Tuesday, October 27, 2015

DEMA Activates Disaster Assistance Program to Aid Show Exhibitors and Buyers Impacted by Tropical Storm Erika, Hurricanes Joaquin and Patricia, and California’s “Valley Fire”

**Funds Available to Assist DEMA Member Exhibitors and Buyers of DEMA Show 2015 **

The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) announced on October 23, 2015 that the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors has approved the activation of the Disaster Assistance Program to assist DEMA-Member Show Exhibitors and Buyers impacted by Tropical Storm Erika, Hurricanes Joaquin and Patricia, and the severe California wildfire known as the Valley Fire.

DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program was first created in 2004 and has been used when DEMA-Member companies are impacted by disasters which may interfere with their ability to promote their businesses, products, services and destinations.  The funds have also been set aside to assist DEMA-Member retailers to make sure that they can continue their operations.  As funds are limited, in this instance, DEMA has earmarked them specifically for DEMA-Member companies that planned to exhibit or buy at DEMA Show 2015 but which were subsequently impacted by these natural disasters. Funds are provided to Exhibitors, in the affected areas, based on their exhibit size, and to Buyers in the impacted areas who attend DEMA Show and stay in a DEMA block hotel.

Exhibitors from the affected areas outlined below are eligible to apply for the funds to help them get to the trade show. Buyers who planned to attend DEMA Show can also apply for funds to assist in staying onsite at DEMA Show. 

"The DEMA Disaster Assistance Program funds are available to DEMA-Member manufacturers, destinations and other industry related entities to aid them in getting to and exhibiting at DEMA Show 2015,” said Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA.  “Registered Buyers from DEMA Member businesses who are staying in the DEMA hotel block are also eligible for funds to assist in attending DEMA Show, so they can buy products and services they need to keep their businesses in operation.”

Exhibitor Assistance Program: DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program funds are available to DEMA-Member Exhibitors who were fully paid by September 25, 2015, and physically located in the following places: 

·        Dominica – Tropical Storm Erika (August, 2015)
·        Northern California Counties of Lake, Napa and Sonoma - Valley Fire (September, 2015)
·        Bahamas – Hurricane Joaquin (September/October 2015)
·        South Carolina – Hurricane Joaquin (September/October 2015)
·        Southeastern North Carolina – Hurricane Joaquin (September/October 2015)
·        Western Mexico – Hurricane Patricia (October 2015)

For affected Exhibitors, each exhibit space purchased and paid for by September 25, 2015, DEMA will provide regular Exhibitors with $US 400.00 in assistance.  Funds will be awarded onsite at DEMA Show 2015 to the exhibiting companies who apply and fall within the guidelines deeming them eligible for assistance. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis up to the maximum available from the DEMA disaster assistance fund.   All interested parties must apply for the assistance funds on site at DEMA Show in Orlando, FL prior to close of the Show, November 7, 2015. For more information and to receive a DEMA 2015 Disaster Assistance Fund Processing form, see the DEMA Staff at the DEMA Booth at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The complete rules for disbursements will be available at the DEMA Booth.

Attendee Assistance Program:  Designed for DEMA Member Buyers who are registered for the Show and staying in one of the hotels contained within the official DEMA Show hotel block, one registered Buyer from an attending DEMA Member business physically located in the affected areas can receive reimbursement for one night hotel stayin the DEMA hotel block which takes place by midnight eastern time, November 6, 2015. The complete rules for disbursements will be available at the DEMA Booth.

Designated disaster areas eligible for funds include:
  • The Bahamas Island chain
  • South Carolina
  • The Southeastern Region of North Carolina
  • Cities located in the Northern California counties of Lake, Sonoma and Napa
  • The Island of Dominica
  • Western Mexico

Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Hilton Orlando Convention Center
6001 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819

Days Inn Orlando/International Drive
5858 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

The designated Buyer from an affected DEMA Member must apply for the disaster funds through the DEMA Office prior to close of business on December 3, 2015 and present the receipt for the hotel stay.   Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis up to the maximum of the DEMA disaster assistance fund.  Exhibitors are not eligible for hotel reimbursement assistance under this program, but can receive Exhibitor Assistance as described above. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 DEMA Member Update & Annual Meeting is Happening Thursday, November 5th, at DEMA Show

Join us for this informative session led by DEMA’s Executive Director, Tom Ingram, on Thursday morning at DEMA Show. Network with fellow industry leaders and DEMA Members, get an update on how DEMA has been working to help our Members, and get insight on the Association’s programs and plans for 2016.
Exciting topics and announcements include:
  • New Consumer Marketing Campaign
  • Future DEMA Show Venues
  • DEMA Research Initiatives
  • Committee Participation Recognition
ALL Attendees and Exhibitors are invited to join us for this information-filled morning – you won’t want to miss it!
Thursday, November 5, 20158:30 AM – 9:45 AMRoom: S210AB

Create a Winning Formula for Success with DEMA Show’s Keynote Session

DEMA has released details for DEMA Show 2015’s keynote session. This year, mobile expert and author Chuck Martin will lay out the key elements and consumer behavioral changes in today’s mobile shopping landscape and provide some concrete steps that a small retailer can take to create a winning formula for success. This session will take place on Wednesday, November 4th, from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. at DEMA Show. Learn more about what this informative and motivating session has to offer you and your business!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How are the DEMA Show Location and Timing Selected?

**Meeting the Varied Geographic and Business Cycle Needs of the Industry**

DEMA Show, the annual trade-only event for the dive industry, attracts almost 10,000 diving professionals each year. DEMA Show venues are selected to create the best trade show experience, taking into account the diverse geographic, show timing and overall cost needs of Attendees and Exhibitors. Venues are selected three to five years in advance of the Show.
Show locations and timing are determined using Attendee and Exhibitor surveys as well as by researching convention center and hotel availability. DEMA Show is one of the 250 largest trade shows in the United States and as such, there are a limited number of convention facilities large enough to hold the annual event. When evaluating and selecting the convention facilities, city, and hotels, DEMA uses Board-approved criteria including:
  • The city must have cultural or entertainment attractions and special event venues appealing to the diving professional.  There should be a variety of restaurants and other entertainment within a 10 minute walking distance of the host hotel/convention center.
  • The Show city must be a major airline destination for North American and international travelers.  The city should have a substantial number of direct flights coming into the city, and be a hub for at least one major airline.
  • “Blended” labor rates for the city must be within 10% of the median average as compared to the convention industry market for the previous five years.
  • The convention facility must meet DEMA’s exhibit and meeting space requirements, and be in a location convenient to major hotels, the international airport and city points of interest.  The minimum conventions center size is 500,000 gross square feet.
  • The convention facility must include a minimum of 30 meeting rooms in the convention center, capable of holding at least 50 to 100 people while using classroom style seating.
  • There must be first-class hotels convenient to the convention and exhibit facility for 10,000 attendees.  Hotel facilities should accommodate a minimum of 1,200 to 1,400 rooms peak night pick up, with 4,000 minimum total room nights required within DEMA’s block.  This number of hotel rooms must be within a 5-mile radius/15 minutes travel time (whichever is less) of the convention center.
 “Throughout the years, DEMA has surveyed Show Attendees and Exhibitors about their preferred dates and locations for DEMA Show,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “While the majority of survey respondents prefer the fall, the general requirement is that the Show should be held during a time of the year when there is as little direct interference with the day to day business of as many Attendees and Exhibitors as possible. And of course, DEMA must ensure that the Show takes place during a time that is conducive to traveling to feasible destination cities to conduct business. The DEMA Board and staff have taken this feedback into consideration when contracting future venues and will continue to evaluate new venues as they become available.”
Currently, DEMA Show is in a two-city rotation between Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL and the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Both conventions centers are located in a major city and gateway and both cities are ranked in the top five convention cities in the United States. DEMA is actively seeking a third city for the rotation and hopes to contract with a venue that has generated great Member interest during previous years. Stay tuned for additional details in an upcoming DEMAIL and at the annual DEMA membership meeting taking place Thursday, November 5th at 8:30 a.m. at DEMA Show 2015.
DEMA Show 2015 will be held at that Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL from November 4-7, 2015. Additional DEMA Show dates and locations can be found online here.
For more information on DEMA Show, including the Show cities for the next few years, visit www.demashow.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Image & Technical Diving Resource Centers at DEMA Show Can Help Improve Businesses & Careers

**Free Technical Diving and Underwater Photography/Videography-Related Sessions Provided Daily Directly on the Show Floor**
DEMA Show Attendees wishing to make the most of their Show experience are encouraged to visit the Image Resource Center (IRC) and Technical Diving Resource Center (TDRC) at DEMA Show, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, November 4 – 7, 2015. By visiting these two Centers, Attendees can expect to find ideas they can apply to their own operations to help their businesses and careers.
Located in booth #357, the Image Resource Center hosts numerous Exhibitors offering affiliated photography and videography products and services. Throughout the Show, Exhibitors will be hosting sessions that provide important tips on image-related topics, including how to incorporate photography and videography into dive retailers’ business strategies. To view a complete schedule of the 23 sessions being offered at the IRC, click here.
In the Technical Diving Resource Center, Attendees have the opportunity to discover the latest innovations in technical diving gear. Located in booth #1757, the TDRC is dedicated to Attendees seeking technical diving-related Exhibitors. The Center will feature sessions on technical diving that will help Attendees incorporate more advanced tech diving into their business plan. For additional information on the 18 sessions that are being offered in the TDRC, click here.
These FREE sessions are open to all DEMA Show Attendees and Exhibitors. For more information visit www.demashow.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

DEMA's Latest Research Initiative Designed to Understand Industry Advertising Practices

** Survey Participants Incentivized with Complimentary Seminar Pass Upgrade for DEMA Show 2015 **
DEMA has announced a new retailer research initiative which will survey retail members of the diving industry to help understand industry-wide advertising and promotional benchmarks. The first 100 retail participants to answer all questions and submit their completed survey will be sent a gift certificate for a complimentary seminar pass upgrade good for DEMA Show 2015 (exhibits only registration and credentials required).
“The objective of conducting this research is to be able to provide retail dive centers with data that will help them guide and evaluate their own advertising activities,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “This is a benchmarking study on a topic not explored by the industry for many years, but which is critical to understanding how professional retailers are reaching out to new consumers and current customers.  The resulting data will make it possible to increase advertising effectiveness for every retailer and help other stakeholders understand how to serve the retailer more efficiently.”
The survey will collect advertising data which is segmented by geographic location; store volume and staffing; various advertising methods and expenses; and effectiveness and conversion for both digital and conventional media.
Dive retailers are invited to complete the survey here: DEMA Dive Industry Retailer Advertising Survey
Deadline to complete the survey is October 13, 2015 so act now for your chance to receive a complimentary seminar pass upgrade for DEMA Show 2015! Initial survey results will be published in time for DEMA Show 2015, and the completed data set released to the industry later in the year.

DEMA Submits Comments Opposing US Department of Labor’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend FLSA

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) recently submitted comments opposing certain aspects of the U.S. Department of Labor’s July 6, 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations implementing the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees (known as the “white collar” or “EAP” exemptions). The comments were submitted by Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA, on behalf of the Association.
DEMA supports the principle in President Obama’s March 13, 2014 Presidential Memorandum that the FLSA regulations need to be modernized and streamlined. However, DEMA has heard from numerous members expressing serious concerns about the significant impact of the changes proposed in the NPRM. It is DEMA’s belief that changing the FLSA by merely altering the definition of the exempt employee salary threshold seems to be inadequate to meet the President’s goal of “modernizing and streamlining” the law and the diving industry, both business and workers, may suffer greatly.
 “It is our fear that should these changes in the NPRM be enacted as written, the changes would have a devastating effect on our Industry. In order to control overall labor costs, we see a number of strategies being implemented by industry business that could ultimately result in industry employees experiencing a reduction in compensation, work hours, benefits, ability to attend educational and technical conferences, and so on,” commented Ingram. “In an industry where labor is amongst the highest costs, and our consumers require such personal attention, we fear that this will ultimately lead to increased prices for our customers and in turn, reduced demand as price-sensitive consumers move to other recreational activities that are less labor-intensive and consequently less expensive,” Ingram concluded.
Some of DEMA’s suggestions for updating and modernizing the FLSA include regional/state salary thresholds, a lower exempt threshold, and greater flexibility for non-exempt employees.
For more information, see all of the comments posted on the regulations.gov website and the official commentssubmitted by DEMA. DEMA will continue to monitor the progress of these rules and is prepared to comment further.