Over the years I have attended hundreds of trade and consumer shows. I know because I have a collection of show credentials “badges” in my basement, hanging from lanyards. I’m not nostalgic and have never taken time to go through them, but the badges represent different industries, and different parts of a business life that at some point might be fun to recall.
Along with California Diving News, we publish Dive Training magazine and the diving industry’s trade journal, so as a working member of the scuba industry I have been to lots of diving shows. Ever since we purchased Scuba Show four years ago I observe the shows much differently. So here is my big observation/revelation this year.
Dive shows are much different from shows in other industries. I believe it is because of the unique atmosphere of a dive show. There’s a spirit of camaraderie. We share a passion for diving. At a recent show in New Jersey it occurred to me that I have never heard an exhibitor at a dive show complain about being there, or to be at all disinterested in doing the various shows.
And thinking back over the last few years that we have been dealing with companies preparing to exhibit at the Long Beach show, I can’t recall even a hint of attitude from any exhibitor that isn’t anything other than just glad to be there.
Why such a sunny attitude? Think what the business of diving is about. Fun. Adventure. Exploration. The exhibitors have some pretty interesting jobs. And a large part of their work — including attending shows — is to share that excitement with you.
I observe you (the show attendee) from a different perspective, too. You are unlike the attendees of shows in other businesses because the show is about our ability to visit marine environments. We share the experience with likeminded people, and that makes diving perfectly social. At the show there is a bond between attendees, and between exhibitors and attendees, and it is a shared passion.
I hope that doesn’t sound hokey. We see it clearly each year in the post-show surveys. We are all dealing in nature and adventure on a pretty unique and emotional scale. While you come to see all of the products and services you also enjoy meeting these professionals and hanging out with other divers. As strongly as the exhibitors feel about what they do and about sharing it with you, it’s interesting how much your passion turns back around at the show, and inspires them. Take that, other badges. Dive shows are totally unique.
From the producer’s standpoint, the purpose of a dive show is to support the regional dive community. For this show the major players of the diving industry come together from around the world to interact with you, a group of individuals who make up probably the strongest market of divers in North America. We want the show to be a way for you to personally connect with every segment of the diving world, so you will get to see all of diving’s possibilities at one time in one place. Hopefully you get excited about all that diving has to offer, and you take that excitement home to connect with your local dive community –the retailers, clubs, instructors and charter operators who can make it happen for you.
Having you more involved is great for you, and it’s good for the diving business. So we look forward to seeing you at the show.