Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Five Resources to Protect Your Dive Business in the Face of COVID-19

With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and the latest information that the effects of this National Emergency could continue into the summer, it is critical for dive retailers and all small dive businesses to stay in front of their customers and to utilize all the resources available to them. 
DEMA suggests several resources from the federal government and from DEMA for Members to consider during this crisis.

STAY HEALTHY AND SAFEMost important is the need for all to remain safe and follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). These guidelines can be found on DEMA’s COVID-19 update page.
The President has ordered that low-interest loans be made available to small businesses effective immediately from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in states affected by COVID-19. Congress has increased funding levels for these SBA Disaster Loans to $50 billion.
As of this writing, dive businesses in these states are eligible for these SBA Disaster Loans – businesses in the remaining states will be eligible when the Governor requests access to the SBA Disaster Loan funds. If your state has not yet requested access, you can send an email to the Governor requesting access by clicking here and asking the Governor to immediately request access to SBA Disaster Loans. An example email will populate the page for you, or you can include your own email verbiage.
Where SBA disaster loans are available, apply by calling the SBA at 1-800-659-2955, or start the application process here. To find and access to your local SBA resources, click hereDon’t wait – these resources are finite and may take time to process.
The federal government is recommending that people gather in groups of fewer than 10. If you are running classes, keep your classes small and utilize online instructional resources when available. You can also host online events for your customers to let them know more about diving, about upcoming sales, and more.
If possible, consider teaching CPR/first aid to keep customers coming back to your store. Classes can be kept small, and your training organization’s proper cleaning guidelines can help protect you and your customers.
When possible, consider local diving – this is healthy exercise, and it means being out in the fresh air while using proper social distancing and following appropriate safety guidelines. Keep your customers active using local underwater treasure or Easter egg hunts, dives from local charters, and other ideas that allow divers to participate until they can travel more extensively. 
Keep your dive equipment clean. Divers Alert Network has issued guidelines for sanitizing dive equipment, which can be found here.
With schools closing, pool facilities for teaching scuba may become scarce. Some stores with pools are willing to share. You can find contact information for other nearby retail dive stores at GoDiveNow.com. Now is a good time for all of us to work together.
It is critical to continue being visible and relevant to your customers and communicate about your operation, talk about diving, and keep customers and local divers engaged. Time after time, those businesses that continue promoting their operations and services come out better and faster following a crisis when they have continued marketing. 
DEMA Member businesses can keep their continuous marketing efforts up and keep their cost down by utilizing the FREE professionally designed marketing materials from the Go Dive Now Member Toolkit.
DEMA Member Retail Stores can stay in front of potential customers by receiving a FREE chart of local zip codes which contain the greatest number of target households with the highest per capita income who are good candidates for interest in learning or continuing to dive. These zip codes are ideal for targeting on social media, using Go Dive Now materials, free to DEMA Members.

DEMA will continue to provide access to guidance as more resources become available. If you have questions, please contact us at info@dema.org.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

DEMA, DEMA Show and the Coronavirus

DEMA and DEMA Show are continuing to monitor the issues being created by the presence of the Coronavirus and taking steps to minimize any impact on DEMA Show and on services provided by the DEMA organization.
Importantly, DEMA anticipates hosting DEMA Show in New Orleans, in November 2020, as scheduled.  As of this date, the US Travel Association advises that “travel within the U.S. can and should continue as normal.”
We recognize that the Coronavirus outbreak, along with misinformation and the surrounding media coverage are creating issues for all stakeholders in the recreational diving industry. DEMA is closely monitoring the ongoing developments with this issue and is committed to taking the appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for DEMA Show exhibitors and attendees.  DEMA is also following the latest recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as direction from U.S. government and local officials.  In addition, DEMA is working with the City of New Orleans on health and safety measures.
DEMA has also taken the following steps to help
  • Created a web page for all industry members which contains pertinent articles on travel, equipment usage and cleaning, and health guidelines from the WHO and CDC, as well as links to outbreak monitoring services. The page can be found here: https://www.dema.org/page/CoronavirusUpdates.
  • Extended payment milestones for DEMA Show Exhibitors to assist as businesses get through the immediate concerns.
  • Working with association and convention industries as well as with show-related vendors to bring the latest information and event protocols to DEMA Members, DEMA Show Exhibitors and DEMA Show Attendees.
DEMA belongs to a coalition of recreation businesses all facing the same issues and much of the same regulatory environment. Working with this coalition provides access to additional ideas and data to help us all with this worldwide concern.
DEMA Show is on track for staging in New Orleans, November 4-7, 2020.  The health and safety planning for DEMA Show is a top priority for us. If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to us at info@dema.org.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Coronavirus: Stay Informed with Daily Updates & Resources

DEMA is working with the association and convention communities to help bring you the best information available regarding travel to consumer dive and adventure shows, as well as other travel opportunities.

We are relying on and linking advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) so that you can most easily locate the latest updates. Whether you are planning to travel to dive, take customers on local diving excursions, or visiting a diving or travel show, DEMA is recommending that members of the industry follow these WHO and CDC Guidelines.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nominate a Deserving Industry Professional for the 2020 DEMA Reaching Out Award

DEMA is now requesting nominations for the prestigious Reaching Out Award! Since 1989, the Reaching Out Award has been presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the sport of diving by "reaching out" in some special way to improve the sport for everyone. 

The deadline for online submissions is 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, April 13, 2020.

Coronavirus: Stay Informed with Daily Updates & Resources

DEMA, its members, and the diving industry, like the general public, are concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus on our families, loved ones, and our businesses. While there are still many unknowns, DEMA is committed to sharing resources on this issue with the diving community using a variety of channels. 

DEMA is working with the association and convention communities to help bring you the best information available regarding travel to consumer dive and adventure shows, as well as other travel opportunities. We are relying on and linking advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) so that you can most easily locate the latest updates. Whether you are planning to travel to dive, take customers on local diving excursions, or visiting a diving or travel show, DEMA is recommending that members of the industry follow these WHO and CDC Guidelines.

We hope that this information can help DEMA members plan for contingencies as the situation evolves. You and your team can access these resources on the DEMA website by clicking here.

We are all hopeful that the medical community will soon find a means to end this epidemic and limit the immediate effects of the outbreak. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

First DEMA Board of Directors Meeting of 2020 to Take Place February 25-26, 2020 in San Diego, CA

DEMA’s Board of Directors will gather for the first Board Meeting of 2020 on February 25th and 26th in San Diego, CA. The Board will focus on setting DEMA’s strategic goals for the year in order to help fulfill its mission of bringing businesses together to grow the diving industry worldwide. Topics for discussion will include developing and expanding the current Member Engagement Strategy and a review of proposed programs and DEMA’s budget. In addition, the Board will select officers and make committee recommendations for 2020. 
Day one of the Board meeting will begin with the election of the Board Chair from among the 2020 Board Members. 2020 Board Members include:
  • A1-Manufacturing
    Chuck Fultz, Innovative Scuba Concepts, Inc.
    Jenna Meistrell, Body Glove
  • A2-Diver Certification and Training Agencies
    Tom Leaird, Scuba Educators International
    Kristin Valette-Wirth, PADI Americas
  • A3-Dive Publishing, Media, Consulting and Non-Retail Service Providers
    William Cline, Cline Group Advertising
    Jerry Beaty, Dive Training Magazine
  • A4-Retailers
    Bill Cole, Sea Experience
    Patrick Hammer, Dive Right In Scuba, Inc.
  • A5-Travel & Resorts
    Steve Weaver, Dream Weaver Travel
    Tim Webb, Caradonna Dive Adventures
Once the 2020 Board Chair is elected, the Board will approve the “consent agenda,” which includes routine items such as reports from past completed activities, all of which are provided to the Board ahead of the meeting. The February consent agenda will include:
  • Board Meeting Minutes, November 2019
  • DEMA Show 2020 Update
  • Membership Update
  • 2020 Committee Proposals
  • 2019 Year End Financial Summary and Manufacturer’s Fund Report
Following approval of the consent agenda, the Board will move into matters on the regular agenda including the appointment of Board Officers and Committee Chairs. Committees are a crucial way for the DEMA Board to engage Members and gather input as they guide the Association. Committees are tactical, feeding into the association’s overall strategy, and the goals of Committees include creating new ideas and improving current programs and benefits.  Within their areas of focus, Committees’ ideas and suggestions are well-researched, strategically-developed, and when ready for further action, proposed to the entire Board for input, further development, and implementation.
Members interested in volunteering on a DEMA Board committee can find more information and apply online.
Day two of the Board Meeting will begin with a brief “Open Session” to discuss relevant Member business. During this time, current DEMA Members are invited to participate by bringing their topics of interest to discuss with the Board. (Please note: The Open Session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Members planning to attend should email Member Services Assistant, Alicia Vasquez, at alicia@dema.org by 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time on February 21, 2020 to confirm their attendance.)
The remainder of day 2 will involve discussions of Member engagement and a final review and discussion of the previously proposed budget and programs. Once those items are finalized, the Board of Directors will address any new business and adjourn. 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.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

2020 Go Dive Now Pool Tour Provides Member Dive Centers with Opportunities to Acquire New Customers

“Big Wave” Dave Reidenbach and the traveling Go Dive Now Pool Tour have a full event schedule planned for 2020. With events spanning from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, CA, the traveling pool tour will bring the “try diving experience” to hundreds of event participants in the coming months.
Each pool tour stop helps increase business for the participating local DEMA Member dive centers who volunteer to work the event. Being part of the event provides an invaluable opportunity to acquire new customers and generate media coverage for their store and for recreational diving, both locally and nationally.
“By bringing the Go Dive Now Pool to large-scale events, we are able to provide a unique opportunity to introduce scuba diving to our target market. This memorable experience also provides local dive retailers with a way to directly connect with potential new customers,” commented Dave Reidenbach, Pool Tour Coordinator for DEMA. “The experience that the Go Dive Now Pool provides attendees often piques their interest in the sport leading them to inquire with their local dive center about certification and gear.”
By being part of someone’s first diving experience, participating retailers are able to establish trust and loyalty with potential new customers. Participating retailers often find the connections they make at the event convert into certifications, goods sold, and long-term customers.
Rich Thomas of International Scuba says he acquired his biggest customer from a prior Go Dive Now Pool event at EarthX in Texas. “She came to try scuba, fell in love with it and has spent over $20,000.00 with us so far. She has purchased all of her gear, bought a drysuit, taken numerous classes with us and helped pioneer an annual Ice Diving trip that is helping several stores around the country drum up a nice wintertime business.” Not only has this particular customer brought in significant revenue for his dive center, the connections he has made at the Pool event has helped increase his revenue in other areas as well. Read more from Thomas’ testimonial and other retailers here.
DEMA Member Retailers also benefit from the program because DEMA advertises the pool event using Facebook ads targeted to the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the DEMA Member Retail location. Retailers who would like to volunteer for an upcoming Pool event can sign up online.
Sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, PADI, and SSI, and supported by the DEMA Manufacturers Fund and participating DEMA Member Retailers, the Pool will continue its tour as a top consumer event feature throughout 2020 at various consumer-oriented travel, outdoor activity and adventure shows providing anyone 10 years old and up the opportunity to discover the fun and exciting sport of scuba diving for FREE.