DEMAIL, Industry news provided for you by DEMA - Tuesday, July 6, 2004
WHO IS THIS DEMON DEMA
-And Other Frequently Asked Questions-
There are a lot of mixed messages floating around concerning both DEMA Show 2004 and the Association and we feel it is time that they were addressed head on.
Who is DEMA?
DEMA is not some nebulous entity, but is made up of members of the entire Industry. It is an association of companies from all segments of the Industry at large. Members of the DEMA Board are your elected representatives coming from manufacturing, training agencies, retail, travel, the media and other associations and businesses. The organization operates on information that comes from a broad group of businesses whose success has come from many years in the Industry. In other words, DEMA is not a separate group; DEMA is the Diving Industry.
There has been so much discussion about this year's Show; Just who is and who isn't going to exhibit?
It's not a secret. You can find a full list of who is exhibiting at the 2004 Show by clicking here. (www.demashow.com/exhibitors.php3) A few manufacturers have announced that, for their own reasons, they will not attend this year. They have made it clear that this is not a "boycott" or a way to devalue the Show or DEMA - it is simply a business decision. A letter, signed by many of the Show's exhibitors and even non-exhibitors can be seen by clicking here. (www.divenewswire.com/dive/index.cfm?newsid=866)
How many qualified buyers will be at the Show?
We don't know yet. In 2003 about 70% of all registrations came in during the last 45 days before the Show. This is completely typical of all trade-only shows, regardless of the industry. Attendance numbers have never been published prior to the Show, but are always published after the show. To be precise, what is published is the total number registered and total number verified in attendance. Those two numbers are different. "Verified attendance" is typically 80% of those that actually register. Last year this ratio was 85%. For those interested in finding out the verified numbers for buyers and for all other stakeholders for DEMA Show 2003 they were published in Bob Hollis' "President's Year-End Report" which DEMA published to the membership in early 2004. That report is available by clicking here. (www.dema.org/associations/1017/January-Annual_Report.pdf)
Who are these "Industry Professionals" we keep hearing are coming to the Show?
"Industry Professionals" refer to all stakeholder groups in the Diving Industry including manufacturers, training agencies, media, associations and outlying businesses such as those that provide displays and lifestyle marketing products, retailers, travel, instructors (who obviously influence decisions in the stores), divemasters (who also make direct contact with the diving public) and other individuals that have a purpose for being at such a trade-only event. These are the groups that the Board of Directors has sanctioned for attendance.
If you aren't worried about the Show, why are you doing so many surveys?
The so-called "DEMA Show Survey" conducted on-line week before last, was conducted without DEMA's knowledge or sanction. Doing a blind survey about a third party (such as the one done last week) rarely succeeds in getting truly valid results because a blind survey cannot take into consideration all the factors known internally within an organization. The validity of this survey is also questionable because as stated above, most Industry Professionals do not make a decision regarding their Show attendance until much closer to the actual event. Similar but valid surveys are often conducted directly after the DEMA Show and the results are published. The results are maintained by the Association to help it understand how to attract the greatest number and quality of buyers for each trade show..
What is DEMA doing to make this year's Show a success?
DEMA is doing everything it can for the Show; making an attractive buying environment, providing a good venue to do business, negotiating hotel and convention center rates that are reasonable for the city and audience, laying out a show floor that helps traffic flow, keeping the choice of booth space fair, facilitating good education programs, marketing and publicizing the Show and a hundred other things that make a trade show work. However, the exhibitors bear the responsibility of having products, letting their customers and potential customers know that they are at the Show, creating promotions, special offers and all of the business-related activities that cause selling to happen. It must be a joint effort. For specifics on DEMA's outreach initiatives for this year's Show, see last week's copy of DEMAIL by clicking here. (www.dema.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=267)
Do we really need this Show; is it all that important?
DEMA and other members of the Dive Industry have believed that one annual trade-only show is necessary for the Industry since the first DEMA Show in 1977. There has never been a reason to consider NOT having a trade show for the Industry, and this year is no different. In fact, with the economy improving, travel returning to pre-9/11 levels and manufacturers seeing improvements in sales, this is the very year to take advantage of these trends and go all out for the Show. As to importance, yes, it is important. Along with membership dues, the annual Show fuels the Trade Association. The revenues from the show allow DEMA to fund promotional programs such as the Scuba Tour and the PowerUp Breakfast series. The Show also provides funds to monitor and control potentially damaging legislation, and to create valid research, such as the annual certification census, that can help individual businesses be more successful.
Wait, don't go, I've got more questions ...
DEMA will answer them ... and soon. Based on the positive response to the June stakeholder meetings held in San Diego and Houston, seven regional meetings are being planned for July and August to give a greater number of members the ability to ask questions and register their opinions. Meetings are planned for Florida, the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Texas, Colorado, California and Hawaii. For a list of meeting times and dates click here. (http://www.dema.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=271)
In closing we would also like to ask our members to work together with one united voice to promote the growth of the Industry through DEMA and by attending the trade show produced by the Association. DEMA Show exists at its most basic level to bring buyers and sellers together and facilitate business. Use the Show to your full advantage and let organizations like DEMA help you to be successful.
If you'd like to add an e-mail address to DEMAIL's e-mail list click here. (http://www.dema.org/displayemailforms.cfm?emailformnbr=26410)
DEMA, The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association
3750 Convoy St., Ste. 310, San Diego, CA 92111-3741
Phone: (858) 616-6408 Toll Free: (800) 862-3483