Dive Industry Association Conducts Dive Show Study: Since 2001, Dive Industry Association has been supporting the industry by promoting and exhibiting at regional dive shows, surf expos and adventure travel shows. Not only did we spend a ton of money promoting the industry and our members, we learned a lot about the art and science of exhibiting. A decision was recently made to conduct a study of dive shows across the country and put our findings in writing to share with the industry.
One of the first questions we asked ourselves was, “Why do some shows do well and others don’t.” We started looking at the three most successful dive shows in the country; Beneath the Sea, Our World Underwater, and Scuba Show. What do these shows have in common and what are their strengths and shortcomings? We have to consider the number of exhibitors and the number of booths sold to make up the exhibit hall. We look at the number of Sponsors that invest in the show and their total financial contribution. We look at the number of on-site and off-site seminars, workshops and company meetings that are held at the shows or in conjunction with the shows. One important activity at the more successful shows is the Saturday Evening Film Festivals. Not all shows have them and we wondered why. Some of them have Dinners and Award Banquets. And finally we look at the number of paid and un-paid attendees the shows bring in.
As we started to compile our data, I thought of one question that people sometimes forget to ask. That is, “Why are we doing a show in the first place?” What is the purpose of doing a show? Is it to make a profit? Is it to grow the industry in a selected geographical region? Is it to stimulate activity in a regional dive community? Or could it be just an annual event that celebrates the activities and accomplishments of a local dive community? I personally like the last reason.
Once we define the “Why” of a show, it’s easier to see where the money to conduct the show will come from and where the profits of the show will go to afterwards. If one of the main underlying reasons to have a show is to promote the recreation within the community, then it makes perfect sense to spend money to promote the show, run the show, and grow the show. All for the community.
To be continued
Exhibits at Surf Expo: Surf Expo will open its doors on January 26th for three days of watersports equipment and fashion apparel. Over 4,000 brands will be represented.