I don’t think that many of us pay attention to how we arrive at our opinions, but they’re often built on first impressions. Having been in the scuba business for quite a while I’ve attended many dive shows. I usually attend to be around the industry and catch up with friends, so my perception of consumer shows is more from observing them than from interacting.
And as it turns out, my perception of dive shows for all of these years has missed the point. In fact, the true essence of dive shows finally dawned on me last year when we acquired the SCUBA Show, and began producing it in conjunction with this publication.
Here’s the part that I had right. The purpose of a dive show is to support the local dive community, which in turn supports the diving industry. That’s pure industry perspective, I know. But when you think about it, there aren’t many ways for you as a diver to personally connect with a larger picture. You get to see all of diving’s possibilities at one time in one place. Hopefully the show gets you excited about what you want to experience next, and when you to return home we want you to connect with your local dive community and the pros — retailers, instructors, charter operators — who can make it happen for you. Having you more involved is great for you and great for the diving business.
What I missed though is that there’s a chemistry that makes it work. You have heard the expression, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”? The exhibitors that you mingle with at a dive show are passionate about what they do, and sharing that passion with you makes what they do more like fun than work.
And you in the aisle, because of the way I’ve attended the shows I didn’t quite catch your passion. I missed the idea that along with coming to see all the products and services, you want to connect to diving in the atmosphere of all of the people who make it work.
So the way a dive show’s exhibitors feel about what they do, and how they feel sharing it with you, that’s half of what I didn’t see. The other half is something that you may not even realize — how much your passion turns back around, and fuels them.
Our shared love of scuba diving and the undersea world creates the chemistry, and that’s what I missed — a dive show is a very neat symbiotic relationship. I get it now.
We look forward to seeing you next month in Long Beach.