Q: Will life support equipment sales be permitted at the Festival?
A: Sales, distribution and taking of orders for life support/safety equipment is prohibited. Exhibitors at the Festival may sell all other products and services. Those selling diving-related and other recreational products must provide proof of product liability insurance to participate in selling. Exhibitors selling services such as travel and education must provide proof of general liability insurance.
Q: For the purpose of this Festival, what is considered life support equipment?
A: Exhibitors are specifically prohibited from selling, distributing and taking orders for life support/safety equipment at the Festival. For the Festival “life support” will include:
- Scuba diving and surface-supplied regulators or any part thereof
- Any device which delivers compressed breathing gas to a submerged diver
- Closed or open circuit “rebreather” device or any part thereof
- Scuba or dive related buoyancy control device (“BC”) or any part thereof
- Electronic or mechanical diving “computer” or any part thereof, excluding so-called manual dive tables, manually-operated “dive calculators,” dive timers and free/breath-hold diving computers discuss
Q: Why is DEMA producing a Consumer Event in the Spring Of 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
A: DEMA is producing the festival for the following reasons:
- Primarily the Festival goal is to help grow the diving industry
- To promote sustainable growth in safe recreational diving and snorkeling as called for in DEMA’s mission statement.
- To meet the needs and requests of ALL industry stakeholders: the trade-only DEMA Show does NOT help stakeholders promote and sell their product to the public. Such a consumer festival would fill this gap.
- To host an event which celebrates more than just diving and will encourage crossover participants from other activities to try scuba diving. Research conducted as a part of DEMA’s Be A Diver Campaign revealed that customers from several targeted activities will have an affinity for recreational diving. .
Q: Reaching Outside of the Diving Market – How is the Festival Different from a Consumer Dive Show?
A: Consumer dive shows have varying degrees of success, and longevity and while attractive and fun for current divers do not normally attract non-divers. For DEMA to produce an event which makes sense for the entire diving community and to bring in more new customers, it must meet the needs of all members, and must function to grow the industry.
In 2004 under the DEMA Board’s instruction DEMA began investigating what would be required to reach into other industries to increase the funds needed to promote diving to a wider audience. It quickly became evident that DEMA needed to have an objective “picture” of who the diver actually is; the active diver’s financial resources, age, “lifestyles,” activities in which they participated, and more. Only with such information could DEMA approach outside funding sources and expect a positive response.
Further, even with an objective snapshot of the currently-active diver, DEMA quickly found that it needed to have a “brand” to which outside funding and sponsorship sources could respond. The brand needed to be more than diver training-oriented and easily remembered (this is the origin of the “Be A Diver” brand).
With the objective picture of the diver in hand and a brand which made it easy to approach the market, the opportunity to reach outside sources of funding became greater. Further opportunities have arisen recently as companies and advertising agencies have keyed in on the customer for recreational scuba diving, recognizing that the current affluent customer which is drawn to the sport. Insurance companies, car companies, investment firms, video gaming companies, and more have recently used scuba diving in their advertising as a means of attracting attention to products and brands.
DEMA is producing the Festival as an extension of this effort to bring in attention from outside the industry to grow diving. The very powerful and objective information DEMA has on the diving consumer opens the opportunity for DEMA to reach outside of the diving industry for sponsorships and funding – both at the Festival and at other events.
Keys to the Festival are findings in the research which included “other” activities which are attractive to divers and non-divers, which can assist in attracting new customers to diving , providing an opportunity for “cross-marketing.” That is, bringing exhibitors (and participants) from within these activities to the Festival with the greater opportunity for members of the diving community to generate interest in recreational diving. Among these high-interest cross-over activities are:
- Cross-Country and Downhill Skiing
- Mountain Biking
- Road Biking
- Water Skiing
- Power Boating
Inviting exhibitors from these other industries can generate attendee traffic which provides ample opportunity for the diving community to reach new potential customers. Since producing a dive consumer show generally involves reaching mostly divers (90% to 95% of those attending most dive consumer shows are divers), DEMA cannot easily grow the industry without reaching outside of diving through these high-interest activities, and cross-marketing is a time tested and proven method of doing so.
The Festival will incorporate these cross-over activities and sports which in turn should assist the diving community in reaching a new (and returning) audience of divers. These activities are also prime candidates for raising sponsorship dollars to be used by DEMA to promote recreational diving. As a non-profit trade association, funds raised at the Festival (as well as other DEMA activities) are put back into the industry to promote growth, protect the aquatic environment and keep access to dive sites open.
Q: What Else is Included in the Festival?
A: To get as much attention for diving and for the Festival as possible there are many planned events and activities
. Many of these will occur the first year of the Festival and others will occur as the Festival gains momentum and grows.
Q: Why Ft. Lauderdale and Why Spring?
A: Ft. Lauderdale Florida is a convenient and beneficial venue for the Festival for a variety of reasons including:
- Opportunities for non-divers to actually try diving through the Be A Diver pool and in conjunction with local retailers and training organizations. This is an opportunity to promote diving to an affluent, water-oriented population, as well as to attract a younger audience, especially for local retailers.
- Opportunities to reach current divers. Each year, Florida consistently has the second largest population of newly certified divers; many of whom are interested in education, entertainment, buying products and services and purchasingdive travel.
- Ft. Lauderdale is a gateway to many dive destinations throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere.
- Ft. Lauderdale in spring offers a geographical location and date which does not conflict with large consumer events in the Water, Sports, and Travel industries.
- Ft. Lauderdale provides a venue which can attract and expose other adventure sports enthusiasts to diving, benefitting training organizations, travel operators, diving and vacation destinations, local retailers, and manufacturers. There are more than 5 million consumers in the immediate vicinity to Ft. Lauderdale.
- Manufacturers and local retail stores can easily conduct demonstrations for new equipment during the event as it is warm, there are actual dive locations and many stores nearby.
- With a large certified diver population in South Florida, divers who have been out of the water for some period of time have an opportunity to easily come back into the sport.
- Ft. Lauderdale has contacted DEMA with a solid offer of support to market, advertise and promote the event to groups and markets not easily accessible to the dive community.