Dive Industry Foundation Exhibits at DEMA 2018

Dive Industry Foundation
Non-profit 501(c)(3)
DEMA Show – Las Vegas
DEMA Show Booth 2620
November 14-17, 2018

Please stop by our Booth 2620 at the DEMA Show.  Our talking points this year are all about our 12-step Business Improvement Program.  Let us help you Start, Operate and Grow your dive business successfully.

Here is what you will see at our booth.

  • 12-Step Business Improvement Program
    • FREE Blog Subscription
    • FREE Dive Industry Weekly Dive News Subscription
    • FREE The Dive Industry Professional Monthly Subscription
    • Retail & Sales Rep Survey Forms
    • Information on DIVE LOCAL Campaign
    • How to get involved in Industry Networks
    • How to Submit FREE Press Releases
    • How to submit articles for publication
    • Making Donations to Dive Industry Foundation
    • Volunteering with Non-Profits
    • How to join Specialty Advisory Groups
    • How to Participate in on-Line Webinars
  • Free Business Consulting
  • Industry Trade Directory / Buyers Guide
  • Retail Dive Center Survey
  • Manufacturing Sales Rep Survey
  • Business Course – Hypergrow Your Business
  • New Book – The TriStart Matrix: Available for $20 Donation
  • New Book – Hire Your First Employee by Rhonda Abrams
  • Book – Blackbeard by Margaret Hoffman: Available for $20 Donation
  • Dive Industry Foundation – Business Consultancy Services
  • Free Marketing Tips on using Social Media, Press Releases & Trade Shows
  • JOIN “Friends of the Industry” for $25 Donation

For more information, contact:
Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
email: gene@diveindustry.org
Cell:  832-247-5315

Posted in Press Release, Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Tovatec Introduces The Tovatec MERA

Dive Light & Camera Integration – The Tovatec MERA™

At DEMA next week, Tovatec will showcase the world’s first dive light that integrates a high-definition camera.  The MERA™ features a 1000 lumen spot light, a 1000 lumen video light and a proprietary high-definition camera. The video light and the camera are designed to have the same field of view.  Therefore, whatever is illuminated by the light is also captured by the camera.  The light takes both still pictures and high-definition video.  It can also be used as a primary dive light with the camera off.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6oRuCCh3Go

The feedback received thus far has been overwhelming. Testers have found the convenience of a single primary light, which they already need, coupled with an easy-to-use camera to be superior to a camera plus housing plus tray plus arm(s) plus video light(s).  Instructors that have tested the MERA™ have also commented that students, faced with a confusing array of gear and accessories, desired to simply buy this as their first primary light. In short, Tovatec believes the MERA™ will change the way people use their lights and cameras under water.

Please see Tovatec at booth #1259.

For more information, Contact:

Chuck Fultz, Tovatec
email: chuck@innovativescuba.com
Web:  www.tovatec.com

Posted in Dive Equipment, Press Release | Leave a comment

Editorial – November 2018

The Industry Is What It Is
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

I’ve always seen the dive industry for what it is.  That is, what it is, according to Gene Muchanski.  How about you?  As a Diver, I didn’t really think about “the industry” per say.  I went scuba diving with my High School friends on the weekends and we had fun.  When it came time to serve my country, for me, becoming a Navy Scuba Diver on Submarines was exciting, fun and yes, cool!  Up until that time, if the water was deeper than knee high, I dove in it.  If I didn’t have a buddy to go with, I taught one.  It wasn’t until I applied to Fred Calhoun’s NAUI Instructor’s Certification Course (ICC) did I even think about diving as an industry or my future involvement in the Business of Diving.  With the help of Fred’s guidance and the encouragement of NAUI Instructors from the Northeast Branch, I developed a love for teaching scuba diving, going to Dive Shows and Film Reviews, and for the business side of this great recreation.  In just a few years, I left active duty to pursue a Marketing Degree from the University of Connecticut, where I taught scuba diving, headed up a 200 member scuba club, directed the Connecticut Underwater Symposium & Film Review, directed an Instructor Certification Course, and went diving just about every weekend.  I transferred to the U.S. Naval Reserves, completed Hard Hat and Mixed Gas Hard Hat Training, got qualified as a Diving Supervisor and Navy Diving Instructor and had the time of my life diving with my Navy Dive Buddies throughout my years as an undergrad.

I tell you all this because seeing the world through my own limited perspective is not unique to just me.  I am pretty sure that everyone in the diving industry has had, or is having, the same exact experience.  Different view points, based on different perspectives, that are based on the environment, education, and experience of the individual.  So the industry is what it is, and it all depends on what your definition of is, is.

In my high school, military, and college years, I was an active diver and an Independent Instructor.  I hung around with the same type of Divers and Instructors and developed opinions and habits based on my environment, education and experience.  It’s no wonder I never went to the DEMA Show when it first came to Miami.  I never hear about it and neither did anyone I knew.  I wasn’t a vendor who exhibited at shows and I didn’t have a dive store that would likely go to DEMA to buy inventory.  Beneath the Sea also began around that time.  Never heard about it.  Maybe because I wasn’t on anyone’s Exhibitor List or Speakers’ list.  Or maybe, BTS didn’t have a good mailing list of certified divers and Instructors.  Why didn’t I know about the Boston Sea Rovers?  I was probably too busy diving more than most people in New England, with my own boat, the Navy Reserves and the UCONN Scuba Club, or just maybe the Sea Rovers didn’t have a mailing list of active divers in New England.  Honestly, to be fair with DEMA, Beneath the Sea and the Boston Sea Rovers – They probably never heard of the UCONN Scuba Club either.  Forty years later I see it all for what it is – many small, individual groups, preaching to their own choir of like-minded individuals.  A fragmented industry that has limited ability or desire to cross-market their recreation to other groups.  We hang around people who are like us and we preach, boy do we preach, to our own choir.

My world-view of the diving industry expanded rapidly when I graduated from college and accepted a job at NAUI Headquarters as their very first Marketing Director.  What got me in the door was my 7 years experience as a NAUI Instructor and Course Director.  I’d have to be honest and say that having a degree in Marketing was appreciated by many but not all of the membership.  Some thought that having a business professional at HQ was the best thing to happen to NAUI in its 21 year history, but there were those who were opposed to bringing business expertise into a diving company.  I was fortunate to be able to reach out to the Leaders at NAUI, PADI, LA COUNTY and NASDS to compare notes and discuss current training standards and business philosophy.  At NAUI I was able to work with Instructors from all backgrounds of teaching, especially the Instructors affiliated with University Programs, Retail Dive Centers and Resort Destinations.  Irregardless, the time I spent at NAUI HQ opened my eyes to the loyalty and persuasive power that certification agencies have on the diving industry.  The Certification Agencies, Retail Dive Centers, and the Resort Diving Operations  all seemed to have different definitions of what the industry is, or should I say, what it is to them.

I got very close to the Retail Sector of the Diving Industry when I helped create the Association of Diving Retailers and then went on to owning a dive store.  For the first time since becoming an Instructor, I saw a complex social and business interaction between the Retail Dive Centers, the Independent Instructors and the Certification Agencies.  Again, my world-view of the diving industry was stretched, if not exploded.  During my ten years as a Retail Dive Store employee, manager and owner, I experienced first hand, the challenges, setbacks and channel friction of the supply side of our industry.  My industry world-view now included the fact that Retailers, Reps and Instructors are the hardest working, yet most under-valued and under-recognized industry professionals in our community.

My world-view of What the industry is came almost full circle when I spent eight years in the manufacturing sector of the industry.  I now had a managerial perspective of the various relationships between Original Equipment Manufacturers vs Brand Marketers & Distributors, Manufacturers vs Sales Reps, Sales Reps vs Retail Dive Centers, Retail Dive Centers vs Instructors, and Instructors vs their Students.  Believe it or not, this is not where channel friction comes into play.  It’s not where industry fragmentation comes in either.  All of these groups share a common Channel of Distribution.  All of these groups can, and should work together.  They may have different goals and motives, but they are all moving programs, products and services through the pipeline from product conception to consumption, and without them, there would be no industry.

The last twenty years of my career has been spent in the Association, Media, Consulting, and Travel sectors of the industry.  I believe that I now have a balanced world-view of the diving industry, and I am reasonably sure that I can see the individual components of the industry for what they are and what they mean for the different stakeholders.  I can still honestly say that The Industry is what it is, but it still depends on what your definition of is, is.  It could be a common or collective “is” but it isn’t.  The industry is not there yet and it is questionable if it ever will.  What has changed in the 21st Century is that we are working with dive businesses who are serious about the Business of Diving.  Our definition of the Business of Diving is for dive companies to manufacturer, sell and resell the best products, competitively priced, and readily available, to the best customers possible, who need, want and can afford your products.  We expect them to be professional, productive and profitable in the way they do business and by using 21st Century marketing tools and technologies to get their message to their prospective customers.  They must be honest and ethical and professional. They have to realize that while we are producing the best diving equipment, dive training and dive travel experiences for the world, we are serving Divers who may think of diving as a recreation, a hobby, a collateral duty, a job, a profession or a career.  Not only is the world-view of the diving industry different for different industry professionals, it is different and unique to our very diversified customer base.  So our mission to Build a Better Industry should not only  include learning about and defining the Supply Side of our Business, it needs to include defining and understanding our customers who make up the Demand Side of our Industry equation.

What we are learning from our DIVE LOCAL campaign is that local diving communities are the heartbeat of the world-wide industry.  Each local diving community is made up of Retail Dive Centers, Dive Operators, Dive Clubs and Instructors who are our front line Ambassadors of the Industry.  They are the Industry Professionals who are working daily in the diving business on a full time or part time basis.  We know that the Local Diving Community has to focus on teaching people how to dive, selling them diving equipment, taking them diving and keeping them active in the recreation.  Therefore, the Business of Diving is all about selling Diving Equipment, Training and Travel.

The Business of Diving must be looked upon as a very positive factor in our industry.  The certification agencies certify their Instructors and keep them current through program updates and refreshers.  The Trade Associations need to do the same thing when it comes to business subjects and business tools.  We promote professional businesses and industry professionals who want to be professional, productive and profitable.  We want them to use current, 21st century marketing tools and technologies to be able to successfully start, grow, and succeed in their respective businesses.  We want them to be professional, ethical, and honest in their dealings with their suppliers, employees and customers.  We want them to subscribe to a Professional Code of Conduct that identifies them as a Diving Business Professional.  We want to acknowledge them for the part they play in our local and world-wide communities as a Diving Business Professional.  We want them to be as successful as they have the potential to be and we want them to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor and enjoy this great recreation.

The Dive Industry Foundation is dedicated to Promoting Economic Development in Watersports.  Our Mission is to bring Buyers and Sellers together and grow this industry.  We are serious about The Business of Diving and the important part it plays.  The Foundation was set up as a Non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt, Educational and Charitable Organization.  Donations are tax deductible and welcomed to help us achieve our mission.  The Dive Industry Foundation has a booth at the DEMA Show this November 14-17, in Las Vegas.   Stop by our Booth # 2620 and drop off your Business Card.  Let’s have a discussion about growing the diving industry and your participation in it.

For more information, contact:
Gene Muchanski,  Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
Phone: 321-914-3778
Cell: 832-247-5315
e-mail: gene@diveindustry.org

Posted in Business Improvement, Editorials | Leave a comment

Eden Beach Resort Bonaire & Wannadive Team Up With CRF

Wannadive Joins Efforts with Coral Restoration Foundation

Located at Eden Beach Resort Bonaire, Wannadive has joined efforts with The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF). Officially becoming the 3rd dive shop on Bonaire to make a difference in the future of our coral reefs. Together they have created a coral nursery located just north of the dock at Eden Beach Resort.

Five Staghorn + Elkhorn coral nursery trees are now making space for 500 new corals.  The nursery corals will grow accustomed to their new home at Eden Beach & soon be transplanted to the reefs of Bonaire. Wannadive is now offering guided dives in their own coral nursery! Book your special offer dive package at Eden Beach Resort with Wannadive and while you are there check out some unique CRF merchandise. Click here for more details or stop by DEMA Booth #821 to learn more about their efforts.

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Sansone

Posted in Press Release | Leave a comment

DIA Members to Exhibit at DEMA Show 2018

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the DEMA Show on November 13-17, 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members FIRST.


Retail Services & Software

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Certification Agencies


Associations, Media and Shows & Events

Posted in Shows & Events | 3 Comments

FAM Trip – Saint Lucia

FAM Trip – Saint Lucia – September 2018
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

Dive Travel Specialists

Twelve Dive Travel Specialists from the United States recently had the pleasure to join the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority on a Familiarization Trip (FAM Trip) to the beautiful Island of Saint Lucia, in the Eastern Caribbean.  Saint Lucia is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  What you may not know is that Saint Lucia is a Diver’s Tropical Paradise with a healthy reef system, abundant marine life and a number of accessible shipwrecks.  There are at least 14 Professional Dive Operators on the island who will escort you on 22 of their most accessible dive sites along the calm, clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, situated on the west coast of the island.  Scuba Divers vacationing in Saint Lucia have their pick from a wide range of World Class Resort Destinations and Dive Centers that cater to the scuba diving community.  Saint Lucia is home to a number of Dive Industry Association Members, including the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Jade Mountain Resort, Anse Chastanet Resort and Scuba St. Lucia.  A complete list of Dive Operators and Dive Resorts in Saint Lucia can be found on our DIVE LOCAL website.

Our Industry FAM Trip was set up and sponsored by the St. Lucia Tourism Authority and supported by the Saint Lucia Diver Association.  Our Host Accommodations for the week was the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, St. Lucia and our Tourism Guide was Hortensia Joseph, who we all became dear friends with in just a few days.  The trip was set up to introduce St. Lucia to Dive Travel Wholesalers, Travel Agents and Certified Dive Travel Specialists from the U.S. diving community.  Our group included two Travel Wholesalers, two Travel Agents, five Dive Travel Specialists from U.S. Dive Centers and two travel writers.  We were all excited about seeing as much of Saint Lucia as possible, do a fair amount of diving, enjoy the local cuisine, and capture the magic of this beautiful, romantic Caribbean Island.  In five days time, Hortensia and the St. Lucia Tourism Authority did not disappoint.

Before any FAM Trip can get off the ground, a fair amount of planning by the Host has to take place.  Someone has to justify the time, money and manpower it takes to host a group of  travel buyers to your country (Island).  Someone has to pay for it.  That same group has to put an itinerary together that is informative, meaningful, and fun for the guests.  The sponsors have to see the necessity of getting as much done in as short a period of time as possible.  The guests expect to spend their time wisely to learn and experience as much of the destination as they can in order to sell it to their customers back home.  It helps when Tourism Boards and Dive Travel Wholesalers work with Dive Industry Mavens to help them plan their itinerary and identify appropriate target markets.

Condo at Windjammer Landing

The itinerary that Hortensia Joseph put together was action packed.  Maybe a weeee-bit too optimistic?  After a three hour turbulent-free American Airlines flight from Miami we landed safely at Hewanorra International Airport in Viex Fort (UVF), one of Saint Lucia’s two airports. Our Driver from Travel St. Lucia got us to our Host Condos at the Windjammer Landing shortly after the customary fresh baked bread stop at a local eatery.  Thanks, Tage Jn Pierre.  The bread was awesome.  Scott Seger, the Managing Director of the Windjammer Landing met us at the Host Hotel with Kelly Fontenelle-Clarke and we enjoyed our first Saint Lucian fresh fish dinner.

We awoke early the next morning to a wonderful St Lucian sunrise in time for breakfast at the resort.  The sky was sunny & clear so we decided to tour the property at the Windjammer before our morning boat dive and I am so glad we did.  Within minutes, the torrential rain from Former Hurricane / Current Tropical Storm Issac came howling in.  Now I see why St. Lucia’s rain forest is so green!  After a short, heavy rain, the sky cleared and we decided to postpone our dive until 3:00 pm.  That afternoon we made two dives in view of the iconic twin Pitons of Saint Lucia.  The water was warm and clear and we saw sea turtles, barracuda, and wonderfully colored sponges.  Our Photographer, Steve Philbrook, from Aquaventure Dive & Photo Center in Maple Grove, MN captured the dive on video.  See for yourself.  Saint Lucia Video.  After the dive, we returned to the windjammer and got ready for the evening Fish Fry.  Now we were getting spoiled.

The third day of our trip went more according to plan.  No hurricane or tropical storm.  Issac moved to the west and everything was back to normal.  Our group split into two groups.  Half of us went for a wreck dive with Andre St. Omer from Body Holiday & Dive Fair Helen and the other half went Lionfish Hunting with Sugar Beach Dive.  We reunited with our group at the closing ceremonies of Dive Fest Saint Lucia 2018 and then went to dine at Bel Jou for the evening.  Thank you General Manager, Dean La Force for the amazing dinner and impeccable service.  A good time was had by all.  We were now completely spoiled.  I appreciate the use of your Wi-Fi equipped, private lounge to engage in a video call back home.

Gene & Georgi

We didn’t dive on our fourth day of the FAM Trip but it was still one of our better days, if not the best.  We had breakfast at the Windjammer, took a van ride to hook up with our catamaran and sailed away for site inspections at Ti Kaye, Humming Bird Beach Resort, Anse Chastanet Resort and of course, Jade Mountain.  After lunch at Anse Chastanet Resort, we toured the diving operation at Scuba St. Lucia.  Georgiana Merlusca, Adventure Sports Co-Manager, gave us a complete and professional tour of the dive operation, the compressor room, the rental equipment locker and the equipment washing and storage center.  We saw one of her boats returning from a dive and witnessed a very smooth off loading and reloading process that would make any dive operator jealous.  Needless to say, we were impressed.

We ended a full day with our Farewell Dinner at The Landings Resort & Spa.  Thank you General Manager, Paul Collymore for that exquisite dinner and your hospitality.  All that was left to do was to treat Hortensia to a good-bye drink at the Host Hotel Bar (She wouldn’t let us – she treated) and go back to the condo and pack.

When they say “Come to Saint Luca as a Tourist but Leave as a Friend” – they mean it.  My overall impression of Saint Lucia was –  It’s a beautiful Island, filled with beautiful people, who want you to visit them again, and again, and again.  Saint Lucia is more than a bucket list destination.  It’s someplace I want to go back to – soon.

Dive Travel Specialists who sell a lot of dive travel know what it takes to have a successful vacation experience.  We are looking for convenient and reasonable air fares, good ground transportation transfers, diver-friendly resorts, good food, and of course, great diving.  The great diving part applies to more than good visibility and easy access to the water.  It means having a well run diving operation (top-of-the-line rental equipment, quality air compressor, convenient equipment washing and storage area, an uncrowded dive boat and most importantly, a professional, energetic and friendly dive staff.  A world-class photo center and Photo Pro would be nice too.  We met a number of Dive Operators and Dive Resort Managers on our St. Lucia tour that fit that description.  We’ll be going back soon to take a closer look.

You might be asking yourself, “How does an Industry Professional qualify for a FAM trip?”  Good question.  Dive Resort Destinations, Liveaboards and Dive Operators are looking for Dive Industry Professionals who book group trips.  Most group trips are run by Travel Agents, Retail Dive Centers, Dive Clubs and through Tour Operators.  Getting invited on a FAM Trip will depend upon your dive travel experience and your history of putting together group trips.  It will also depend on how well you network with Travel Wholesalers, Dive Resorts, Dive Operators and Travel Associations. Dive Industry Association works with Dive Travel Specialists to help them grow their dive travel business.  We certify Dive Travel Specialists based on their past performance with booking group trips and we work with Industry Professionals who are new to dive travel.  There is no charge to fill out a two page retail dive profile.  To get started, simply download our Retail Profile and mail it to DIA with your business card.  Someone will follow up with an email and phone call.

Putting a group trip together is not as simple as you may think but it is easy to learn how to do.  Become a Member of the Dive Industry Association and work with our Dive Travel Specialists.  We will introduce you to our Member Dive Travel Wholesalers who can get you started with putting group trips together.

Running dive trips as a Dive Travel Specialist may seem like a lot of work to some, and it may seem all too glamorous to others, but it really is somewhere in the middle.  A little more work with a little bit of glamour but a whole heck of a lot of FUN.  As St Augustine once said, “Life is a Book, and if you don’t Travel, you’ve only read one page.”

Let’s get you started on the road to becoming a Dive Travel Specialist.  Call me.

For more information, contact:
Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional
Phone: 321-914-3778


Posted in Adventure Travel, Travel Destinations | Leave a comment

Equipment Test – Riptide Vanquish BCD

Equipment Test – Riptide Vanquish BCD
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

We recently had the pleasure to field test the all new Riptide Vanquish BCD, exclusively distributed by IST.  The Riptide Vanquish BCD is the latest creation of Industry Leader and BC Designer, David Pollock.  Our Dive Team was gearing up for two FAM trips to the Caribbean and I wanted to minimize the weight of the diving equipment I was planning to take.  I was looking for a light-weight travel BCD that still had the features and lift capacity of my current BCD, a well known and high-end brand.  The Riptide Vanquish BCD turned out to be that BCD and more.

At first glance, the Riptide Vanquish BCD seems to be a contradictory of terms.  It is designed as a light-weight, travel BCD, yet it has the flexibility to adjust to many different body shapes and sizes and has 40 lbs of lift capacity.  It weights only 4.5 pounds yet it has the capacity to be a weight-integrated BCD in a cold water environment or in warm, tropical waters.  It has the smallest profile of any BCD currently on the market, yet it can be customized to accommodate a number of tech-D rings.  Depending on how you set this BCD up, it has the capacity to be an excellent travel BCD, cold water BCD or Tech BCD.

The secret to the usefulness and success of the Riptide Vanquish BCD is in its addable features and how the BCD is set up.  The Vanquish can be set up to give you an almost perfect feel and fit.  We took the Riptide Vanquish BCD on a test dive in our pool to ensure that our adjustments were done correctly and we had time to get used to the new BCD.

You think you know everything about BC’s?  Think Again.  We properly fitted the Vanquish BCD to our cylinder.  No problem there.  Pretty standard straps.  Adjusting the way the BCD properly fit over my shoulder was a designer’s stroke of perfection in details.  A few adjustments and we had a perfect fit around the shoulders.  Next we adjusted the BCD fit the torso and waist.  I chose to use the tropical trim & weight pockets instead of the cold water weight pockets.  We adjusted them for level trim and made the final placement of the waist strap buckle.  The Vanquish comes standard with a heavy-duty stainless steel buckle but I would prefer a light weight plastic buckle, that is easier for me to open and close.  After adjusting the vertical height of the Velcro secured back plate pad and removing the crotch strap we were ready to dive the BCD.  I’ve never been crazy about crotch straps and to tell you the truth, the BCD never rode up on me during the 9 dives I made with it.

The pool test dive was a success and I was looking forward to our open water testing.  Using the Riptide Vanquish BCD for the first time, I would highly recommend a test dive first.  The Vanquish might seem to be very simplistic in design, but don’t let that fool you. It is a very well designed piece of equipment and its advanced features have been very well incorporated in its overall function.  A properly adjusted Vanquish BCD may just spoil you  forever.  Take the time to adjust it properly and you’ll be diving a work of art.

The Riptide Vanquish BCD did not disappoint us on our next two Caribbean Trips, to Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia.  The BCD packed well and took up very little room.  The tropical weight pockets packed flat and were used to protect our wrist instruments.  The extra D-Rings we installed on the BCD held our dive computer, compass, secondary light and our emergency rescue sausage.  The BCD was comfortable to wear and at times, I didn’t even feel like I had one on.  I made 5 dives in Dominican Republic and 4 dives in Saint Lucia.  Our dives consisted of 45 foot reef dives and 80 foot wreck dives.  I liked the fact I was wearing a small profile BCD as I swam through the wrecks in Saint Lucia.  Putting a controlled amount of air into the BCD manually and pneumatically was easy.  I could always find my inflation hose.  I especially appreciate being able to deflate the BCD in a vertical, horizontal or invented position.  Nice going Riptide.

Photo by Jim Hurin

Needless to say, the Riptide Vanquish BCD got an A+ from our Test Team and a number of positive comments from the Divemasters and other Divers on our two FAM Trips.

If you are looking for a light-weight travel BCD that has enough features built into it for the discriminating Diver, the Riptide Vanquish BCD is the piece of equipment you may want to see for yourself.  IST Dealers can make an appointment to see the Riptide Vanquish BCD with David Pollock at the IST Booth # 2124 at the DEMA Show this November.

For more information, contact:
David Pollock, President
Riptide Sales Group
Web:  http://www.riptidescuba.net


Posted in Gear Test | Leave a comment

Editorial – October 2018

The Industry Is What You Make It
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

We launched a new marketing campaign with our June Editorial, The Diving Industry Has Potential.  For the past four months we have been busy writing down our collective opinions of what the diving industry is to us and how we can capitalize on the enormous opportunities that present themselves to us on an almost daily basis.  I realize that every Industry Professional in our community is individually unique, but they are many common threads  that run through our Diving Industry DNA.  I have been finding out that my fellow industry professionals enjoy reading about what other diving businesses are doing to be successful in the marketplace.  I am also learning that my peers are willing to share what they are doing to gain a competitive edge over their competitors.  I am delighted to see this new environment of curiosity and trust in our industry.   I think we are on to something.

I can’t speak for everyone in the diving business community, but for us, writing down our version of the diving industry and what it is to us was the first step to experiencing this new age of sharing.  The Dive Industry Association created a white paper for the industry and called it Unifying the Diving Industry.  It’s a step-by-step process that gives you 12 things you can do (in order) to get on the same page as your fellow industry professionals and work to unify the diving industry.  Albeit, it started out as our vision of what the diving industry needs, but it is starting to becoming a basic foundation for what others are adding to.  In fact, writing the white paper was only the beginning for us.  I’ve come to realize that as I wrote each step, I saw things that needed improvement, expansion and even deletion from our original vision.  Starting in January, we will feature one step per month in our Monthly Newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional, to expand upon and update our vision.  I can tell you already that our white paper will lead to more and better ideas on how to successfully navigate a business through our industry.

Unifying the Diving Industry is more than just a simple white paper.  It started out as Chapter 10 in a white paper we wrote for a marketing campaign called DIVE LOCAL.  The white paper, DIVE LOCAL – A Dive Community Cooperative Effortexplorers the concept of local diving and its significance for the entire industry.  DIVE LOCAL is based on the fact that our front line Ambassadors; the Dive Retailers, Dive Boats, Dive Clubs and Dive Instructors are the Pillars of each local dive community who work in the diving industry on a daily basis.  They are the ones responsible for getting the general public to;  1) Learn to Dive, 2) Buy their Gear, 3) Go Diving and 4) Stay Active.  Without them, there would be no diving industry and no sales of Diving Equipment, Training and Travel.  That’s why it is so important for Diving Equipment Manufacturers, Training Agencies and Travel Companies to promote and support these local pillars of the local diving communities.

We are not finished writing the DIVE LOCAL white paper and have a long way to go to complete the World Directory of Diving Businesses on https://divelocal.wordpress.com  In fact, Step 5 to Unifying the Diving Industry is to Participate in the International Diving Cooperative Program, DIVE LOCAL.  

The success of our last two projects has lead us to start two more.  The first new white paper the Dive Industry Association has nearly completed is its Dive Industry Association Membership Manual and Guide Book.  It was about time to put in writing everything we are, do and provide for our Members.  The Association has grown to a point where its Members are receiving significant member benefits that other trade associations are not offering.  The new white paper is also helping us define and refine, Who we are, What we do and Why.  The publication of our Membership Manual may well be the thing that gives us significant exposure and growth in the very near future.

The second white paper we are working on is one that records the start, progress and current state of development of the diving industry.  It looks at our humble beginnings as a military tool that turned into a recreation, a hobby, a profession and a lifestyle for many.  It will cover how the industry began, how it grew and what it has become.  It will tell our story of the diving industry pioneers who made the industry what it is today and about our future leaders and ambassadors who will shape the industry in the next 70 years.  Think of this new white paper as a store map at your local mall that starts with – YOU ARE HERE!   Now tell us where you want to go and we’ll have something to work on.  The future industry is what we will make it.

We’ll see you at the DEMA Show.  I’ll be in Booth 2620.  Where will you be?

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DIA Members Exhibiting at ScubaCon

Dive Industry Association Members at ScubaCon
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at ScubaCon on September 8-9, 2018 at Boulder, CO.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members.


Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

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Participate in On-Line Webinars & Digital Summit Meetings

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
Phone: 321-914-3778
e-mail: gene@diveindustry.org
Whitepaper: https://divelocal.wordpress.com/white-paper/

Posted in Article Series - Uniting the Industry, Business Improvement | Leave a comment