Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Become a DEMA Member
DEMA Show 2004
Share |
DEMA Show 2004
Updated: 10:00 PM EST - Friday, 22 October 200
The George R. Brown Convention Center, in downtown Houston, Texas,  was the site of this year's dive industry convention.
DEMA week began on Tuesday, October 12th with the Adventure Travel Symposium, Lifeguard Systems Public Safety Diving Workshop, and Exhibitors Welcome Party (sponsored by DEMA and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau). Wednesday saw the Houston-affilitate for the CBS Morning Show at the Scuba Tour pool; the Opening Ceremony and the annual DEMA Membership Meeting. Thursday and Friday featured Exhibitor and Business-related Seminars, as well as several Press Conferences.
In 1989, DEMA presented the first Reaching-out Awards to Jacques Cousteau, Dr. Glen Egstrom, Jack McKenney and Stan Waterman. During Friday night's DEMA Awards Party, DUI's Dick Long and PADI's Drew Richardson joined the 'team.' From the Silent Auction to the 7-piece band, the night was elegant, entertaining and upbeat. Actor Leslie Nielsen was the emcee. The last day of the Show, Saturday, began with the final pre-show PowerUP session. This one dealing with the Internet.
Variety, once again, was a featured element of the DEMA Show. Hundreds of Exhibits. Dozens of Seminars, Workshops and Business-oriented Sessions. And, of course, a festive social agenda. Together, they combine to establish the DEMA Show as the forum in which the future of the dive industry is shaped. Highlights from each day are below. So, 'drift' down and see what took place.
Expect DEMA Show 2005 - October 4 to 7 in Las Vegas - to be a 'full-house.'

Saturday, 16 October 2004
 PowerUP on the Internet
The final pre-show session focused on the need for dive retailers to embrace the Internet for marketing and communication. David McClure, CEO of the U.S. Internet Industry Association was the facilitator.
ScubaRadio was "in the house" broadcasting live via Sirius Satellite Radio, the Internet, the Cable Radio Network and 32 AM radio stations in more than a dozen markets, If you'd like to listen to some of the show, click here.
Business-oriented Seminars
9:45 AM
Room 306 A/B: What is Ships to Reefs and How Can It Help ME? (Jay Straith)
Room 306 E/F: The Indelible Mark - Branding for Today & Tomorrow (Ed Rigsbee)
1:00 PM
Room 306 A/B: Decompression from Haldane to RGBM (Bruce Wienke)
Room 306 E/F: How to Get a War Ship to Reef and Get the Government to Pay for It (Dick Long)
Exhibitor Seminars
Exhibit Area: 10 AM to 5 PM

Neal Watson


Friday 15 October 2004

Tom Ingram and Dick Long

Tom Ingram and Drew Richardson


Yes, I did win the cruise!






Highlights from the exhibit area

Ken Poirier of Daka Development demonstrated a light-weight sea scooter, when he wasn't "busy" with students. Stop at booth 1207 and ask him about his "little friends."


Barry University student Mark Convery is looking for a manufacturer for his line of light-weight dive gear.



Guy Harvey


Will Richardson - Fine Art Maps


Pascal Lecocq

Aeris president and COO Dan Emke with Vanna White.


Robert Kelly and Randolph Hamilton,  St. Kitts Tourism Authority.

Light & Motion

ScubaDoRag/Susan Martin 


Audrey Brendel, PinPeddlers

Karen and Mack McClelland, Diver Down Charter Coaches


Michelle Parker & Sue Guy, Amphibious Outfitters


Beverly Factor (Photography) and Penny Ehrensberger, Baja Expeditions

Mark Johnson, Subsea Engineer, O2 Dive Technologies (left) and Barnum Lambert, CEO, Rebreather Technology.


John Wagner (center) with Robin (left) and Will Jacoway of deepoutdoors.



Steve Barnett, Divers Alert Network

"Turning a ship into a reef is an
economic development concept."

Members of Thursday's PowerUP panel shared information and encouraged retailers and manufacturers to work together "as a team." Discussion emphasized the need for "tools" representatives could provide retailers to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Friday's PowerUP program - Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Customer: Uncovering Hidden Profits and Missed Opportunity with Product Inventory & Brand Marketing - featured Brian Dyches of the Atmospheric Group, who discussed store layout, product placement, and related marketing ideas to increase business.
Saturday, the Power UP program will focus on the Internet. "Looking into the Future" a panel of industry experts will discuss the potential for retailers who learn to use the Internet effectively.

 Daily Seminars include a presentation on the new DEMA initiatve Ships to Reefs. Jay Straith (left) and his team of "seafan-atics," encourage you to learn more about the economic potential of a series of former military ships deployed as "WRECKreational" dive sites along the coastline of the United States. Information can be obtained at the Ships to Reef area adjacent to the DEMA booth on The Show floor. Jim Morrison was there on Thursday!

 The Silent Auction is near the registration area, at the entrance to the exhibit area. An outstanding collection of art, travel and equipment is available. You can bid on items until 8 PM on Friday - at the 'Galaxy of Good Times' DEMA Awards Party.
 Kirk Waechter (left) and Kenneth Ho are looking for you. Stop by booth 2957 and say 'hello.'
Show Policy: Trade Professionals Only. ID is checked.
The DEMA Retailer Resource Center and the SMART Initiative continues to draw a steady flow of people who are interested in improving and expanding business opportunities. FREE business consultants are waiting for you. The Center is in the far left-hand corner of the exhibit area, adjacent to the Retailer and Member lounges.
The New Product Showcase features innovative items. Stop by. It's on the left as you enter the exhibit area.
Business Development Seminars for Friday
Postcard Power - Effective Direct Marketing on a Shoestring Budget - Larry Mersereau
Oceans for Youth Program - Deanna Lasusa-Hotchner
Share the Work, Share the Wealth-Win Big with Cross-Promotions - Ed Rigsbee
How to Compete with a Retail Goliath - Barbara Wold
How to Get a War Ship to Reef and Get the Government to Pay for It - Dick Long
Million $ Marketing Ideas on a Shoestring Budget- Barbara Wold
Sell the Culture - Tec Clark
How to Compete When You Can't Compete on Price - Ed Rigsbee.
For specific room location, consult your Show Guide and Business Directory.
Today's Exhibitor Presentations
ScubaRadio will broadcast from the DEMA Show on Saturday.
Press Conferences for Friday
Fiji Visitors Bureau
Oceanwide Expeditions
Walker Bay Boats
Blue Horizons/X-Ray Magazine
The Manta Network
Ocean Master
Bonaire Tourist Office
St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
The Press Room is 215.
DEMA Reaching Out Awards Banquet is tonight in the Ballroom of the Hilton Americas. Last opportunity to participate in the Silent Auction.

Thursday, 14 October 2004

Business Development Seminars
Reality Retail - 10 Steps to Get the Customer to Buy (Brian Dyches)
How to Use the Internet and Email to Acquire & Retain Customers: Advanced Sessions (Jason Heller)
Marine Protected Areas and Californias's Marine Life Protection Act
How to Get Maximum return for Your Advertising Dollars (Larry Mersereau)
The Power of the Brand - Positioning for Profits (Larry Mersereau)
Consumer Lifestyles and Their Effect on Spending (Barbara Wold)
What is Ships to Reefs and How Can It Help Me? (Jay Straith)
Building Employee Energy, Effort and Excellence (Barbara Wold).

Exhibitor Presentations on Thursday
Ocean Master
Gates Underwater Products
Silentworld Liveaboard Dive Expeditions Vanatu
Guam Visitors Bureau
Halcyon D.I.R. Dive Systems
Underwater Society of America
Bill Beard's Costa Rica
Delta P Technology UK Limited
Reef & Rainforest
Divers Alert Network
Global Mfg. Corp.
Light & Motion
Oceanwide Expeditions
Tahiti Tourism
Trip-N-Tour Pacific
Professional Scuba Inspectors
South Pacific Island Travel
Undersea Hunter
Manta Ray Bay Hotel & YAP Divers
Aggressor Fleet
Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA)
Diving Unlimited International
Island Dreams Travel
Ocean Rover Cruises
Belize Tourism Board
Manthiri Maldives
Blue Lagoon Resort & Dive Shop
Submersible Systems
Global Manufacturing Corp.
Anse Chastanet Resort.

Ronda Friend told her audience about Tawali Resort, which opens November 1st in Papua New Guinea.

Press Conferences
Aqua Rock Productions
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Kapitol Reef Aquatics
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions
Belize Under Sea Memories
Simon Morris (Guardian of the Reef Progject)


Leslie Nielsen (right), emcee for the DEMA Reaching Out Awards banquet Friday night, toured the Cayman Islands pavillion with Wayne Hasson, Cayman Aggressor (center), stopping to visit with Ken Hydes of Boatswain Beach.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Good Morning Houston, We've Got Splashdown...
Before the sun began to shine on the Yellow Rose of Texas, 30 people joined the Houston affiliate of the CBS Morning Show for a pool party. Broadcasting live from The Scuba Tour Pool., the program showcased several new, and innovative, pieces of dive equipment, ranging from the "safety sausage" to an underwater MP3 player. The host of the segment splashed around in the pool, trying out a variety of items, while accompanied by a Houston model wearing a new design for wetsuits (below).

Getting Down to Business
Peter Greenberg, travel editor of the NBC Today Show, opened the four-day PowerUP series with an insightful presentation on changing travel patterns. Speaking to nearly 200 people, Mr. Greenberg reflected on the passive nature of some travel destinations when it comes to water-related activities. He told the audience that people are looking for new experiences, closer to home, although they are still willing to travel "to a special place."
DEMA Week in Houston
It began with a proclamation from the Mayor's office and a presentation to the Houston Chief of Police Harold Hurt (left) for work done by the department's Dive & Rescue Team. Then, with fanfare and a flurry of activity, the ceremonial ribbon was cut by DEMA Executive Director Tom Ingram and association President Bob Hollis. DEMA Show 2004 opened on schedule.

New Admission Policy Improves Show Integrity
Badges are being scanned and credentials checked at the entrance to the exhibit area.
Retailers Resource Center
Advice is easy to obtain. Just ask someone how you should do something. However, advice from business professionals often isn't as readily available, even when you are willing to pay for it. Free business advice from qualified professionals drew a number of people to the RRC during the first day of DEMA Show 2004.

A Garden of
Earthly Delights
More than a few exhibitors wandered through this 'garden' looking for clients and friends before going back to the booth.

Nearly 200 people attended the DEMA Membership Meeting meeting to hear Executive Director Tom Ingram highlight the activities of the organization since the last meeting in Miami in October 2003. Since then, he said, DEMA has become more aggessive, citing an increase in electronic communication, known as DEMAIL, as the prime link between the organization and the membership.

Touching briefly on a number of issues, Tom spoke about the importance of the DEMA trade show as a funding mechanism for association activities, such as The Scuba Tour, the new consumer website, the industry research program and the series of workshops and seminars that were conducted this year.
One new program Tom enthusiastically endorsed was the Ships2Reefs innitiative, calling it a significant program with industry-wide impact because it will establish new dive sites in coastal areas. "Everyone," he said, "should embrace the concept and attend one of Jay Straith's seminars to learn how to participate in the process of obtaining one, or more, of 400+ former Naval vessels the government will make available in the near future."

Tom Ingram, Jay Straith and Dick Long.

 Retailer Resource Center

Scuba Tour Pool
 Art Innovation Center features Simon Morris' Guardian of the Reef
Center Stage
Do you have a 'passion for fashion?' If so, spend some time around the stage. You'll see above, and below, water products for kids, teens and adults.

Cassandra Simpson  Buck, Underwater Gecko Photography and
Doug Simpson, Simpson Marine Art


Jess Stark, Stark Industries, Houston, Texas
Scott Taylor, A-1 Scuba Center, Englewood, CA; Harry Averill, SDI & TDI; and, John Nesbit, PADI.
Social Functions
 Roy Spencer, Oceaner Wetsuits, Vancouver, Canada; Robert Quintana, Ocean Safari Diving Adventures, Miami, FL; and, Gary Mallender, TUSA Canada, Vancouver, Canada.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Kathleen Mahoney McGuinness of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism assured participants in the Adventure Travel Symposium that the Cayman Islands will be better than ever during the luncheon on Tuesday, October 12th.

Pre-show activities set the stage for an exciting and upbeat convention. The Adventure Travel Symposium was attended by nearly 300 dive retailers who listened intently to a variety of speakers. Topics ranged from staff training to taking FAM trips to become familiar with various destinations.

Together with the Lifeguard Systems Public Safety Diving Workshop, the travel symposium formed the foundation upon which a week of educational programming designed to provide dive retailers with additional tools to make money in the coming months will be built.

Leslie McCain, Travel Director for Sea Sports Travel & Sea Sports Scuba in Houston, said, "I found the Adventure Travel Symposium extremely useful. We see travel as an essential element in our business."





The George E. Brown Convention Center, in the heart of Houston's downtown entertainment district, is the site of the convention and the location of the exhibitor welcome party, sponsored by DEMA and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rob Freeman and Gail Hutchens, Concord (Tennessee) Dive Center with Lee and John Pickens of The Scuba Center in Delray Beach (Florida).

Heather Powell-Crowder, DEMA Board Member (left) with friends.


Jim Graham, left, of Pelican Products, Torrance, CA with Charlie Duffy of SeaVison, during the setup of the exhibit area.


Artist Simon Morris' "Guardian of the Reef" statue stands 13 feet, when fully assembled. Simon will be working with the clay model, which will soon be cast in bronze and placed in a dive site.

Speakers from the Adventure Travel Symposium join Tom Ingram (second from right) and Chris Fuller (far right) prior to the start of the program.
Richard Mitsoda, MADURO Dive Travel, chats with a couple of past customers while setting up his booth.
Chris Fuller wants you to go diving.

Ron Landes of Oceanic held a product workshop on Tuesday

The PADI membership meeting took place in the Hilton Americas' Grand Ballroom (below).
The 2004 DEMA Show officially begins on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Gerard J. Tollett, president of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, DEMA president Bob Hollis and Executive Director Tom Ingram. During the ceremony, Houston Police Chief Harold Hurt will receive a special award on behalf of the Houston Police Department's Dive Rescue Team.
The first of four PowerUp Your Morning sessions will precede the opening ceremony. Today, it's the Travel Channel's Peter Greenberg with a presentation entitled "Travel Trends Affecting the Dive Industry."
Each morning the PowerUp sessions will tackle important industry issues, featuring presentations by renowned speakers and expert panels. Thusday, it's "Selling to the Retailer" panel discussion. Friday, "Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Customer: Uncovering Hidden Profits and Missed Opportunity with Product Inventory & Brand Marketing" is the topic, presented by Brian Dyches of the Atmospheric Group, Inc. The final day of the Show, Saturday, will focus on electronic marketing with a program entitled, "S

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