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 attended many dive shows. Heck, I was at the Long Beach show way back in its early days on the Queen Mary. Yet, until we took over Scuba Show I never fully understood them.
After we purchased the Scuba Show from Kim and Dale Sheckler, and coming into our third year running it I’ve developed a profound appreciation for this wonder that they created. You’re thinking, this what? What I have learned is that it’s not just a place or an event. 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.
But it’s not just that.
The purpose of a dive show is to support the regional dive community. When you think about it from your perspective, there aren’t many ways for a diver, or someone who is thinking about taking it up, to personally connect with diving as the complete picture. At the show you get to see all of diving’s possibilities, at one time in one place. Hopefully you get excited about what to experience next, and when you return home we want you 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 is great for the diving business.
But it is even more than that.
For all of the years that I attended shows, what I never really understood is that there’s a spirit that makes it work. Let me try and explain this from another angle. I attend trade shows in other industries. The exhibitors in those businesses seem excited about their products and services, but they don’t appear to be impassioned by what they do. The exhibitors that you mix with at a dive show are way different. It is partly the environment in which they work. It’s mostly because they get to witness what it does for you. The bond between the exhibitors and attendees in diving is a shared passion. For Scuba Show exhibitors, the lines between work and play get blurred. We are all dealing in nature and adventure on a pretty unique and emotional scale.
This is obvious in our post-show surveys. Along with coming to see all the products and services, you like to connect to diving in the atmosphere of all of the people who participate, and the people who make it happen. And the exhibitors; as strongly as they 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 fuels them.
Our shared love of scuba diving and the undersea world creates the spirit that is the Scuba Show.
We look forward to seeing you next month in Long Beach.