Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DEMA Launches Online Forum to Engage with Members and Stimulate Collaboration Amongst All Industry Stakeholders

As an outcome of April’s Strategy Session, DEMA’s Board of Directs made immediate changes to the Association during the June Board Meeting. Among these changes was the creation of a new online forum on dema.org for Industry stakeholders to discuss, engage, and collaborate with DEMA and other Industry professionals.
During the Strategy Session the need for DEMA to participate in better dialogue and two-way, collaborative conversations with its Members was determined as a high priority. Particularly, Stakeholders voiced their desire for a DEMA-based forum where Industry stakeholders can provide feedback and engage with DEMA in dialogue about the association and Industry-related issues. During June’s Board meeting, the DEMA Board of Directors agreed to immediately activate such a platform on the DEMA website.
DEMA’s new forum hosts a number of discussion categories where users can click through to find specific topics and posts in which they wish to engage. Currently, forum categories include: Association NewsDEMA Show News;Retailer Resources, Support & EducationIndustry Research; and Legislative News. Additional categories will be added as needed and as topic trends emerge and become relevant to the Industry and forum participants. 
DEMA Members should note that in order to comment on an existing post or start their own thread, they mustFIRST be logged into dema.org.  DEMA Members can retrieve their username and password directly from the login screen.  Once DEMA Members have logged in, they will see options to comment and post a “New Topic” within the forum interface.
To comment on an existing post:
  1. First, log in with your DEMA.org credentials.
  2. Visit the DEMA Member Forum page here.
  3. Select a forum category and then select a specific forum post on which you would like to contribute or comment.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the box labeled “Quick Reply” in which logged-in DEMA Members can contribute their input. Please note: You MUST be signed in for this comment box to be enabled. There is also an option to “Reply in Full Editor” if such features such as links, images, etc are desired within the comment.
  5. Click “submit” once contribution is complete.
In addition to commenting on existing posts, Member stakeholders are strongly encouraged to initiate their own topics, posts, and pose questions for feedback from other Industry Members.
To start a forum topic thread:
  1. First, log in with your DEMA.org credentials.
  2. Visit the DEMA Member Forum page here.
  3. Click on the forum category that is most appropriate for the discussion topic. (If you are unsure of which category to select for your topic, or if you would like to request a new category for consideration, please email Rachelle Reimers, Membership Marketing & Communications Coordinator at rreimers@dema.org)
  4. Click on the icon labeled “New Topic.”
  5. Complete the new topic form and click “submit” when complete.
DEMA and the Board are excited about this new tool that will allow DEMA Members to engage with the Association and each other. “As one means of communication, this DEMA-based forum will help us reach out to obtain productive feedback for the Association. We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage and meet the needs of the Industry more than ever,” said Tom Ingram, Executive Director. DEMA asks for Members of the Industry to use this tool to connect with other Industry professionals and the Association as we work together for Industry growth and success.

DEMA & Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) Announce Winners of the Diving for Bonaire Treasure Challenge

**Over 170 Divers Participate in DiveCaching Promotion**

DEMA and TCB wrapped up the Diving for Bonaire Treasure Challenge, and announced the winners of the Challenge the week of May 17, 2014. This International DiveCaching pilot program was a huge success with over 170 divers registering to participate in the Challenge.
In the Diving for Bonaire Treasure Challenge, divers had to find five of the eight DiveCaches that had been strategically hidden at different dive sites around the island in order to win a variety of prizes. Divers who found five of the eight DiveCaches, and logged their findings on Opencaching.com, were eligible to win.
“Some of the most exciting elements of the Diving for Bonaire Treasure Challenge were that it reflected Bonaire’s commitment to sustainable tourism, while utilizing one of our greatest assets, the Bonaire National Marine Park,” commented Ethsel Pieternella, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “I would also like to thank DEMA for giving Bonaire the opportunity to partner with them and for being the first Caribbean island to create an international DiveCaching event.”

Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA, and Stephanie Worth of Adams Unlimited Public Relations were on Bonaire the week of May 17th to collect the DiveCaches and announce the winners. Throughout the week, they worked closely with the dive operators who sponsored the eight DiveCaches and the prizes.
The winners of the Diving for Bonaire Treasure Challenge were announced at a private cocktail reception for all of the sponsors at Eddy’s Restaurant on Friday, May 24, 2014. Congratulations to the winners:
  • Lisa Newlands, Grand Prize Winner of 2 roundtrip airline tickets and a 7 nights’ stay at Captain Don’s Habitat
  • Ryan Atkinson, 2nd Prize winner of  a 5 nights’ stay at Bruce Bowkers Carib Inn
  • Roger Veteto:  3rd Prize winner of a 3 nights’ stay at Hotel Roomer

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Law in Florida - Dive Flags AND Dive Buoys

On Friday June 13th Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 1049 into law in the state.  This bill provides divers with additional choices for marking their position in the water by allowing either a traditional divers-down flag OR a divers-down buoy.  This legislation was sought as a means of increasing diver visibility and diver safety on the waterways, and was supported by DEMA as a way to enhance safety and the diving experience.

The current law requires divers to display a "divers-down flag," a square or rectangular red flag with a white diagonal stripe, in the area where diving occurs.  Divers are required to conduct their diving activities within a certain distance to the flag, and vessels are required maintain a certain distance from the flags, depending on the location of the activity.  The new law allows divers to use a buoy in place of a flag when the buoy is a specified size and when the diver is diving independent of a vessel.  Flags are still required when diving from a vessel. 

According to the new law, "divers-down buoy" means a buoyant device, other than a vessel, which displays a divers-down symbol of at least 12 inches by 12 inches on three or four flat sides, which is prominently visible on the water's surface when in use.

Divers must make a reasonable effort to stay within 100 feet of the divers-down flag or buoy on rivers, inlets, and navigation channels.  Similarly, any person operating a vessel must make a reasonable effort to stay more than 100 feet from the divers-down flag or buoy in these areas.

Divers must make reasonable efforts to stay within 300 feet of the divers-down flag or buoy on all waters other than rivers, inlets, and navigation channels.  Any person operating a vessel on waters other than a river, inlet, or navigation channel must make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of at least 300 feet from any divers-down flag or buoy.

In both locations vessels that approach within the required distance must proceed no faster than is necessary to maintain headway and steerageway.

Any violation of the law results in a noncriminal infraction punishable by a civil penalties and a requirement that the person appears before the county court.  The bill also requires boater education and safety courses to include a component regarding divers-down buoys and diver-down flags.

In partnership with the Safe Boating Association, DEMA has issued a Public Service Announcement regarding diver-down flags, and has made this PSA available to television stations in many different states including Florida.  The PSA can be seen here.

The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2014.  For more information, see the bill here.

DEMA’s Board of Directors Makes Immediate Changes to the Association and Commits to Further Review & Growth

On June 4th and 5th, the DEMA Board of Directors met to follow up on April’s Strategy Session. Specifically, the Board of Directors began implementing changes that reflected the concerns, needs and expectations of those participating in DEMA’s recent strategy efforts and who had provided their input along with that collected from fellow stakeholders.  The DEMA Board recognized that immediate action needed to occur to address these issues and make the changes that the industry needs in order to support and facilitate Industry and business growth for all stakeholders.
The Board recognized the importance of facilitating collaboration amongst all Industry stakeholders and providing the resources needed to facilitate Industry and business growth.  As a result the following action items were taken:  
1.      Formation of a Retailer Resource and Support CommitteeThis Committee’s main goal will be to focus on retailer resources and support including education, access to pertinent and actionable data, and, ultimately, business growth.
2.      Creation of an online forum on DEMA’s websiteThis online forum will allow Industry stakeholders to provide feedback and engage with DEMA and other Industry stakeholders in dialogue about DEMA and Industry-related issues.
3.      Implementation of a policy to appoint non-Board Member chairs for appropriate committeesIn an effort to engage all stakeholders and foster idea generation, the Board has adapted a preferential policy that non-Board members will take the role of Committee Chairs. This policy has been enacted to stimulate additional conversation and bring new ideas as well as foster engagement of DEMA Board and Members wishing to serve in a capacity other than a full three-year commitment of a Board term. This action will provide stakeholders with additional opportunities to collaborate and provide their input, thus acting as a key contributor in the direction and future of the Association & Industry.
4.      Conduct a review of DEMA’s Board Election process and policiesSuch a review includes the methods by which Board Member candidates are nominated.  Currently, the Board is reviewing various options, including the hiring of an outside consultant to help with any changes to the election process. 
5.      Commitment to review and re-align DEMA’s Mission Statement with the organization’s strengths, capacity to create collaboration, and needs of the IndustryThis will help Members take advantage of areas of expertise such as legislative advocacy, business and industry research, face-to-face meetings and events, business education and member services that provide value and help facilitate business for all stakeholders.
“This strategic effort has had a great impact on DEMA’s direction and growth. It provided a necessary platform for stakeholders to voice their expectations and needs from the Association for future business success and has opened up the doors for future input and Industry collaboration,” explained Tom Ingram, DEMA’s Executive Director.  “Perhaps most important will be a re-alignment of DEMA’s Mission and Goals because it will impact how DEMA conducts business every day, and guide the Association in making the changes needed to have a positive impact on the Industry. Collaborating and incorporating input from Members of the Industry will be an ongoing necessity for the DEMA Board and staff.” 
The next DEMA Board Meeting will be a conference call scheduled for August 18th, 2014. More information on DEMA’s Board of Directors and Committees is available on the DEMA website. Complete minutes from past Board of Directors Meetings are available to current DEMA Members from the Member Dashboard ofwww.dema.org.

Bringing Back Inactive Divers and Recruiting a Younger Consumer Take Center Stage at Latest 2020 Vision Session

** DEMA Hosts 2020 Vision Session in Affiliation with the Scuba Show to Continue Gathering Recommendations for the Future of the Diving Industry **
Conceived in 2011 as a means by which DEMA Member input could help steer the direction of the Industry, 2020 Vision Sessions are part of the strategic learning process used by DEMA’s Board of Directors.  Ideas and priorities from these brainstorming sessions help the Board understand the needs of Industry Members “on the ground” and help to shape the future of recreational diving. At the most recent 2020 Vision Session, held in affiliation with Scuba Show in Long Beach, participants specifically focused on two topics: what can the diving industry do to bring inactive divers back into diving and what can be done to recruit a younger consumer audience?

For those already-certified divers who have not been diving recently, participants thought it was important to focus on the following key factors to entice these customers, already interested in and familiar with diving, to start diving again:
  • Develop initiatives with non-diving recreational activities and markets that attract a similar customer.
  • Members of the industry should consider ways to finance refresher and other programs “from the bottom” up by working with dive centers, resorts & manufactures to target their existing and previous customers and encourage them to return to diving.
  • Create heroes, mentors and media leaders for this typically “older” group to inspire different segments of the market and portray diving as an adventure.
  • Encourage older generations to share diving with younger generations by using diving as a family activity and an opportunity to bond – including consideration of “take your grandkids diving” programs and others.
  • Use social media such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as other inexpensive channels as a way to create positive attention for diving.  For example, on Facebook the user age bracket of 45- to 54-year-olds has seen 46% growth since year-end 2012. 

With data indicating potential for Industry growth by reaching new divers in the age range of 11-17 years old, the 16 participants in the 2020 Vision Session also focused on developing ways to bring young people into diving. Ideas for reaching a young audience included:
  • Collaborate with groups such as the Sea Scouts through Boy Scouts of America, YMCA’s, summer programs, and after-school programs, with the goal of incorporating scuba diving into their activities.
  • Provide social media training to Industry stakeholders that would help create an effective and consistent message for the sport.
In addition to these specific topics and as an extension of the conversations had at April’s Strategy Session, the group was also asked to discuss Industry and Association “orthodoxies” (whether true or not). Orthodoxies are “deeply seated beliefs of ‘how things are done around here.’” A complete list of these orthodoxies can be viewed online here.
DEMA encourages all Industry professionals to review the brainstorming notes from this session and develop their own thoughts to share with us:

If you have any questions regarding DEMA 2020 Vision Sessions please contact us at 2020vision@dema.orgor (858) 616-6408.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

DEMA Show 2014 Registration Is Now Open!

** DEMA Members, Register by October 17th to Receive the Early Registration Discount **
DEMA Show’s online Attendee registration system is now open to qualified Dive Industry professionals seeking to take control of their career and their business.  Join thousands of Attendees from all over the world for the Industry’s only trade-only event for the Dive Industry, taking place November 19-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  To register, visit the official DEMA Show website, an invaluable resource for all Exhibitors and Attendees.  The site currently features everything from Showregistration guidelines and an interactive floorplan, to Official Hotel Block information  and an overview of DEMA Show Features.
DEMA Show 2014 currently offers three different registration options for those planning 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.  2014 DEMA Members can save up to $125 on their DEMA Show registration package over the non-member rate when registering on or before the early registration deadline of October 17th.

DEMA Show will feature the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH), formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, as this year’s Host Hotel.  The Las Vegas Hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center – home to DEMA Show 2014.  Those Attendees and Exhibitors booking in DEMA’s hotel block at the LVH will have access to exclusive savings and benefits including complimentary shuttle access to and from DEMA Show 2014.  Room rates are as follows:

·        $95 Single/Double for the following nights:  November 13-25, 2014*
*Must be booked by October 17, 2014 in order to receive this exclusive DEMA Show rate.  Based upon availability.

Additionally, DEMA Show registrants who are planning to arrive early in Las Vegas, or stay after the Show concludes have access to a special Early Bird Discount on "pre" and "post" show dates when they book their rooms in the official DEMA Show block by August 11, 2014.  These special discounted rates are based on availability as follows:
·        $49 Single/Double for the following nights:  November 13-17 and 23-25, 2014.**
·        $95 Single/Double for the following nights:  November 18-22, 2104.** 
**Must be booked by August 11, 2014 in order to receive this special discounted rate.  Based upon availability.

Complimentary shuttle bus service for those booking within the DEMA Show Hotel Block will be provided to and from the North Hall during Show dates. 
So what are you waiting for?  Register today!  Stay tuned to the DEMA Show website for the latest details on DEMA and Exhibitor-Sponsored Seminars, Show-related activities, DEMA Awards Party 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.