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Latest 2020 Vision Session Outcomes
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6/13/2014 at 6:47:30 PM GMT
Posts: 11
Latest 2020 Vision Session Outcomes

Bringing Back Inactive Divers and Recruiting a Younger Consumer Take Center Stage At Latest 2020 Vision Session 

** DEMA Hosts 2020 Vision Session in Affiliation with the Scuba Show to Continue Gathering Recommendations for the Future of the Diving Industry **

Conceived in 2011 as a means by which DEMA Member input could help steer the direction of the Industry, 2020 Vision Sessions are part of the strategic learning process used by DEMA’s Board of Directors.  Ideas and priorities from these brainstorming sessions help the Board understand the needs of Industry Members “on the ground” and help to shape the future of recreational diving. At the most recent 2020 Vision Session, held in affiliation with Scuba Show in Long Beach, participants specifically focused on two topics: what can the diving industry do to bring inactive divers back into diving and what can be done to recruit a younger consumer audience?

For those already-certified divers who have not been diving recently, participants thought it was important to focus on the following key factors to entice these customers, already interested in and familiar with diving, to start diving again:

  • Develop initiatives with non-diving recreational activities and markets that attract a similar customer.
  • Members of the industry should consider ways to finance refresher and other programs “from the bottom” up by working with dive centers, resorts & manufactures to target their existing and previous customers and encourage them to return to diving.
  • Create heroes, mentors and media leaders for this typically “older” group to inspire different segments of the market and portray diving as an adventure.
  • Encourage older generations to share diving with younger generations by using diving as a family activity and an opportunity to bond – including consideration of “take your grandkids diving” programs and others.
  • Use social media such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as other inexpensive channels as a way to create positive attention for diving.  For example, on Facebook the user age bracket of 45- to 54-year-olds has seen 46% growth since year-end 2012. 

With data indicating potential for Industry growth by reaching new divers in the age range of 11-17 years old, the 16 participants in the 2020 Vision Session also focused on developing ways to bring young people into diving. Ideas for reaching a young audience included:

  • Collaborate with groups such as the Sea Scouts through Boy Scouts of America, YMCA’s, summer programs, and after-school programs, with the goal of incorporating scuba diving into their activities.
  • Provide social media training to Industry stakeholders that would help create an effective and consistent message for the sport.

In addition to these specific topics and as an extension of the conversations had at April’s Strategy Session, the group was also asked to discuss Industry and Association “orthodoxies” (whether true or not). Orthodoxies are “deeply seated beliefs of ‘how things are done around here.’” A complete list of these orthodoxies can be viewed online here.

DEMA encourages all Industry professionals to review the brainstorming notes from this session and develop their own thoughts to share with us:

  • By contributing input to the forum thread below
  • At the next 2020 Vision Session being held at DEMA Show 2014
  • By emailing us at

If you have any questions regarding DEMA 2020 Vision Sessions please contact us at or (858) 616-6408.

What ideas do you have for how the diving industry can bring inactive divers back into diving?

Do you have any success stories or tips to share about how you have been able to successfully recruit a younger consumer audience?


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Last edited Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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