intova) & Innovative Scuba Concepts Announces the Termination of Its Distribution Agreement

Industrial Revolution, Inc.
5835 Segale Park Drive C
Tukwila, WA 98188
(425) 285-1111
www.industrialrev.com
www.intova.com

Innovative Scuba Concepts 
6170 Lakeshore Court
Colorado Springs, CO 80915
(719) 597-2885
www.innovativescuba.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Industrial Revolution (Intova) & Innovative Scuba Concepts Announces the Termination of Its Distribution Agreement

Contacts:
Steve Llorente, Vice President of Sales – Industrial Revolution, Inc. steve@industrialrev.com / (425) 285-1111

Chuck Fultz, President- Innovative Scuba Concepts
chuck@innovativescuba.com / (719) 597-2885

TUKWILA, WA — November 28, 2017 – Industrial Revolution, Inc., owner of the Intova brand and Innovative Scuba Concepts announced today that they have mutually agreed to end their exclusive distribution agreement. The termination of the agreement is effective December 1, 2017.

After much consideration and a desire to best serve dealers in the scuba dive market, the companies came to the decision to end their partnership. The return of distribution to Industrial Revolution (IR) will enable the company to offer dealers access to all Intova products and direct access to Intova’s technical support team. It will also allow Innovative Scuba Concepts (ISC) to focus on their own brands within the dive market.

Dealer orders for Intova products that have been submitted to Innovative Scuba Concepts prior to December 1st will be filled and invoiced from their facility. Any backorders that cannot be filled and orders for new products, including the new X4K camera and Intova’s new Marine Grade accessories will be transferred to IR for fulfillment upon new product launch in December. Beginning December 1, 2017 all dealer orders for Intova cameras and accessories should be sent direct to IR for fulfillment. Dealers who purchased Intova products between 2014-2016 will have active accounts with Industrial Revolution and can place orders without delay.

As a welcome to dealers who have been purchasing Intova products from ISC, Industrial Revolution will be extending the DEMA 2017 show offers to dealers through December 2017.   Orders must indicate “DEMA 2017 SPECIAL” when submitted and must be shipped by December 31, 2017.

To submit orders: EMAIL: orders@industrialrev.com ONLINE: http://www.industrialrev.com FAX: (206) 812-2250 PHONE: (425) 285-1111

Dealer questions: Candice Mann – Candice.mann@industrialrev.com

About Intova
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1995, Intova looks to the scenic landscapes around them for inspiration. Their mission is to deliver camera products and accessories that offer high value and unique feature sets. Intova’s pursuit of innovation has led to many industry firsts and has allowed the product line to expand to include digital cameras, HD video cameras, and waterproof electronics. Find us at www.intova.net

About Innovative Scuba Concepts
Founded in 1988, Innovative Scuba Concepts has grown to become the market leader in diving accessories, offering more than 4,000 products to customers in the United States and abroad. Industry leaders know they can trust Innovative Scuba Concepts to provide unparalleled customer service combined with a wide variety of quality products at a value price.  web: www.innovativescuba.com

###

Posted in Industry | Leave a comment

Isla Cozumel: A Mexican Island with a Caribbean Flare

Isla Cozumel: A Mexican / Caribbean Island Paradise
By Gene Muchanski
Executive Correspondent, Caribbean Dive News

Isla Cozumel is a Mexican Island with a Caribbean flare. In a beautiful tropical setting, the island is alive with watersports activities yet enjoys a relaxed tempo of life.  In this turquoise water, white sand beach, and lushly vegetated island you can choose to actively pursue your favorite watersport passions or do nothing at all.  In her own way, Isla Cozumel caters to every visitor in a very unique and personal way.

The Island of Cozumel is one of the better known and more popular diving destinations in the world. A beautiful little island off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Isla Cozumel beckons to scuba divers and water sports enthusiasts from around the globe.  Cozumel is accessible by major airlines landing at Cozumel’s own International Airport, cruise ships docking at one of its cruise terminals and by a short ferry boat ride across the channel from Playa del Carmen. Cozumel is a tiny island measuring 34 miles long from North to South and 8 miles wide from East to West.

DSC_0648-200Cozumel has become the popular diving destination it is today for many reasons. First and foremost, the island is home to the second largest coral reef system in the world.  The water is warm and clear and thanks to a mild ocean current, the scuba diving is almost effortless. The reefs are alive and abundantly populated with numerous species of fish, and thanks to the Mexican Government, are protected in Chankanaab National Park.  Even the locals are not allowed to fish in this beautiful marine preserve.  That means the marine inhabitants and the beautiful sea fans and coral reefs will be there for our enjoyment for generations to come.

It’s easy to get to Cozumel. Scuba Divers normally choose to fly directly into Cozumel International Airport.  The island is served by most major airlines including Aero Mexico, Air Tran, and United.  Depending on the time of day and time of year, going through immigration is relatively painless.  While some Resorts may pick you up at the airport, it’s not a problem if yours doesn’t.  The main city of San Miguel is next to the airport and most of the dive resorts are on the main road on the other side of San Miguel.  Shuttle vans are readily available for around $20 per person.

Cruise Ships are a popular way to visit Cozumel. There is a Cruise Ship Terminal in downtown San Miguel and another newer terminal a few miles south towards Chankanaab Marine Park.  Cozumel is currently the leader of cruise ship arrivals around the world.  It is estimated that between 2 and 3 million “Day Trippers” from the cruise ships visit the shops of Cozumel every year.

Another popular way to visit Isla Cozumel is by Ferry from Playa del Carmen. For years vacationers from Cancun and Playa del Carmen have taken the Ferry to Cozumel to visit this beautiful Island to enjoy the abundant watersports, shopping and restaurants.  At $13 per crossing, the Ferry is popular with the locals and people who work on the Island.

DSC_0481-200Scuba Diving has been a popular attraction for over 40 years on the Island of Cozumel and it is estimated that over 300,000 people come to Cozumel every year for the watersports. That’s not counting the 2 ½ million people arriving by cruise ships!  The first and most respected dedicated Dive Resort on the island is Scuba Club Cozumel.  Founded in 1976, this 61 room, waterfront Dive Resort has its own Dive Boats, Dive Shop and Restaurant.  Diving doesn’t get any easier than walking out of your room and onto the dive boat that’s waiting for you at the Resort’s own dock.  Managing Partner Timothy Massimino has been at the helm of Scuba Club Cozumel for 34 years now, overseeing a staff of 100-120 employees, some who have been with the resort for 20-30 years.

Booking a trip for you and your dive buddy or a group of divers is as easy as finding a reliable Dive Travel Wholesaler like Scuba Travel Ventures or Roatan Charter.  Working with a Dive Travel Specialist gives you a number of options in Airfare, Hotel Accommodations, Dive Operators and after dive attractions.  Seasoned Dive Operator Dive Paradise has their own fleet of Dive Boats, Dive Guides and Dive Instructors as well as their own Boat Pier near downtown San Miguel.  Independent Boat Operators like Sea Robin and Dimi Scuba Tours work with a number of Resort Hotels and arrangements can be made to pick you up at your own dock.

09-3546-200A major factor to consider in planning a dive trip is the amount of equipment support you can get when you are miles away from home and your local dive store. Cozumel has a number of dive stores scattered around the island but when it comes to repairs and hard to find spare parts, Cozumel Scuba Repair is the best place to go.  Founded by former NAVY SEAL Larry Cleghorn, Cozumel Scuba Repair has personnel that are qualified as repair technicians for most of the major equipment manufacturers in the world.  Knowing you can find that little 50 cent O-ring which saves your diving vacation goes a long way in making Cozumel next year’s dive destination of choice.

DSC_0314-200The Island of Cozumel takes its diving very seriously. For your diving safety and enjoyment there is a Hyperbaric Chamber and Medical Center downtown by the waterfront.  The Chamber is staffed by full-time Medical Professionals, including UHMS Certified Physicians trained to assist all Scuba Diving Injuries.  The Chamber is a Member of the SSS Recompression Chamber Network and part of the Divers Emergency Assistance Network.

If you’re into making six dives a day while on vacation, then Cozumel is a good choice for you. If your idea of a good vacation is waking up at 7 a.m., having a delightful breakfast, then packing your gear and going on the boat for a two tank dive, followed by lunch and a nap, then Cozumel is definitely your kind of place.   And the day doesn’t end there.  There is plenty of sightseeing to do on the island and many wonderful places to catch up on your Caribbean Dining experiences.  Your taste buds can experience everything from Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville to the Fogo Do Brasil Steak House and an after-dinner cigar at Mini Havana.

A good rule of thumb is not to make any scuba dives 24 hours before flying home. That last day on the island can be well-spent by renting a car and doing a little sight-seeing.  A favorite place to visit is Hacienda Antigua, Tequila Factory & Store for a little Tequila tasting.  It’s a short drive on Benito Juarez from downtown San Miguel, and being able to bring home a bottle of “Crema al Tequila” to pour on top of your ice cream will make you the talk of the town back home.

DSC_0450-200So when you are making out your “Bucket List” for places you’d like to dive before you die, Cozumel should be at the top of your list. Because after you’ve been there once, you’re  going to want to go back again and again.   So let’s recap the reasons why you are going to want to Dive Cozumel;  It’s a beautiful Island;  Cozumel has a temperate climate year round; The water is warm and clear, with gentle ocean currents; The marine life is abundant and protected.  The diving is easy from a boat yet accessible from shore.  The diving conditions appeal to all levels of diver experience and the grand majority of diving is between 30 and 100 feet.  There is an active Hyperbaric Chamber and Medical Clinic on the Island.  Cozumel itself is easy to get to; There are plenty of Resorts, Dive Operators and Dive Stores; There are plenty of Restaurants and Bars; Taxis are inexpensive.  There is no reason to drink & drive.  The Peso / Dollar exchange rate is around 13 to 1, making Cozumel a great value for your money.  Most of the people you deal with in Cozumel speak English in addition to being happy, friendly and courteous.  And most importantly, Cozumel is a safe place to vacation

Tourism is the bread and butter of many countries around the world. Political Leaders know how to roll out the red carpet for tourists if and when they want to.  The Political Leaders of Cozumel always want to.

Here is a quote from the Mayor of Cozumel,  Lic. Fredy Efren Marrufo Martin:  “Dear Friends: Welcome to Cozumel Island, our Heaven on Earth. An excellent tourist destination of the Mexican Caribbean, where you will enjoy its famous hospitality, and great services.  As Mayor, I welcome and encourage you to enjoy the natural beauties of Cozumel.  This paradise belongs to everyone.”

This is what Mayor Martin said to the people of Cozumel:  “Dear People of Cozumel: Cozumel is currently the leader of cruise ship arrivals around the world.  The best way to present ourselves to the tourists that visit us is by our politeness, hospitality and the excellent services we provide.  Cozumel is our home, I encourage that we work together to keep making our paradise an Island of peace and tranquility that we all can enjoy.”

Put Isla Cozumel on your “Bucket List.” You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DIA Members to Exhibit at Lone Star State Dive & Travel Show

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the Lone Star Dive & Travel Show on January 27-28, 2018 at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel, Frisco, TX.  Visit our DIA Members FIRST.

Dive Clubs

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits

Associations, Media and Shows & Events

Posted in Events & Activities, Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Editorial – November 2017

November is Time For Follow-up
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

Here it is, the end of November and everyone is getting out their November Newsletters.  Does that mean we should call them “Oldletters”?  Well, not really.  November is DEMA Show month and whether it falls on the first week of November or the third week of November, it’s still DEMA Show month.  This year DEMA started on November 1st.  Any newsletter put out on that day would have fallen to deaf ears and missed out-of-office eyes.  Our pre-show marketing period includes the days before the show.  That would have been in October.  The at-show period is the 4 days of DEMA and our post-show follow-up is the rest of November plus December after the show is over.  The closer we get to Thanksgiving, the less effective our follow-up will be.  But here’s a new way of looking at it.  If we treat post-show follow-up campaigns as part of our continual marketing program, following-up with contacts you saw at the show just adds another topic to your ongoing business relationship with clients.  So our post-show marketing topics should be about What’s NEW, What’s NOW, and What’s NEXT.  It means we have something new to talk about with a client who we just updated our relationship with at the show.

What is your topic of conversation this time of year?  I hope you aren’t thinking along the lines of “Well, DEMA is over and now everyone is taking off for the Holidays.”  That would be like getting ready to jump off a bridge.  What you might want to talk about with your clients, is that it was great seeing them again at the show.  You hope you showed them everything that is new for next season.  If you didn’t get an order at the show, now would be a good time to close that sale so your clients have your new products in stock for the biggest buying time of the year.  Impress upon them the importance of being ready before the Holidays are upon us. Then you could segway into wishing them a Happy Holiday with your promise to stay in touch all next year.

Successful companies have taken the “follow-up” concept and expanded it to the “stay-in-touch” concept.  The old way of thinking is to fish for leads at a trade show and then follow-up with the “hot leads” to make the sale.  In my opinion, that method is just wrong short term thinking.  I believe that sales take place because you have a product your clients need, want and can afford and they buy from you because they know you, like you and trust you.  So, to me, sales take place because of your relationship with your clients.  Relationships need to be started and nurtured over time.  To act as a trusted product representative, you need to keep in touch with your clients and respond to them when needed.  You need to be the person they like to buy from and represent the company they respect and enjoy doing business with.

In the diving industry, our success is dependent upon serving our clients better than our competition.  I can name a few companies that are/were successful at creating their own network of professionals, inviting key clients to be a part of that network, and establishing a customer-centric way of doing business that put their clients first and made their needs the company’s number one priority.  The message is clear:  Become a part of our Network and we’ll take care of you.  That’s the way to build brand loyalty.

Posted in Editorials | Leave a comment

Why Must There Always Be A “Wake Up” Call?

Why Must There Always be a Wakeup Call?
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

We live our lives in a constant state of hustle and bustle.  On the run, go, go, go. It seems we don’t pay attention to what’s important in our lives but instead, what’s important in the moment.  So when we have a crises that makes us stop and evaluate the way we’ve been doing things, we say we “Had a wakeup call.”

We all have friends who’ve been there.  Heck, we’ve been ourselves.  Like the Diver who has a bad experience in the water because of faulty equipment or bad health and fitness.  You know, the once active Diver who is now 50 pounds overweight, and has his “wakeup call” to lose those 50 pounds, after an exhausting dive.  The Diver didn’t gain those 50 pounds overnight.  It happened over a long period of time.  It crept up on him while he was focused on other things.  The over-confident Diver who almost drowns when he surfaces far away from the boat and no one sees him because he didn’t bring a snorkel, doesn’t have a whistle, and never bought a safety sausage.  I don’t think that our seasoned Diver just forgot to bring them on that one dive.  I bet he had been cutting corners for many years, little by little because of his skill, experience, and lack of problems on past dives.  The question is, why do we have to let things get so out of control or become so lax that we realize we are not living at the top of our game?  Why do we have to wait for a crisis to happen before we swear to get back on track?

I recently saw another example of “wake up calls” during Hurricane Irma.  Many of my neighbors, myself included, were well prepared with generators, gas, extra food and water, propane and emergency equipment.  The homes in our neighborhood are new so they are all made of concrete block and everyone has storm shutters.  A week before the hurricane, a group of us pitched in and put storm shutters up on a dozen houses.  All of that prep work helped us hide from the wind.

When it came to the water part of the hurricane that was a completely different story.  We found out that you can hide from wind but you have to run from water.  Guess what?  Wake-up call time!  You have to do your best to prepare for water surge in a hurricane.  Some things you can prepare for, some things you can’t.  Keeping people and animals safe is my highest priority.   You can always get new “stuff.”   Having less stuff is now at the top of my 2nd priority list.  Protecting electronic equipment and data is next.  Family pictures and memories all have to be digitized so they are easy to take with you or store some place safe.  Diving gear, photography gear and video equipment?  Heck they are going with us so we can dive wherever we evacuate to !

So I guess my recent wake-up call made me realize I never want another wake-up call again.  I’m getting ready now so I won’t have a wake-up call later.  I’m going to live an active life, being on top of my game and do what is important to me for the long run.  Keeping and protecting the stuff that is important to me and letting go of what isn’t.  It’s time to adopt a “less is more” attitude?

What’s important in your life?  Are you prepared to live the life you have always wanted, right now?  Don’t wait for a wake-up call.  Prepare now.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Baltimore Dive Show – January 19-20, 2018

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2017

 

US Dive Shows LLC has announced consumer tickets are now on sale for the Baltimore/DC Dive Show 2018, Friday evening, January 19, 4-8 PM and Saturday, January 20, 2018 10 AM – 5 PM at the Radisson Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, MD. See the show web site for more ticket information at www.baltimorediveshow.com

“We are planning an exciting show in Baltimore this January,” said Brian Miller of Baltimore who has partnered with Brad Nolan of Harvard, IL to produce the 2018 show for the scuba diving retail market.

“We will feature a great line-up of area scuba dive retailers, dive clubs, travel wholesalers and resorts, instructional agencies and equipment manufacturers as exhibitors (Floor Plan). There are seminars from local experts and specialists that will make this a fun learning experience for divers at every level”.  Miller added.

The show will feature some unique Internet activities that will create an interaction between exhibitors and consumers attending the show.

  • Demonstrations on product and diving techniques, lionfish, regulator servicing & cameras.
  • Live music on the exhibition floor
  • A Sealed Auction for dive travel and special equipment
  • A raffle for dive gear and scuba lessons
  • A 50-50 raffle both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon
  • DJ/Surface Interval Party Friday evening

The Cody Unser First Step Foundation (CUFSF) will be featured as the keynote speaker Friday evening and make a presentation on how scuba diving has been such an important part of her therapy and treatment. Ms. Unser stricken with an auto immune condition called Transverse Myelitis in 1999 was left paralyzed. She was treated for many years at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. As a quality of life therapy Cody learned to scuba dive at her home town in New Mexico. Cody considers scuba a major factor in the recovery that she has experienced.

The Baltimore Trinidad-Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra will be performing on the show floor most of the day Saturday. The “Scuba Cowboy” Pup Morse will perform Friday evening and throughout the day Saturday. Mr. Morse features country music, “Scubaribbean” music and “Trop-Rock” music. The show floor closes at 8PM Friday and everyone will move to our DJ/Surface Interval Party till 11PM Friday.  We want to start the 2018 diving season with a fun, friendly event for divers” says Mr. Nolan. “The Baltimore/DC Dive Show is the ticket!”

Tickets are available at the Show web site www.BaltimoreDiveShow.com.

Exhibitor Booth Rental Information:  CLICK HERE

Special Hotel Rates click “GOLDEN TICKET

Promotional Video CLICK HERE

For more information about the Baltimore/DCDiveShow contact:

Brian Miller
USDiveShows LLC
(410) 458-0260
Brian@USDiveShows.com

Brad Nolan
USDiveShows LLC
(815) 593-8888
Brad@USDiveShows.com

Posted in Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Mobby’s & DUI Announce Global Alliance

PRESS RELEASE:

Two long term diving equipment companies have announced a global alliance on the construction, manufacturing and distribution of equipment.  Mobby’s USA (Mobby Dick, Inc. in Japan) and Diving Unlimited International, Inc. (DUI) are world leaders in the scuba industry in thermal protection.

The alliances covers’ the areas of sales, product development, marketing and related functions.   As the alliance has just been announced further details will be forthcoming in the near future.

Diving Unlimited International, Inc. (DUI) is a 54-year-old manufacturing company founded in 1963 in San Diego California.  DUI manufacturers a premier line of dry suits for thermo protection.  Additionally, DUI is the distributer for OMS products in North America.  DUI hold several patents for products related to military and commercial use as well as for the sport diving market.

MOBBY’S is a leading worldwide manufacturer of diving drysuits, wetsuits and accessories for men and women. Since its foundation in Japan in 1963, the company has earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance within the recreational, commercial and technical diving markets. MOBBY’S offers high quality products with bright colors and original silhouettes combined with aesthetic elements.

Contact:  

Robert C Watts
Diving Unlimited International, Inc
1148 Delevan Drive
San Diego, CA  92101
rcwatts@divedui.com
619-236-1203 ext. 302

Mark Ross
MOBBY’S USA LLC.
1800 NW 169th Place, Suite B110
Beaverton, Oregon 97006
mark@mobbys-usa.com
503-747-7824

 

Posted in Dive Equipment, Press Release | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Editorials | Leave a comment