Thursday, June 28, 2012


DEMA met with interested Members in Florida on June 11th, 2012, to  confirm that plans for the Water, Sports & Travel Festival, slated for April 26-28, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, FL will move ahead under the experienced management of MSE Management. MSE, guided by President, Paul Muir, has 35 years of experience in developing markets through the creation of over 750 shows and events worldwide, including the World Congress on Eco & Tourism, The New York Times Travel Show, Atlanta Travel Expo and numerous others.  DEMA is thrilled to move plans forward for this large-scale event aimed at growing the diving industry through cross-marketing to active lifestyle and water sports enthusiasts.
“I am very excited that DEMA is forging ahead in a manner that works for all stakeholders and with the ultimate goal of growing our industry,” said Tom Ingram, DEMA Executive Director.  “With the unwavering support of the city of Fort Lauderdale and the experienced management of MSE through Paul Muir, the W S & T Festival is positioned to reach potential new customers and bring new energy to our industry.  This festival is designed to provide diving with exposure through non-endemic resources that the industry has been asking for, and we look forward to working with DEMA Members, stakeholders and MSE to make the event a success for the industry.”
In collaboration with MSE, DEMA has assembled a schedule of highly anticipated activities, events, and entertainment to be held as part of the Festival, including contests, in-water demonstrations, DiveCaching activities, live music, a lion fish cook-off, sport demonstrations/shows and much more.
As requested by meeting attendees, a series of Festival Update Meetings are scheduled to be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the coming months. Meetings are tentatively scheduled for  July 24th, August 21st, and September 18th. To learn more about Festival details as they are determined, DEMA encourages industry professionals to register to attend one or more of these meetings.
In addition to these monthly updates in South Florida, , DEMA will continue to provide information on the Water, Sports & Travel Festival to the entire industry as plans unfold via the DEMA website, weekly DEMAILs, social media sites, DEMA blog and other outlets.  Additional information on the Festival can be found by reviewing the Festival’s Frequently Asked Questions.


The Dive industry will come together on November 16, 2012, to celebrate the exceptional careers of Dan Orr and Richard “Dick” Rutkowski, recipients of the 2012 DEMA Reaching Out Award (ROA). These newest additions to DEMA’s Hall of Fame will be honored at this year’s DEMA Awards Party taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel’s premiere event and music venue, The Joint. First awarded in 1989, the Reaching Out Award honors diving community leaders whose significant contributions to the sport have elevated the industry for all and this year’s recipients, Richard Rutkowski and Dan Orr join an extraordinary list of distinguished past Honorees.
Richard “Dick” Rutkowski is a pioneer in the fields of hyperbaric and diving medicine and diver training, especially in relation to the use of breathing gases. He helped change the course of modern diving through his continued efforts to test and promote the use of mixed gases, such as Nitrox and Trimix. His work helped develop tech diving and clinical hyperbaric medicine as we know it today. In 1973, Rutkowski became a NOAA Aquanaut by working in the undersea lab located in Freeport, Bahamas. During this time he was directed to obtain a recompression chamber for NOAA to serve the recreation and military diving communities in areas of Miami, as well as Central and South America.
In addition to his affiliation with NOAA, Rutkowski is a graduate of Divers Training Academy and past owner and president of “Dive Incorporated,” a commercial diving company whose primary purpose was to service oil rigs. Upon retiring from federal service in 1985, he formed Hyperbarics International, Inc. to educate and consult in the field of hyperbaric medicine, use of various diving gases and life support systems.
Since retiring from NOAA, Rutkowski has continued to use his vast knowledge to conduct training programs for NOAA and other agencies such as USN, USAF, NASA, EPA, U.S. Customs, Panama Canal Commission, hospitals, commercial diving companies and foreign navies. Rutkowski has taught thousands of professionals in programs such as recompression chambers, engineering, diving gases, physics, physiology, pathophysiology, and the medical aspects of diving. His contributions to hyperbaric medicine, as well as his work with mixed breathing gases, have made diving a much safer sport today.
Dan Orr is known by most people in the dive industry for his work to make diving as safe as possible. He has been a diver for nearly 50 years and a dive professional for over 40 years. Throughout the years, Orr has been involved in many facets of recreational, commercial, scientific and military diving. He has worked and taught recreational diving in a retail store, developed and implemented course curricula in the university/academic environment, supervised research efforts in the field of scientific diving, tested diving equipment for military contractors and worked for, or served on the Boards of various not-for-profit organizations. 
Currently the President of Divers Alert Network (DAN), his 21+ years at DAN have helped the non-profit focus on its mission to help divers in need worldwide while promoting successful business and administrative practices. One of his first projects at DAN was developing and implementing the DAN Oxygen Program. This program has become the worldwide standard in training to provide emergency oxygen to injured divers. Prior to that, he worked with both Florida State and Wright State Universities to help make their diver education and safety programs some of the most comprehensive educational experiences available.
In addition to working for Diver’s Alert Network, Dan has published or contributed to more than 100 articles and a dozen books and manuals including; Scuba Diving Safety, Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries, Pocket Guide for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries, the NOAA Diving Manual and numerous articles in national and international magazines and journals.
Orr continues to be one of the core leaders to promote the sport of diving and safety. He has been recognized by his peers by being the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Wright State University Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, the NOGI Award in Sports/Education, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Outstanding Contributions to Diving Safety, the Our World Underwater Award, the NAUI Award for Outstanding Contributions to Diving, the Alberta Underwater Council’s Award of Merit; Beneath the Sea’s Diver of the Year, the DAN Asia-Pacific Contributions to Diving Safety Award, and the Wyland Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Dan is also a member of the Hall of Fame for Divers with Disabilities.
DEMA congratulates Dan and Dick for their service to our industry.
For further details about the 2012 DEMA Awards Party and to purchase tickets or reserve tables click here.  For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Colleen Vasquez at or (858) 616-6408 x106.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Be A Diver Pool Checks In at the Chicago In-Water Boat Show to Cross-Market Diving to Consumers Interested in Boating

Pool Tour Stop Provides Media Coverage and Sales Opportunities for Local Diving Community

The Be A Diver Pool Tour made a recent stop at the Chicago In-Water Boat Show to provide attendees with the opportunity to try diving and bring awareness of recreational scuba diving to the local community. An invaluable tool to acquire new divers, the pool also provided local DEMA Member retailer, Scuba Systems, with the opportunity to show potential customers the fun and ease of scuba diving while garnering local media coverage for diving.

Retail Membership Manager “Big Wave” Dave Reidenbach and volunteers from local DEMA Member Retailer Scuba Systems were on-site, introducing potential customers to diving and allowing them to get their fins wet for the first time. “Having the Be A Diver Pool at the Chicago In-Water Boat Show was an extremely powerful tool to introduce water-loving boaters to the sport of scuba diving,” commented Nancy Boucha of Scuba Systems. “People visiting this show are used to being around the water and spend their weekends sailing. Some always wanted to try scuba diving but never did it for one reason or another. The DEMA pool was a convenient way to take the initial plunge, and we at Scuba Systems hope to transfer these people into avid scuba divers.”

More than 165 show attendees tried diving and were encouraged to share their experience and enthusiasm with family and friends, but that’s not ALL. In addition to the face-to-face cross-marketing opportunity, the pool and diving made a huge splash on WCIU-TV You & Me This Morning, on Thursday, June 7. Reporter Aly Bockler fulfilled her “Little Mermaid” fantasy and interviewed “Big Wave” Dave underwater about this easy and fun “try diving” experience. The pool stop and Scuba Systems were also featured throughout the weekend via Be A Diver’s Facebook & Twitter pages.

Making stops throughout the year at various consumer-oriented travel, outdoor activity and adventure shows, the Be A Diver Pool gives anyone 10 years old and up the opportunity to discover the fun and exciting sport of scuba diving for FREE in the comfort of a large, tropically warm pool. Event attendees are also able to test out some of the latest scuba equipment and have a photo of themselves taken underwater that can act as an everlasting keepsake. Those who take the plunge need not to worry about getting wet, since the Be A Diver Pool provides wetsuits, towels, hair dryers and dressing rooms.

Energize Your Morning and Your Business at DEMA Show 2012 Espresso Education & Special Sessions

Free Sessions Take Place Prior to Show Opening and Help You Take Control of Your Business

Professionals wishing to make the most of their DEMA Show 2012 experience are invited to attend the Show’s Espresso Education and Special Sessions. Kick off each day of the Show with a motivating and informative session designed to provide you with valuable, up-to-date information that can help you devise successful business strategies for your business in 2012 and beyond.

These FREE sessions will be held before DEMA Show opens and provide complimentary coffee to attendees. Session topics include:

Increase Social Media Engagement with Your Customers
Espresso Education Session: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

  • Learn all you need to know about social media at the Evolving Social Media Realities Session. Digital Marketing expert Jason Heller, CEO of Agiliti, is back to address the current social media scene and how to make it work for your business. You’ll learn how to separate hype from reality, engage consumers and measure your efforts
DEMA Member Update and Annual Meeting
Special Session Open to All: Thursday, November 15, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. 
  • Don’t miss your chance to network with industry leaders and DEMA Members at the DEMA Member Update and Annual Meeting. Get the latest news on how DEMA has been working to help our members and the dive industry. 

Boost Your Productivity and Marketing Genius
Espresso Education Session: Friday, November 16, 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
  • Release your inner nerd and attend the 25+ Tools to Boost Productivity and Marketing Prowess Session. Author Beth Ziesenis will share dozens of free and bargain apps to help build your business and streamline your computer time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


DEMA Brings DEMA Show 2012 Strip-side Without Compromising Show Size
With only 6 months to go, DEMA is looking forward to hosting DEMA Show 2012 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 14th-17th, providing Exhibitors and Attendees with an exciting and new experience that will offer attendees more to see and do both strip-side AND Show-side!
With DEMA Show 2012 booth sales-to-date up 11% over DEMA Show 2010 and 2011 attendees can rest assured there will be lots to see and experience at DEMA Show 2012.  The Show will move from its 2010 Las Vegas location in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the user-friendly footprint of Halls A & B of the Sands Exposition Center.
“DEMA has been in discussions with the Sands for more than six years.  Two years ago we were able to negotiate acceptable dates at a reasonable rate for DEMA Show 2012, placing the Show in a wider and more accessible space than previously available.  Both the LVCC and the Sands are great facilities but the chance to be on the strip and have access to more after-hours activities and transportation options makes this a great choice for 2012,” explained DEMA Executive Director, Tom Ingram.  Offering a state of the art venue, Halls A & B of the Sands accommodate more net square footage than what was used the last time the Show staged in Vegas with the added bonus of placing Exhibitors and Attendees in the middle of the Las Vegas action!  Show participants will benefit from having DEMA Show in the heart of Las Vegas and being centrally located to the many other activities and entertainment options Las Vegas has to offer.
In addition to this year’s new location, DEMA is thrilled to announce that the 2012 DEMA Awards Party will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel’s premiere event and music venue, The Joint. DEMA is delighted to host the awards party at this new and exciting location and anticipates that guests will thoroughly enjoy the venue ambience and planned entertainment. Tickets for the DEMA Awards Party are now available on the DEMA Show website.
Registration for DEMA Show 2012 is now open and the Official DEMA Show website provides everything from Show registration guidelines and an interactive floorplan, to information on the Official Hotel Block and discounted early registration. To have DEMA Show news delivered directly to your email, Exhibitors should subscribe to the Show’s Exhibitor Companion and attendees are encouraged to subscribe to DEMA’s DEMAIL for important Show information, announcements and industry news.


DEMA Members Register by October 9th for Early Registration Discount
DEMA Show’s online attendee registration system is now open to qualified Dive industry professionals looking to take control of their career and their businesses.  Join thousands of attendees from all over the world for the industry’s only trade-only event for the dive industry, taking place in Las Vegas, NV, November 14th-17th 2012.  To register visit the official DEMA Show website,, an invaluable resource for all exhibitors and attendees.  The site currently features everything from Show registration guidelines and an interactive floorplan, to Official Hotel Block information  and DEMA Sponsored Seminar options.
So what are you waiting for?  Register today!  DEMA Show 2012 currently offers three different registration options for those looking to attend the Show:  Exhibits Only Registration, the Seminar Package and the Saturday-Only Immersion Pass.  Each package varies in price and opportunities.  You can view complete details on each by visiting the DEMA Show website.  2012 DEMA Members can save up to $125 on their DEMA Show registration package over the non-member rate and can save EVEN more by registering before the early registration deadline of October 9, 2012. 
All DEMA Show attendees can receive a special registration discount and make the most of their DEMA Show 2012 experience by booking their hotel accommodations in this year’s official DEMA Show hotel block which offers exclusive room rates at Harrah’s Las Vegas, DEMA Show 2012 Host Hotel and the Venetian.  Rooms can be reserved at Harrah’s for as little as $50 per night plus tax on weekdays and $99 per night plus tax on the weekend.  and Harrah’s hotel block participants will have access to complimentary round-trip shuttle service to and from DEMA Show 2012.  Discounted rates at the Venetian will also be available at a rate of $189/night plus tax and those booking within the Venetian room block will have direct access to the DEMA Show Convention Hall.
In addition to your show registration package make sure to purchase your DEMA Awards Party tickets when registering.  This year's party will take place November 16, 2012 at the Hard Rock Hotel’s premiere event and music venue, The Joint. For information on sponsorships or reserved seating for parties of 8 or more contact Colleen Vasquez at or 858-616-6408 x106.
Stay tuned to the DEMA Show website for the latest details on DEMA and Exhibitor-Sponsored Seminars, show-related activities and other information as the show approaches. To have DEMA Show news delivered directly to your email, Exhibitors should subscribe to the Show’s Exhibitor Companion and attendees are encouraged to subscribe to DEMA’s DEMAIL for important Show information, announcements and industry news.

Friday, June 8, 2012

DEMA Board of Directors Announces Fort Lauderdale Festival Decisions

During the month of May DEMA solicited comments from members regarding the upcoming DEMA-produced Festival, planned in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 26-28, 2013.  During these face-to-face meetings several recurring concerns were expressed, and a number of new concerns and comments were raised by members.  The DEMA Board of Directors met on May 31st to discuss and address these concerns, and as a result of member input, the following decisions regarding the Festival were made:
  1. Product Sales – Life support/safety equipment sales will be PROHIBITED. Exhibitors at the Festival will be able to sell all other products and services.  Exhibitors selling diving-related and other recreational products will be required to provide proof of product liability insurance to participate in selling.  Exhibitors selling services such as travel and education must provide proof of general liability insurance.
  2. Life Support Definition – Exhibitors are specifically prohibited from selling, distributing and taking orders for life support/safety equipment at the Festival.  For the Festival “life support” will be defined as:
    • Scuba diving and surface-supplied regulators or any part thereof
    • Closed or open circuit “rebreather” device or any part thereof
    • Scuba or dive related buoyancy control device (“BC”) or any part thereof
    • Electronic or mechanical diving “computer” or any part thereof, excluding so-called manual dive tables, manually-operated “dive calculators,” dive timers and free/breath-hold diving computers
Life support and safety equipment exclusions will be listed in detail in the Exhibitor Services Manual for the event.
  1. Branding and Naming the Event – The DEMA Board has determined that the name of the event will be the Water, Sports & Travel Festival.  This name reflects the diving aspect of the event, and zeroes in on the most likely cross-marketing targets for the growth of the diving industry.  It also recognizes the great potential in the travel industry for consumers interested in recreational diving as well as other aquatic-related activities.
  2. Cross Marketing & Events Schedule – In order to accomplish the stated goal of growing the diving industry using cross-marketing to other activities, DEMA has contracted with MSE Management, a show management company with more than 20 years of experience producing shows which generate consumer interest in the travel, product sales and active lifestyle markets.  MSE Management has produced more than 750 successful shows using similar cross-marketing techniques.  Their experience includes creating productive and visible sponsorships, exhibit space sales, and generating consumer attendance. DEMA, in collaboration with MSE, has assembled a list of highly anticipated activities, events, and entertainment to be held as part of the festival, including contests, in-water demos, DiveCaching activities, live music, a lion fish cook-off, sport demonstrations/shows and much more.
With supportive Public Relations efforts, MSE Management is confident that a successful outcome can be achieved with the Festival concept.
The DEMA Board and staff appreciate the member input so vital to the success of the Festival and will continue to provide information to the industry as plans move forward.