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DEMA News-4/19-04-Best Practices Program
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BEST PRACTICES Program By DEMA Receives Strong Support

Retailers on the East Coast gather to hear important retailing hints, ideas and ways to improve business. More programs scheduled.

"It's The Best Program DEMA has ever done." "Where were the other stores? I'm glad they weren't here to get these ideas since they're my competition!"

These quotes are from participants at DEMA's recent "Best Practices Program" that included industry heavyweights like Skip Commagere of Force E, Neal Watson of Neal Watson's Undersea Adventures, and Dave Inman of Diver's Unlimited. Skip, Neal, and Dave were among the owners and managers from a dozen Florida diving retail stores who attended the first two "Best Practices" seminars presented by DEMA and designed to help retailers improve their businesses.

The first two in the 18-city schedule were conducted in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa and were also attended by manufacturing representatives from Aqua Lung, Oceanic, SDI/TDI, and TUSA.

The "Best Practices" program has several components. It starts with viewing videos of retailer presentations that were taped in San Diego back in early March. Those presentations were taped in front of the owners and managers of various equipment manufacturers. The 10 retailers originally chosen were named by the equipment manufacturers because of their business success in spite of the current economic conditions prevalent in the diving industry.

The next component is a summary of the commonalities among the 10 retailers. Some 23 items have been listed and include having a strategy for dealing with Internet sales, conducting children's programs, training their sales people, and reaping the indirect benefits of staying involved with their community.

The third component is a presentation of over 25 ideas that can be immediately implemented to help improve sales and exposure for the retailer. According to Retail Director Chris Fuller, "These are ideas gathered over the course of the last 18 years in dealing with successful retailers all over the country. There will be more of these presented at the DEMA Show in Houston." Finally, a short presentation is given on conducting a specific program for children in the elementary and middle schools. The program is owned by Oceans for Youth, a non-profit organization in Florida dedicated to providing environmental education to kids. DEMA purchased copies of the program's DVD-based materials for free distribution while conducting the "Best Practices" series.

DEMA will visit 18 major market cities over the next few weeks conducting these programs for retailers. The cost is $50 with a portion of this money applicable to DEMA membership. For details see DEMA's website at

The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association is a global, not-for-profit organization comprised of more than 1,200 companies and organizations. DEMA's mission is to promote sustainable growth in recreational diving and snorkeling while protecting the underwater environment.

For information about DEMA or to schedule an interview, please contact Nicole Russell, Association Coordinator at DEMA at (858) 616-6408.


DEMA, The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association | US Toll Free: (800) 862-3483 | Ph: (858) 616-6408 | Fx: (858) 616-6495 |