Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Go Dive Now’s Photo Contest Generates Significant Web Traffic & Brand Awareness

On July 1, 2017 DEMA launched an exciting social media contest in affiliation with the Go Dive Nowconsumer Marketing Campaign. The DIVE INTO SUMMER PHOTO CONTEST was created to increase traffic to, engage the diving community, and promote the sport of scuba diving to non-divers. The contest concluded on August 3rd with the top three winners taking home incredible prizes donated by industry businesses.
During the contest, divers were asked to submit their best diving photos and then promote their entries to their friends and family on social media to collect votes. The contest received 82 photo entries and 5,570 votes were submitted. The contest, both located on and on Facebook, received over 17,200 page views! The photo contest was very successful in using social media to increase traffic to as website sessions derived from social media increased 230% during the contest when compared to the previous period. Over 21% of visitors to the voting page on then went on to view other pages throughout the Go Dive Now website.
 As expected, the contest reached thousands of people on social media and was highly influential in generating awareness and interest in the sport of diving and the diving lifestyle. Dive businesses who donated a prize benefited by receiving significant exposure to potential new divers and customers! Thank you to the following companies who donated a prize to the DIVE INTO SUMMER PHOTO CONTEST: Charlie Hudson Writes, Harbour Village Beach Club, Martinique Promotion Bureau, Michael Johnson Entertainment, LLC, Minelab, Mobby’s LLC, Ocean Maps GmbH, and Ocean Technology Systems.
 The contest winners can be viewed on the contest page on Congratulations!

Friday, August 11, 2017

DEMA Submits Comments on the Goliath Grouper Moratorium in Florida

As you may be aware, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) is under pressure by fishing groups to lift a 25+ year moratorium on the harvest of the Goliath Grouper in Florida. In an effort to capture the opinions of all diving stakeholders on this issue, DEMA conducted a survey of divers and dive professionals asking their opinions on maintaining the Florida Goliath Grouper harvest moratorium. The results showed that by a large percent, respondents want to maintain the moratorium.

With these survey results in, DEMA submitted a letter expressing the desire that a moratorium on harvesting the Goliath Grouper in Florida be maintained, as there is no scientific data indicating that this fish population has recovered from severe over fishing. Fishers continue to blame the increased population of Goliath on lower populations of lobster, snapper and other fish species. In fact, there is no data to indicate that Goliaths are the cause of these issues. In addition, Goliath Grouper are known to contain toxic levels of mercury, making the flesh inedible.

Share your input and learn more about the current status of Goliath Grouper by attending one of the FWC's upcoming public workshops.

Workshops will be from 5 to 8 p.m. local time:
Aug 16: Pensacola, Sanders Beach - Corinne Jones Resource Center, 913 South I St.
Aug. 17: Panama City, Bland Conference Center, 4750 Collegiate Drive.
Oct. 9: Jacksonville, Pablo Creek Regional Library, 13295 Beach Blvd.
Oct. 10: Titusville, American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, 6350 Horizon Drive.
Oct. 11: Stuart, Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Ave.
Oct. 12: Davie, Old Davie School Historical Museum, 6650 Griffin Road.
Oct. 16: Pinellas Park, Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. Highway 19 N.
Oct. 17: Port Charlotte, The Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St.
Oct. 18: Naples, Collier County Public Library - South Regional, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway
If you cannot attend an in-person meeting, please submit comments online. 

DEMA Responds to Video of Live Shark Being Dragged & Killed Behind Boat

Many have seen a disturbing video recently posted on YouTube by Florida fishermen showing a live shark, tied by the tail and being dragged at a high rate of speed behind a boat, resulting in the shark's death. The video was picked up and posted online by USA Today. 

This is a cruel treatment of any animal, and members of the diving community are appalled by such behavior by members of the fishing public, who must be licensed to fish in Florida waters by Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). 

DEMA recently sent out an Industry Alert asking Members to write to the FWC and express their concerns about the video and on August 8th, DEMA submitted a letter to the Governor as well to reinforce that this kind of behavior should not be tolerated.

DEMA Introduces New Industry Recognition Award, the Wave Makers Award

** Finalists and 2017 Recipient to be Honored at 2017 DEMA Awards Party in Orlando, FL **
DEMA has announced it will recognize new professionals in the diving industry who are employed by (or own) a DEMA-Member business at the 2017 DEMA Awards Party! This new award aims to recognize professionals who have been working in the industry for 60 months or less and have made a significant contribution to the industry during that time. The DEMA Board of Directors recognizes that the best approach to generating creativity, continued participation with DEMA and sustained engagement with the association and industry by new professionals is to create a culture that supports that creativity and celebrates innovative thinking.  The Wave Makers Award seeks to help foster that culture. Nominations for the 2017 Wave Makers Award will be accepted until September 6, 2017 with the four finalists and 2017 honoree being announced at the 2017 DEMA Awards Party.
Wave Makers are employees or owners of DEMA-Member businesses who have been involved as a professional for 60 months or less and who should be recognized for their contributions to the industry, a dive business and DEMA!  A complete overview of the criteria to qualify can be found here. Member professionals who have been active with DEMA by attending DEMA Show, serving on a committee or task force, or volunteering for the Go Dive Now Pool, or other activities related to DEMA, can qualify.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION in any of the following categories: Contribution to DEMA’s Mission, Providing Business or Community Service, or Contributing to Dive Industry Growth.
The Wave Makers selection process for 2017 will be as follows:
  1. DEMA Members nominate a potential honoree, using the established criteria. 
  2. The Awards Committee reviews these nominees, narrowing the field to the top four candidates.
  3. The top four are notified and asked to create a one-minute video about what they envision for the future of the association and/or the diving industry.
  4. The videos are then placed on social media, and DEMA asks members to view them prior to DEMA Show, and vote on for the Wave Makers winner for 2017.
  5. Only DEMA Members can vote, as a log-in to the DEMA website and Member-only voting page will be required.
  6. The top four candidates and a guest are invited to attend the DEMA Awards Party at DEMA Show 2017. 
  7. Each of the top four self-made videos would be played during the announcements.  The winner will be announced at the Awards celebration. 
Nominations are open now until September 6!  Four finalists and the new professional chosen as the first of the Wave Makers will be honored at the DEMA Awards Party being held on Friday, November 3, 2017 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Centre Hotel Executive Ballroom. Complete DEMA Awards Party details and tickets are available on the DEMA Show website.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Get Glammed Up and Ready to Celebrate at the 2017 DEMA Awards Party

The 29th annual presentation of the prestigious Reaching Out Awards will, once again, bring the Dive Industry together to honor the extraordinary careers of this year’s Reaching Out Award recipients, Al Hornsby and Doug McNeese. This year’s roaring 20’s-themed DEMA Awards Party will take place on November 3 at the Rosen Centre Hotel Executive Ballroom in Orlando, FL. Attendees are encouraged to join in the festivities by dressing in their best 1920’s inspired attire! Mark your calendar for this evening of entertainment and celebration!
First presented in 1989, the Reaching Out Award honors leaders in the diving community whose significant contributions to the sport have elevated the industry on all levels. Areas of contribution have included equipment design, exploration, photography, publishing, retailing, science, training, travel and water safety. This year’s recipients will be joining an extraordinary list of distinguished past Honorees.
Complete event details are available on the DEMA Show website and tickets can be purchased when you register. Large groups can reserve VIP tables of 10 by contacting Colleen Vasquez at or (858) 616-6408 x1006.  Unique sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

DEMA Submits Comments in Favor of National Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments

In late June, the current administration issued an Executive Order to review National Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments created or expanded within the last 10-years (EO 13795 and Federal Register dated June 26, 2017). DEMA appreciates the need to review the specified National Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments and hopes that such a review will result in a clearer understanding of the need for on-going scientific analysis of natural and cultural resources in these designated areas, as well as the need for utilizing the established administrative procedures for creating such a Sanctuary.  DEMA has submitted comments in favor of Marine Sanctuaries and their importance to the diving industry. 

Al Hornsby and Doug McNeese to Receive DEMA’s 2017 Reaching Out Award

* Honorees to be Recognized at the 2017 DEMA Awards Party ** 
The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association is pleased to announce that Al Hornsby and Doug McNeese are the 2017 recipients of DEMA’s Reaching Out Award.  The Dive Industry will party down Roaring 20’s style at the 29th annual presentation of the prestigious Reaching Out Awards on November 3, 2017, where the industry will celebrate at this year’s 1920’s-inspired evening in honor of these two outstanding members of the diving community. The newest inductees to DEMA’s Hall of Fame will be honored at this year’s DEMA Awards Party. First presented in 1989, DEMA’s Reaching Out Award honors leaders in the diving community whose significant contributions to the sport have elevated the industry on all levels. This year’s recipients will be joining an extraordinary list of distinguished past Honorees. 
AL HORNSBY began free diving in 1962 at the age of 12 when his family moved to Guam, becoming a certified scuba diver the following year. His early years as a professional saw him as a published author, photographer, instructor, and manufacturer marketing manager.  Al joined PADI in 1978, as Training Facility Director. 
In 35 years at PADI, Hornsby has served as Training Facility Director, Vice President of Education and Marketing, Executive Vice President, Vice President, Legal and Environmental Affairs, Senior Vice President, on PADI's Executive Committee and as a Board Member of PADI and Diving Science and Technology Corp (DSAT). Hornsby presently serves as Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs, PADI Worldwide. 
In 1989, Hornsby co-originated Project AWARE, serving as managing executive for its first nine years, and was involved in other environmental efforts and organizations. In the mid-1980’s, Hornsby initiated the industry standards committee forming the RSTC, and in the 1990's, was a member of the committee restructuring DEMA into an industry-wide organization.  Hornsby served on DEMA’s BOD for many years, and was President for six years. 
Al has authored and co-authored four books, including his most recent, Face to Face: Up Close with Mother Nature, published in 2016. 
DOUG MCNEESE began his career in the diving industry in 1968 at the age of 16 when he began working at The Dive Shop founded by his parents. By 1982, McNeese had purchased the store from his parents. Two passions, training and retail, led him to expand to four Southeastern US locations, all with indoor pools. 
In 1993, after 25 years in dive retail, McNeese’s training passion led him to purchase the National Association of Scuba Diving Schools, NASDS.  By authoring new materials with a retail approach to entry-level training, he quickly changed the outcome of the company, leading to a merger with SSI in 1999. With a quest to continue SSI’s growth, McNeese and international partners purchased the company in 2008.  In 2014 HEAD Sports, a like-minded company with the passion to help members succeed, purchased SSI. 
Among his many innovations, McNeese authored “the original retail dive training program,” Scuba University. His passion remains to bring more people into diving and make it a lifetime sport. 
McNeese is the President of SSI USA and is now responsible for International Business Development. He continues to be driving force for recreational diving, while promoting SSI to strengthen the company’s growth worldwide. 
DEMA congratulates Al Hornsby and Doug McNeese for their exemplary, life-long service to our Industry. 
Further details about the 2017 DEMA Awards Party are available on the DEMA Show website where interested parties can purchase individual tickets from the DEMA Show registration system.  Unique sponsorship opportunities and VIP reserved seating for tables of 8 are also available by contacting Colleen Vasquez at or (858) 616-6408 x1006.