Why Go There? What to Expect from the Scuba Show

You’ve heard the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” right? I’m not sure how to correctly describe a gathering of scuba divers — a school? A herd? A pack? For the purposes of this article, we’ll call them a show of scuba divers. As in, the Scuba Show.

Why? 
Well, the word “show” fits in this instance, because at the Scuba Show there is a lot to see. It includes every scuba divery-thing you can imagine — and some you haven’t even imagined yet — all in one place. For an entire weekend.
So, why go there? Turns out, there are lots of reasons why, so I made you a list:
We share the same passion. Divers are an adventuresome bunch. We use diving to unplug from our daily routines and immerse ourselves in nature. Whether we’re new to the sport or we’re hardcore divers with thousands of logged dives, it feels good to connect with other like-minded folks who understand how great it feels to get out and explore the underwater world.
It’s a gateway for new divers. Okay, so maybe you’re the only diver in your family, within your circle of friends, or at work. When you talk about your weekend adventure of putting a bunch of gear on and jumping off a perfectly seaworthy boat several miles from shore, or charging through the surf to reach a kelp forest, chances are some of your friends and loved ones might think you’re a little looney. When you invite them to attend the Scuba Show with you, they’ll see you’re not the only nut. And when in the company of all these divers and all this dive stuff, maybe they’ll decide to give it a try.
There’s a lot of really cool stuff. Divers will be drooling over the latest and greatest in new gear and accessories. All the major equipment manufacturers will have their top people there to show their newest “toys.” You’ll be up to speed on the latest products and offerings. There’s also plenty for nondivers (or not-yet-divers) to enjoy, such as jewelry, art, apparel, seminars and the film festival.
You’ll meet the locals. Attending the Scuba Show will put you in touch with local dive charter operators, provide information on a variety of area beach diving locations, and give you the scoop on diver-friendly vacation rentals. You can find out about dive clubs that hold meetings in your area, too. And maybe find a new dive buddy or two in the process. 
You can plan that dream trip to a tropical destination. Practically every major diving destination in the world is represented at the show. You’ll meet resort and dive center operators, live-aboard boat owners and crew, and tourism bureau reps who can give you the straight scoop on planning your next exotic dive trip. (Insider tip: some places even offer special “show only” discounts on vacation packages.)
The continuous film festival will entertain. And inspire. Amateurs and pros alike submit their best underwater imagery, which plays continuously on a giant screen. The film festival will get you thinking about where you’d like to dive next, and for nondivers and kids, it’ll offer a window in the underwater world that will likely spark their desire to give diving a try.
You’ll learn a thing or two. Seminars and workshops on a wide range of environmental, marine-themed, and scuba-centric topics are offered on Friday and both days of the show. This is your chance to learn from and meet some of the greatest minds involved in ocean conservation, scuba training, underwater photography and film, marine science, and more. To see a full listing of seminars, go to scubashow.com/attendees/seminars.
You could win big. At this year’s Scuba Show a record $34,000 in prizes will be given away. Prizes will be awarded throughout the show. And we’re not talking t-shirts here, but big-ticket items like dive gear and accessories and trips around the world. 
You get to participate. Along with roaming the aisles of the show (which, by the way, takes up 76,000 square feet of scuba stuff), you can unleash our inner artist by joining an interactive painting project that raises money for local charities, or just get goofy at the photo booth — your Facebook friends will love seeing a photo of you in a lobster costume, right? You can also attend a seafood cooking demonstration and ask Scuba Chef Trevor Cook for tips on preparing your favorite seafood.
There’s a party going on. And it’s free. It’s happening on Saturday night, under the stars in the Shark Lagoon exhibit at the nearby Aquarium of the Pacific. You can hang out with your diver friends and also interact with sharks and crabs and such in the aquarium’s touch pools. There’ll be a silent auction and raffle with great prizes that raise funds for the non-profit efforts of the aquarium, and you’ll also get to meet this year’s recipient of the California Scuba Service Award. And this year there will be high-energy live entertainment, a surprise to be announced.
And finally, you get to mingle with old and new friends, and the people who make the diving industry work. They are passionate and love to share it with you. 
And in the end, we want you to return to your local dive community, excited about what’s next.
So there you have it. There are lots of reasons why the Scuba Show is the place to be, the first weekend in June, at the beautiful Long Beach Convention Center. For more info, go to ScubaShow.com.
I’ll see you there. 
California Diving News © 2016