**Association Selects Venues Based Upon Required Criteria: Availability, Size, Member Cost Containment and Hotel Pricing**
As the annual trade-only event for the dive industry, DEMA Show attracts almost 10,000 Attendees each year. The Association often receives inquiries from Members asking how the host city and convention facilities are selected. Simply stated, selection is based on the availability of sites and the needs of Attendees and Exhibitors.
“As an international organization, DEMA consciously works to select a venue that will offer value to all of our constituents, particularly our Members,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “Since venue changes usually require an advance window of three to five years, the Show Committee is always considering new cities to host DEMA Show. In the recent past, DEMA has reviewed proposals from various locations such as Reno, New Orleans, San Diego, Denver and others. Based on the criteria requirements, we will continue to select venues that benefit both Attendees and Exhibitors.”
One variable that restricts city and venue choices is the size of the available convention center. DEMA Show is one of the “Top 250” trade shows in the US according to Trade Show News NetworkMagazine, requiring between 350,000 and 400,000 gross square feet of contiguous space and with at least 30 meeting room spaces to accommodate daily Exhibitor-sponsored and DEMA-sponsored seminars. As a result, DEMA Show can only be accommodated in a limited number of US cities.
In a recent Trade Show Executive article listing the largest convention facilities in the US, fewer than 40 centers were shown to be large enough to handle DEMA Show. Some of those don’t have sufficient contiguous space.
DEMA is also very concerned with Exhibitor and Attendee costs for participating in the Show, and selecting cities with reasonable hotel and labor costs is of paramount concern. Another important considerations is making sure that sufficient airlift exists to oblige domestic US and international travelers to DEMA Show.
Host hotel cost for DEMA Show has always been kept under $200 per night, a rarity for large convention cities and hotels within a short distance to the convention center. The host hotel criteria includes the need to accommodate up to 12,000 guests with a minimum of 8,500 room-nights (1,800 on peak nights) and be located within a five mile radius of the convention facilities. Additionally, current published industry labor rates for the city must be within 10% of the median current rates for past DEMA Show cities.
In addition to setting the overarching goal of “producing an annual trade event for the industry which services the needs of its stakeholders and produces a successful financial outcome for the association,” ultimately, the DEMA Board makes the final decision on Show locations based on staff research and analysis of available venues. Since 2007, DEMA Show has selected a rotation between Orlando, FL and Las Vegas, NV. Both Orlando and Las Vegas are major airline gateways and their convention centers are ranked within the top five meeting destinations based uponpopularity and size.
The dates for the upcoming shows are as follows:
- 2015: November 4-7: Orange County Convention Center, South Halls, Orlando, FL
- 2016: November 16-19: Las Vegas Convention Center, South Halls, Las Vegas, NV
- 2017: November 1-4: Orange County Convention Center, South Halls, Orlando, FL
- 2018: November 14-17: Las Vegas Convention Center, South Halls, Las Vegas, NV
- 2019: October 30 – November 2: Orange County Convention Center, South Halls, Orlando, FL
DEMA continues to review potential new venue cities and facilities that meet the criteria desired by DEMA Members and Show Attendees and Exhibitors. For more information on DEMA Show visit www.demashow.com.