I just returned from a week at DEMA ( Dive Equipment & Marketing Association) in Las Vegas, Nevada. DEMA is a non-profit international organization dedicated to the promotion and growth of recreational scuba diving and snorkeling. They sponsor a trade-only event for businesses in the scuba diving industry, which I usually attend each year or so. The event is a great place to keep up on changes through attending seminars, checking out the latest gear and technology, and networking with other scuba professionals.
A majority of the time at DEMA is spent attending seminars about the scuba industry, and one of the most important that dive professionals can attend is on risk management. Here we get updates on waiver requirements and current best practices in mitigating risk in the industry. Other seminars were about training updates (the new ReActivate Scuba Review program), updated course materials (PADI iPad Touch, PADI eLearning), updates to ScubaEarth and the PADI app. There were also a few interesting seminars on business strategies and trip sales & management.
The Las Vegas Convention Center is a huge facility, and the DEMA show hall where manufacturers set up booths took up a big part of the convention center. On my list to check out this year were upgrades to the BCD rental fleet, gloves, and compressors. I was able to view lots of different types of products and speak to factory representatives. Now we’ll be better prepared when we do our gear orders in early 2015.
Of course, there was lots of networking and socializing, starting off with the PADI member social on Tuesday evening at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and going all the way through Friday. I also met some people from the Women Divers Hall of Fame, a great group that recognizes women’s contributions to diving and provides scholarships is various diving related categories. They also have an awards dinner each year at DEMA, which I plan to attend next year.
Now that I’m back in Seattle, it’s time to get back to our dive tours. We have excellent water conditions right now with some of the best visibility of the year. We’ve had lost of Giant Pacific octopus sightings this month and yesterday we had Orca swim by West Seattle, following a Salmon run through Puget Sound.
Hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving and happy diving!