Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DEMA Expresses Concerns to the Governor of Florida over Recent Bloom of Toxic Cyanobacteria

The recent bloom of toxic cyanobacteria (often referred to in the media as an “algae” bloom) in Florida’s Lee, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties has DEMA expressing concern over the negative impact this bloom will have on the recreational diving businesses in these counties, as well as the reputation of Florida as a premier recreational diving location. In response to this situation, DEMA has submitted a letter to the Governor of Florida expressing these concerns and asking for additional action to be taken that will help mitigate future problems.
On June 29, an Executive Order declared the presence of this bloom to be an emergency situation in Martin and St. Lucie counties, and subsequently extended the emergency to cover Lee and Palm Beach Counties. Although it’s difficult to measure the direct impact the cyanobacteria bloom will have on residents participating in diving, DEMA is concerned the bloom could have a direct impact on the local dive industry economy in aspects of the number of diving travelers, hotel occupancy, and long-term consequences such as the loss of Florida’s reputation as a premier US diving destination.

DEMA’s letter to the Governor of Florida asks that direct and decisive action be taken to address the current situation, and future problems by continuing to work with the federal government on the problem of water storage and discharge from Lake Okeechobee, as well as work to reduce the effects of pollution that includes sewage runoff and discharges from the phosphate mining industry and agriculture, all of which appear to contribute to this year’s need for emergency action. 
DEMA stressed how Florida’s local recreational diving industry, hotels, restaurants, marinas and other businesses associated with diving activities are all dependent on the availability of quality diving and snorkeling sites. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

DEMA Members Can Now Access Complimentary Go Dive Now Campaign Tools & Resources

** DEMA Member Businesses Are Encouraged to Use the Free Resources to Align with the Highly-Visible Go Dive Now Campaign **
DEMA Members now have access to a FREE Go Dive Now Member Toolkit which includes videos, ad templates and other helpful materials to immediately capitalize on the national Go Dive Now marketing campaign for their own operations.
In May 2016, DEMA launched its newest national marketing campaign, Go Dive Now, and already the campaign is having a huge impact on the sport’s exposure with potential divers. The campaign’s website, GoDiveNow.com, provides direct advertising links to local DEMA Member retail stores and dive vacation destinations, highlights the many benefits of diving, and eases barriers to entry by offering information and resources for potential new divers. With the release of the DEMA Member Toolkit, the Go Dive Now campaign also now provides direct support to DEMA Members by offering campaign tools which can help them engage with and take advantage of the Go Dive Now brand. 
All current DEMA Members are able to access, FREE of charge, a Go Dive Now Member Toolkit containing:
  • Go Dive Now Logos
  • Sample Go Dive Now Ads & Templates
  • Marketing Images
  • Customizable Go Dive Now Videos
  • Shareable Social Media Posts
  • Marketing Guides

Members will also receive a bi-monthly touch point from DEMA’s marketing partner Mob Media that recaps Go Dive Now’s social media posts, making it easy for dive stores to like, copy, share, repost, and retweet Go Dive Now social media posts. Members will also receive professional tips for using social media to get more store and web traffic.
Additionally, all DEMA Members Retailers will receive their very own evaluation to determine the local zip codes that should be targeted near their store when conducting their own promotional efforts. DEMA Members should log in today to access these free resources and start aligning their business with this highly-visible campaign. Non-Member retailers are encouraged to join DEMA so they too can capitalize on the additional exposure they can receive through this campaign and the resources available within the Member Toolkit, as well as the free evaluation of the customers living near their stores.
More than a way to drive just certifications, Go Dive Now utilizes industry collaboration and research to locate and target the audiences that will be most likely to fully engage in ALL aspects of recreational diving, including buying equipment, diving locally and buying dive travel. Go Dive Now is expected to be a multi-year campaign and has been and will continue to be, a collaborative effort among industry stakeholders through the gathering of marketing insight, coming together for brainstorming sessions, and sharing media files for promotional efforts.
DEMA Members – LOG IN TODAY to access your new Go Dive Now Member Toolkit. Be sure to visitwww.GoDiveNow.com to learn more about the campaign; follow @GoDiveNow on Facebook and Twitter; and use hashtag #GoDiveNow with all your scuba-related social media posts!

With the FL Lobster Mini-Season Approaching, Dive Safety PSA & Poster Provide Safety Reminders

**DEMA and Divers Alert Network (DAN) Provide Tips to Increase Diver Safety for Florida’s Lobster Mini-Season July 27-28, 2016**
With the 2016 Florida Lobster Mini-Season happening this month, DEMA has updated their Lobster Mini-Season poster and is circulating a 30-second Public Service Announcement in an effort to increase diver safety.  Both the poster and PSA remind divers to be prepared for the upcoming mini-season. DEMA Members are encouraged to print the Lobster mini-season poster and to display it in the store, distribute it to their customers, and share it electronically, along with the video PSA, with their own online community. Both the poster and PSA are part of DEMA’s ongoing campaign to encourage divers to refresh their training and maintain their equipment prior to getting back in the water.   
“We ask the Industry for their support in circulating this PSA and poster in preparation of the two-day Florida Lobster mini-season. Together, we can encourage divers to start preparing for the annual Lobster hunt in advance and be well prepared to adhere to necessary safety measures when hunting for lobsters, including diving with a buddy,” commented Tom Ingram, President & CEO of DEMA. “With increased awareness of the recommended safety procedures, we hope to keep diving safe for everyone during this 2016 mini-season.”
The 30-second PSA was produced by DEMA in partnership with Divers Alert Network and specifically timed for the two-day Florida Lobster mini-season opening on July 27 and ending July 28. It was created to encourage divers to visit their local dive center to update their dive equipment and refresh their dive skills ahead of the two-day mini-season.
In addition to being made available to the Industry for download and sharing, the poster and PSA will be promoted as a social media campaign via DEMA and Go Dive Now’s social media pages prior to and during the Lobster Mini-Season. The poster is now available to be viewed, shared and downloaded and the PSA can be viewed and shared via the Go Dive Now YouTube channel. All divers and Industry Professionals are encouraged to share the PSA with their social media friends and followers and their local diving community to spread this important message. 

Tips for Preparing for Florida Lobster Mini-Season


PosterPSA:  30 Second Version

Printable files:  PDF  |  JPEG

Friday, July 8, 2016

DEMA’s Newest Marketing Campaign, Go Dive Now, Produces Big Results in First Month

On May 24, 2016 DEMA launched the website for its newest national marketing campaign, Go Dive Now. Within a month, the campaign has already seen big results with traffic from paid and organic sources driving potential divers to the website to learn more about the sport. The Go Dive Now website provides direct links to local DEMA Member retail stores and dive vacation destinations, highlights the many benefits of diving, and eases barriers to entry by offering information and resources for potential new divers. 
From its official launch date of May 24, 2016, GoDiveNow.com has had over 19,000 page visits with 11,500 unique visitors. On the website, potential divers have access to a wealth of information to help them learn more about diving. The site includes a helpful professional dive center locator, listings of DEMA Member international vacation destinations, FAQ’s, videos, and ways to connect with other divers through social media. The Go Dive Now Dive Store Locator feature has already been used 5,374 times to help visitors locate a local dive center near them.  More than 33% of site visitors have used the Go Dive Now Dive Store and Vacation Finders.
Beyond the website, Go Dive Now is utilizing social media to build awareness and generate interest in scuba diving with non-diving consumers. In particular, paid Facebook ads are targeting appropriate demographics surrounding local DEMA Member retail stores.  These ads help to drive growth for the diving industry directly through DEMA Member Retailers, providing a unique opportunity for Member stores to receive free Facebook advertising focused on the target customers in the neighborhoods near their stores. Since the campaign’s inception, paid Facebook ads have been responsible for over 1,786,630 impressions. Now is the time to become a 2016 DEMA Member to make sure potential new consumers near your location aren’t excluded being from the campaign. As the campaign evolves, other advertising opportunities will be evaluated including Twitter and Instagram channels.
More than a way to drive just certifications, Go Dive Now utilizes industry research to locate and target the audiences that will be most likely to fully engage in all aspects of recreational diving, including buying equipment, diving locally and buying dive travel. Go Dive Now is expected to be a multi-year campaign and has been and will continue to be, a collaborative effort amongst industry stakeholders through the gathering of marketing insight, coming together for brainstorming sessions, and sharing media files for promotional efforts.
Visit www.GoDiveNow.com to learn more; follow @GoDiveNow on Facebook and Twitter; and use hashtag #GoDiveNow with all your scuba-related social media posts!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Lad Akins and Leslie Leaney to Receive DEMA’s 2016 Reaching Out Award

** Honorees to be Recognized at the DEMA Awards Party Being Held at the The Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, NV**

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association is pleased to announce that Lad Akins and Leslie Leaney are the 2016 recipients of DEMA’s Reaching Out Award.  The Dive Industry will boogie down 70’s style at the 28th annual presentation of the prestigious Reaching Out Awards on November 18, 2016, where the industry will celebrate at this year’s Disco-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 taking place at The Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, NV. 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.

LAD AKINS is widely recognized as a ground-breaking marine conservationist for his leadership and vision in forming Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), an organization that is the lynch-pin connecting the dive community with opportunities to contribute to scientific research and conservation through “citizen science.” He is most recently known for his work spearheading the battle against the lionfish invasion across the Atlantic and introducing school-aged children to conservation and the aquatic world.

Akin’s contributions to research and public education on the impacts of the invasive lionfish have garnered major media attention. His work has been featured in many major media outlets including ABC, CNN, NBC, the Food Network, and the Discovery Channel. His work has also been featured in more than 100 printed articles. He has authored or co-authored 30 scientific publications and authored other publications including, “Invasive Lionfish: A Guide to Control and Management” and “The Lionfish Cookbook: The Caribbean’s New Delicacy.”

Akins currently sits on a number of state, regional and international committees, and working groups devoted to lionfish control and management strategies. His work has been instrumental in bringing the world of fish identification, citizen science, and marine conservation to numerous marine enthusiasts around the globe. He has made the concept of diving with a purpose a reality for tens of thousands in the USA and worldwide.

LESLIE LEANEY is well-known for his dedication to the preservation and sharing of the dive industry’s history. Leaney started diving in 1969 around the island of Singapore and progressed through the BSAC system becoming a scuba instructor, club Expedition Director, and eventually Diving Officer for BSAC Special Branch in Singapore. In 1980, Leaney relocated to Malibu, California where we began to purse his interest in diving history. Throughout the 1980’s, he compiled an extensive diving library and a collection of historical antique equipment. His archives currently provide reference research material for diving historians and items from his collection are on display at various museums.

In 1992, this interest in history lead Leaney to co-found the Historical Diving Society-USA (HDS-USA) with Skip Dunham. The inaugural meeting featured a mix of recreational, military, and commercial divers. The Society continues to provide an educational forum for these separate, but connected, groups to learn about their joint history. Initially formed as a chapter of the British HDS, the Society evolved into an American non-profit corporation. During its more than 20 year existence, Leaney has served as Chairman, President, and Executive Director and helped establish and develop an international Advisory Board of divers, which has continued to grow in stature along with the Society. Under his guidance, the Society grew from a few dozen members to over 2,700 in 44 countries and is internationally affiliated with similar organizations.

In 1993, Leaney founded Historical Diver Magazine (later renamed The Journal of Diving History), America’s first and only publication devoted to all aspects of diving history. Through his research, Leaney has written numerous articles that have appeared in several international publications. He has lectured on the subject of diving history at seminars in France, Canada, Mexico, England and America. Leaney’s research is referenced by numerous authors and he has acted as a consultant for The History Channel, The B.B.C., The Discovery Channel, United States Navy, and other organizations. Leaney has dedicated much of his career to the preservation and education of the industry’s history, which will continue to benefit the industry as a whole for years to come.

DEMA congratulates Lad Akins and Leslie Leaney for their exemplary, life-long service to our Industry.

Further details about the 2016 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 cvasquez@dema.org or (858) 616-6408 x106.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Over 1.7 Million Potential Divers Reached to Date by 2016 Media Coverage of DEMA’s Go Dive Now Pool

DEMA’s most recognized diver acquisition and awareness program, the Go Dive Now Pool Tour, has continued to generate huge exposure for the industry through mid-June by generating over 795,000 view impressions from the months of April to June alone. Since the beginning of the year, media coverage of the Pool has reached over 1.7 MILLION POTENTIAL DIVERS! During the second quarter of 2016, the Pool has continued to travel around the country making stops at the Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show (Philadelphia, PA), Chocolate Fest(Burlington, WI), and World Ocean Day (Chattanooga, TN) with an additional stop just this past weekend at Chester County Balloon Fest in Toughkenamon, PA (media results for this stop not included).
“With every event we attend, the Go Dive Now Pool continues to prove how effective it is at piquing interest in scuba diving,” commented “Big Wave” Dave Reidenbach, DEMA’s Pool Tour Coordinator. “Providing event attendees and potential new divers with the chance to try scuba for themselves in a non-intimidating environment reduces many barriers to entry and also provides a unique opportunity for family and friends to discover a new interest together. Media coverage of the Pool is invaluable as it provides the opportunity to promote scuba diving to TV viewers on a broad scale.”

The first eight events of the year promoted the Pool and the “try diving” experience as one of the top activities for show attendees. As a result the Pool was featured on news stations WOIO-CBS, WUAB-MY43, WKYC-NBC, WFAA-ABC, KDFW-FOX, KTVT-CBS, WFIE-NBC, WEVV-44 NEWS, WTTA-WB, WFLA-NBC, WTVC, and WRCB-TV. All twelve stations showcased reporters broadcasting from the Pool and interviewing “Big Wave” Dave to discuss the Pool Tour, safety tips on diving, and top dive spots for local diving.
The Pool will continue its tour as a top consumer event feature throughout 2016. DEMA Member Retailers who volunteer to work with the Pool at these events find that they reap huge benefits. By being part of a potential new diver’s first experience, these retailers are already building trust and loyalty with potential customers that could develop into a long-term buying and diving relationship. Retailers also benefit because DEMA advertises the pool event using Facebook ads targeted to the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the DEMA Member Retail location.   Retailers who are interested in participating in a scheduled Pool stop or who may be aware of an event with potential for attracting new divers are encouraged to contact Dave Reidenbach at (920) 205-3657 or bigwavedave@dema.org.
Making stops throughout the year at various consumer-oriented travel, outdoor activity and adventure shows, the Go Dive Now Pool gives anyone 10 years of age and older the opportunity to discover the fun and exciting sport of scuba diving for FREE in the comfort of a large, heated Pool. Event attendees are also able to test out some of the latest scuba diving equipment and have a photo of themselves taken underwater that can act as an everlasting keepsake. Those who take the plunge need not worry about getting wet, since the Pool provides wetsuits, towels, hair dryers and dressing rooms.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

DEMA Board Reviews Go Dive Now Campaign, Evaluates Association’s Structure & Discusses Future Plans

On May 19th and 20th, the DEMA Board of Directors gathered for a Quarterly Board Meeting. Discussion included an update on the Go Dive Now consumer marketing campaign, review of the Association’s structure, discussion of Membership Benefits, a review of the 2015 Financial Audit, and more.
Following approval of the consent agenda, key topics and actions for the coming year were discussed:
Go Dive Now: Industry-Wide, Collaborative Consumer Marketing & Social Media CampaignThe Board was provided with an update on the progress of the Go Dive Now campaign by the DEMA staff. The Board discussed the campaign’s Facebook ad focus, noting that while pay-per-click advertising will be used, it will not be the main medium..  The Board reviewed the basis for Facebook advertising targeting. Currently the area immediately surrounding each DEMA’s Member Retailers’ store location is being targeted. As additional dive centers join DEMA, these will be incorporated into the Facebook advertising buy and target zip codes will be updated to include these new relevant store locations. Ongoing evaluation of the entire campaign will help determine any necessary changes to the campaign’s strategy as it continues to develop.

Evaluation of Association Structure & Bylaws
The Board discussed the Association’s current dues and benefits structure and the possibility of offering additional tiered benefits based on each level of membership dues.

The Board also reviewed the Association’s current bylaws and discussed recommended changes as suggested by DEMA’s Strategic Consultant, including a change of elected officer titles (from President to Chair) and a change of chief staff officer from Executive Director to President/CEO. Additionally a recommendation was made to change Article IV, Section 5 to reflect that the membership application is reviewed by DEMA Staff, and to add a stipulation to Article XII to note that the sitting Board Chair cannot also serve as the Board Treasurer.  All recommended changes to the bylaws were voted upon and passed.

Developments in Public Policy
The Board reviewed the Department of Labor’s new overtime wage regulations. It was noted that the Association’s new procurement of the CQ Roll Call online service will help provide information to DEMA Members proactively.

The Board discussed inviting local Members to participate in open sessions during future Board meetings wherever they are held throughout the country and discussed engaging in local diving. It was decided that local DEMA Member retailers within 100 miles of the meeting, as well as the Retailer Resource Committee, would be invited to the Board’s September meeting.

2015 Financial Audit Review
Mark Hennelly, Association Auditor with Hutchinson & Bloodgood LLP, joined the Board Meeting and reported on the successful completion of the Association’s recent financial audit.  He noted that all operating procedures and accounting practices were being conducted appropriately according to required GAAP guidelines and that DEMA’s audit contained no significant discrepancies.

DEMA Show Scheduling
It was confirmed that the schedule of Show days for DEMA Show 2020 through 2023 will change from a Wednesday through Saturday schedule to a Tuesday through Friday staging.

The DEMA Board will meet again on September 13th & 14th in San Diego, CA. More information on DEMA’s Board of Directors and Bylaws is available on the DEMA website. Complete minutes from past Board of Directors Meetings are available to current DEMA Members from the Member Dashboard of www.dema.org