Friday, November 30, 2012

DEMA Thanks the Recreational Diving Industry for Their Participation in DEMA Show 2012

DEMA is pleased to say THANK YOU to the more than 9,800 pre-qualified dive professionals who registered for DEMA Show 2012, and the 600+ exhibiting companies who made DEMA Show successful. The sold out trade-only show was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV from November 14th to 17th.

Funds raised through DEMA Show (and all events produced by DEMA) are used to promote recreational diving, keep dive sites open, provide DEMA-Member access to benefit programs such as health insurance and worker’s compensation insurance, monitor legislative activity and advocate for diving with lawmakers, and conduct research on behalf of the Industry. With this year’s increased DEMA Show participation, DEMA can continue its mission of promoting sustainable growth in safe recreational diving and snorkeling while protecting the underwater environment.

DEMA Show 2012 encouraged attendees to find new ways to take control of their business by providing hundreds of exhibits, products, services, educational sessions and more. Opening day commenced at 10:00 am on November 14th with more than 6,700 professionals on hand for the first day’s activities, including buyers, travel buyers, instructors and other dive professionals from all over the world. Comparative attendance figures confirm that more than 8,300 were on-site over the four-day Show period, with more than 900 registering on-site during the first day alone – a 2.5% increase over the previous Las Vegas-based DEMA Show and a 5.6% increase over the 2011 Orlando-based DEMA Show. Most importantly, the Show credentialing process helps keep the Show a true trade-only event, welcoming highly qualified Buyers.
Exhibitors such as Atomic, Body Glove, Cressi, Mares and MANY more hosted hundreds of attendees in their booths to showcase their latest products and service offerings. DEMA’s partner, Border Cross Productions, has captured the excitement of the action-packed days of DEMA Show 2012 in a series of videos located on the Be A Diver YouTube Channel.

During the Annual Member Meeting, attendees learned about the many accomplishments made by the Association over the past year and the goals being set for 2013. Included were details on the highly anticipated 2013 Water, Sports & Travel Festival which is aimed to reach out to water-sports enthusiasts and expose them to recreational diving. For details visit

Media coverage by Fox-5 KVVU-TV and photos from the Show are available online and those who use social media sites, Instagram or Twitter are encouraged to use the hashtag #DEMAShow as they upload photos or share stories from their DEMA Show 2012 experience.

DEMA extends its THANKS to the entire Industry for the continuing success of DEMA Show!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Instagram, Hashtags and First DEMA Show…OH MY!

Guest Blogger: Rachelle Morris, DEMA Membership Marketing & Communications Coordinator

The DEMA Show countdown clock at the DEMA Association office is finally in the single digits. DEMA Show is upon us! I am so excited to see what all the buzz is about, finally put faces to the voices on the phone, and meet the many Members I have worked with over the past seven months.

Since the moment I first started working for DEMA, the passion of Industry professionals has been so evident. Diving professionals LOVE their sport, love the underwater world, and love sharing it with others. Your passion is contagious and your drive to not only be successful, but keep the sport and Industry alive is awe-inspiring. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of it all and experience where it all comes together: DEMA Show.

As a DEMA Show newbie, I will be busy documenting every new experience with my handy-dandy smartphone. Which means for all you Instagram lovers, I will be sharing insider photos from the Show, Awards party, seminars, and shenanigans happening all around Vegas. Follow “DEMAShow” on Instagram to see it all go down. Follow “DEMAOrg” on Instagram for other Industry and Association news! 

Wait – did that link just direct me to DEMA’s Instagram profile ON THE WEB?? 

Why, yes it most certainly did and it’s because on Monday, November 5th, Instagram officially launched online profiles. For businesses and brands this means that followers don’t need a smartphone anymore to access and follow your photo stream. Learn more about your online profile here.

If YOU are on Instagram, we invite you to share your experience with everyone by including #DEMAShow in your DEMA Show photo descriptions. When someone searches “DEMAShow” they will be able to see what you are up to thanks to this hashtag! (But please, out of respect for the marvelous innovators, do not take and share photos of the new product showcase and technical product showcase.)

So, at this point I will have to bid you adieu. Happy travels and I will see you in Vegas!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jimmy Buffett Voices DEMA Public Service Announcement

DEMA and Save the Manatee today released a Public Service Announcement (PSA), aimed at increasing awareness of the need to protect the manatees. Often referred to as Florida’s mermaids, the PSA provides tips on how to enjoy but not endanger these gentle giants and was released in support of the State of Florida’s November Manatee Awareness Month.
“Preventing the risk of extinction of manatees due to human related encounters is critical to all of us in the dive industry who have enjoyed snorkeling and diving with these majestic marine mammals,” said Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “DEMA feels privileged to work with Jimmy Buffett and the Save the Manatee Club on this important endeavor.”
The :30 Public Service Announcement, narrated by Jimmy Buffett, provides divers and snorkelers with fundamental knowledge on how they can keep the manatees safe and highlights the rules of sharing Florida's oceans, rivers and springs with Florida’s official marine mammal.  The PSA is available online on the Be A Diver YouTube channel and viewers are encouraged to share the Public Service Announcement with others. The 30-second PSA is also being distributed to Florida television stations during the month of November.
Manatee Awareness Month was created to expand efforts to raise awareness about the presence of manatees in Florida's waters and to reach more people in Florida and outside the state about how to prevent harm to the manatees. You can find more detailed information about Save the Manatee and how you can help at

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tips and Tricks at DEMA Show

There is so much awaiting you at DEMA Show in Las Vegas next week!  These helpful tips and tricks, both on and off the Show floor, can help you make the most of your experience:
Show-Only Specials and Phone App:
Before you head to the Show, find exclusive exhibitor show specials online to help you plan a valuable experience. While onsite at the Show, be sure to use ChirpE on your Smart Phones. This site allows you to review booth listings, show specials and even the floorplan directly from your phone as you peruse the Show floor.  Don’t forget – You can receive a $50 American Express gift card for buying at DEMA Show 2012!
Shuttle Service:
Shuttle service will be provided to those staying in the official DEMA hotel block at Harrah’s Las Vegas. The shuttle service will run between Harrah’s and the Sands Expo & Convention Center Wednesday, November 14 – Saturday, November 17. A Harrah’s room key will be required to board the shuttle.

Shuttle service WILL NOT be available directly from the Flamingo, but those staying in the official DEMA hotel block at the Flamingo are welcome to walk over and board the shuttle at Harrah’s. Your Flamingo room key will be required to board the shuttle.
The complete service schedule is listed on the DEMA Show website.
Tram and Scooter Service:
Tram service will not be provided at DEMA Show 2012. If you require assistance, scooters and wheel chairs are available at the Business Center in the lower lobby or can be reserved in advance by contacting Active Mobility at (702) 736-4399.
Food Court:
The food court located on the Venetian Casino Level, closest to the front desk area, will be closed for renovation during DEMA Show 2012. We wanted to bring this to your attention so you can plan accordingly during DEMA Show. The food court located in the Grand Cannel Shops, on the second floor, will still be open and available as well as Café Presse which is located across from the Venetian Showroom as you enter or exit the corridor to the Sands Expo Convention Center. Click here for a map of the property. (Items 46-50 will be under renovation. Items 184-192 will be available.)
Concessions will also be available directly on the DEMA Show floor for those looking for quick and convenient options.
DEMA Member & VIP Member Lounges
All 2012 DEMA Members and their staff have access to a private Member-exclusive lounge, accessible directly from the Show floor. With meeting tables, electrical outlets and a computer and printer, the Member lounge is a place where Members and their staff can meet, charge their electronics or simply take a break. 
The DEMA Member VIP lounge is open exclusively to 2012 Level 2 and Level 3 DEMA Members and staff. Accessible through the Member lounge, the VIP Member lounge offers the additional amenities of coffee, water and wireless internet access. 
DEMA Show Drink Specials
Unwind after a full day at DEMA Show at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill at Harrah’s. Here, DEMA Show 2012 Badge Holders can enjoy drink specials while catching up with friends, old and new alike! Be sure to bring your DEMA Show Badge to get these specials. We will see you there!
Where: Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill at Harrah's
Who: DEMA Show Badge Holders
What: $4 Miller Lite and Coors Light Bottles
            $6 Jack Daniels Black Label drinks
When: November 14-17, 2012
How: Show Your Convention Badge

Exploring Las Vegas:
The October 2012 edition of Meetings and Conventions Magazine  spotlights Las Vegas and we love some of the suggested activities it lists that take you beyond the Strip: Hike Red Rock Canyon, tour the Grand Canyon, sail Lake Mead, Zip-Line down Fremont Street, check out the Hoover Dam, speed around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, or challenge yourself with a rock climb or bungee jump. Why not enjoy these activities with your staff, old or new friends while you are in town?

DEMA Announces Disaster Assistance Program to Aid Show Exhibitors and Attendees Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

DEMA announced on November 1st, 2012 that the Board of Directors has approved the activation of the Disaster Assistance Program to assist those DEMA Show Exhibitors and Buyers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program contains funds specifically for companies that planned to exhibit or buy at DEMA Show but which were subsequently impacted by a natural disaster. Based on their exhibit size as contracted by close of business on Monday, October 22, 2012, each exhibitor involved from affected locations as outlined below, may apply for 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. 
"Since its inception, the DEMA Disaster Assistance Program has provided over $26,000 in financial assistance to DEMA Show exhibitors impacted by a natural disaster. The funds are available to manufacturers, destinations and other industry related entities who registered as exhibitors prior to a natural catastrophe, with the added financial assistance they may need to attend the Show,” said Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. Registered Buyers from DEMA Member businesses are also eligible for funds to assist in attending DEMA Show.
Exhibitor Assistance Program: DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program funds are available only to the affected DEMA Show 2012 Member Exhibitors who are fully paid by close of business on October 22, 2012 and confined to companies listed as exhibitors from the following locations: 
  • The Bahamas
United States: 
Please note: ONLY businesses physically located in designated counties in the following states are eligible to apply for disaster assistance funds. Counties are determined by FEMA Disaster Declarations for Hurricane Sandy:
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
For each exhibit space purchased and paid for by October 22, 2012, DEMA will provide regular exhibitors with $250 of assistance. Non-profit exhibitors are eligible for $200 of assistance for each exhibit space. Funds will be awarded onsite at DEMA Show 2012 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 Las Vegas, NV prior to 5:00pm, November 17, 2012. For more information and to receive a DEMA 2012 Hurricane Assistance Fund Processing form, see the DEMA Staff at the DEMA Booth at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas.

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 store located in the affected areas can receive reimbursement for one night hotel stay. The room must be used during DEMA Show and no later than November 16, 2012. DEMA’s Hotel Block includes the following specific properties and addresses:
3555 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
3475 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
The designated Buyer from an affected DEMA Member business must submit receipts to DEMA for reimbursement following the end of the Show (receipts must be postmarked by November 21, 2012). 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.

New Products and Innovations Take the Spotlight at DEMA Show 2012’s New Product Showcase and Scuba Demonstration Pool

DEMA Show 2012 is only days away and there is much anticipation building as the Show approaches. Amongst the many features of the Show, attendees can look forward to learning about new products and innovations first hand. The New Product Showcase and Scuba Demonstration Pool give attendees the opportunity to learn about some of the newest products to hit the market and DEMA Show attendees are encouraged to stop by both to see what is new in 2012.
Many Dive retailers attend DEMA Show to make connections with the vendors driving innovation in the dive, travel and action watersports industry and these Exhibitors are eager to share their latest developments with Show attendees. The New Product Showcase is an exclusive opportunity for DEMA Show exhibitors to make their product visible to everyone attending the Show and for Attendees to be among the first to see what is up and coming. The DEMA Show website provides a list of anticipated products. New this year, the Technical New Product Showcase Pod will have attendees discovering the latest innovations in tech diving gear.
In addition to the new products being showcased, are the demonstrations taking place in the SCUBA Demonstration Pool, a heated 20’ wide by 40’ long by 4 ½’ deep pool located directly on the DEMA Show floor. This pool is used throughout the year as part of the Be A Diver Pool Tour, but during DEMA Show it becomes the ideal venue for DEMA Show Exhibitors to show off, demonstrate, and let attendees try their products. DEMA Show 2012 exhibitors will be on hand for new product demonstrations and to allow attendees to check out the latest product innovations. Onsite Show signage will provide a list and schedule of all the products being demonstrated in the pool and attendees can also look forward to breath hold demonstrations from Freediving Instructors International throughout the Show.
DEMA Show Attendees are encourage to check out the DEMA Show website in advance to scope out the new innovations and products they should keep an eye out for and to view the schedule of demonstrations taking place in the Scuba Demonstration Pool.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Well Isn’t That Pinteresting….

Guest Blogger: Rachelle Morris, DEMA Membership Marketing & Communications Coordinator

I must confess, I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. My fiancé has experienced a sudden improvement in my cooking, my winter wardrobe wish list has grown exponentially and my new apartment has been cleverly decorated; all a result of countless Pinterest-inspired ideas.

But Pinterest isn’t just for the individual – it can also be a powerful marketing and revenue-producing tool for a brand or business. Earlier this year, Shareaholic conducted a study that found Pinterest to drive more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. Let me give you a “real life” example that I recently experienced:

With my June wedding getting closer by the day, I have spent countless hours searching for bridesmaid dresses that would meet my specific criteria (color, style and price point). Upon moving my search to Pinterest, I quickly found the ideal dress. Clicking through the pin took me to the dress’s Etsy shop that is run by an upcoming dress designer. This dress designer, thanks to Pinterest, will now have 6 additional sales under their belt (my bridal party) and has been exposed to countless other potential customers as a result of this one pin. That’s a pretty good return on investment considering Pinterest is FREE and pinning content requires minimal effort. Just image what it might be able to do for YOUR brand or business!

Here at DEMA, our Pinterest boards are aimed at encouraging and supporting the Diving lifestyle as well as sharing Industry news. In an attempt to track how successful our efforts are, I have come across Pinpuff, a free web app that measures your virality and influence on Pinterest.

DEMA is using this as a tool to gauge our influence by tracking and watching our Reach Score, Activity Score, Virality Score and overall Pinfluence Score. Perhaps it will be a handy tool for you as well.

What I appreciate about Pinpuff is that:
  • Your score is generated instantly.
  • It gives you helpful suggestions to boost your reach.
  • It lists the number of likes and repins each of your boards has received (up to 20 boards) which can help you see what sort of content is most likely to be shared.
  • It tells you here what is considered a good, average or poor score so you can easily gauge how well you are doing!
By monitoring your Pinterest content, you can track how successful your efforts are, where they might need some additional attention, or, if you are running a campaign/game/contest you can get an idea of how much participation it’s getting. (Doing a quick search online will give you countless ideas for contests, strategies, games and other creative ideas that you can use to drive your Pinterest influence.)

If you aren’t already on Pinterest, take a moment to check it out and think about how you might be able to use it to the benefit of your business or brand. And be sure to connect with DEMA on Pinterest and don’t forget to click follow!

If you have discovered any other useful tools for keeping tabs on your Pinterest influence, or a strategy that you MUST share, please do so here!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tweet, Tweet…Anybody there?

Guest Blogger: Rachelle Morris, DEMA Membership Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Developing a strategy for your Twitter marketing efforts is one thing, but how can you tell if all your time and planning is paying off? Well, like most things related to marketing and social media, there isn’t a simple answer (I am beginning to sound like a broken record). There are all kinds of ways you can track your Twitter insights, however, allow me to share with you how DEMA is tracking the success of our Twitter efforts and perhaps you will find some of these methods useful.

DEMA finds the following insights are beneficial in determining how well our Twitter efforts are paying off and areas that may need more attention:

We track these numbers to make sure we are 1) increasing our following, which would indicate that our content is valuable and 2) not losing followers which would raise a red flag that we are doing something wrong.

We track the number we are following to make sure we are making a continuous effort to find and follow new people who are able to provide us with valuable information that we can then pass on to our Followers.

Weekly Retweeted 
Having someone retweet your Tweet (in other words, share your content with their followers) is one of the highest levels of engagement on Twitter. It means that your content is not only valuable, but valuable enough that someone else found the content worthy of being passed along to their followers. Think of that saying, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery…” yeah, it’s kinda like that.

Weekly Clicks 
Having someone click on a link provided in your tweet is another high level of engagement. Clever writing and high quality content are just a few ways to experience a high click-through rate.

Weekly Mentions 
When someone uses “@[yourTwitternamehere]” they are engaging you in their conversation. It can also be a way to tag you in a Tweet so you can find who is talking about you.

To keep track of these insights, we use 3 different applications:

1 ) Twitter
  • Used to track: Followers & Following 
  • Information Available Via: Twitter profile page 
2) Hootsuite
  • Used to track: Weekly Clicks 
  • Information Available Via: Hootsuite’s custom reports 
  • Methodology: We make sure all DEMA Twitter postings are posted via Hootsuite and that all links are shortened using the Owl. ly shortening tool. This way, Hootsuite is able to track how many clicks each of our links receives on a weekly basis and reports this statistic for us via our custom-made click report. 
3) Twitonomy 
  • Used to track: Weekly Retweets & Weekly Mentions 
  • Information Available Via: Mentions & Retweets panel 
  • Methodology: On a weekly basis, we count up how many times @DEMAorg is mentioned in the Tweets of others and also how many times someone has retweeted our content each week. 

Follow DEMA on Twitter to connect with the Dive Industry and stay in-the-loop with everything happening WHEN it’s happening at DEMA Show 2012!

 Are you looking to learn more about Twitter and how to set up your business or brand’s Twitter presence? Consider reviewing this Twitter Guide Book that I’ve found to be a good overall resource to get you started!