Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cline Research and DEMA Release Study on New Diving Professionals

** Study Available for All: Data Helps Industry Understand New Professionals **
A new research study published by DEMA and conducted by William Cline of the Cline Research Group is being made available to all members of the diving industry.  The goal of the study was to learn more about getting new (and often younger) professionals involved with the Diving Industry, DEMA Show and the DEMA Association. 
In a study that combined a written survey with a face-to-face focus group, DEMA asked new diving professionals to express their opinions about the future of the Industry and the value of DEMA Show and the DEMA Association.  Forty new professionals responded to the written survey, and nine new professionals attended a face-to-face group study during DEMA Show 2018.
Important findings from the focus group study include:
  •  New professionals believe that the industry will grow in the future as younger customers are exposed to the experiences inherent in recreational diving.
  •  Networking, connections, updating, innovation, social opportunities, knowledge, and face-to-face interaction are important to new professionals in their DEMA Show and Industry experiences.
  •  Motivations for attending DEMA Show included networking, seeing new products and innovations in diving, and obtaining professional education.
  • Data is critical to new professionals.  They describe themselves as “data hungry.”
  •  New professionals, and especially younger new professionals, want an advanced education – Marketing 202 instead of Marketing 101.
  • Critically, participants in the focus group felt that DEMA and DEMA Show could provide the resources to bridge the current generational gap – specifically by providing educational opportunities and social interaction between the generations.
  • New professionals see the experiences of current industry members as an asset to everyone and want to learn from these experienced professionals. They also see themselves as a resource for new technologies and ideas. 
Topics in the study also include ways to communicate with new and younger professionals and the new professionals’ desire for mentorships that help bridge innovation and experience.
Download the full report at no cost from DEMA today!
DEMA, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, is an international, non-profit trade association with the mission of bringing businesses together to grow the diving industry worldwide.  DEMA owns and producesDEMA Show, an annual trade-only event for businesses in the scuba diving, action watersports and adventure/dive-travel industries.  DEMA Show 2019 will take place November 13-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information on DEMA and affiliated programs visit or contact (858) 616-6408.  Stay updated by following “DEMAOrg” on Facebook and Twitter.
Cline Group is a scuba diving industry marketing and research firm and a proud member of DEMA.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

First DEMA Board Meeting of 2019 to Take Place February 7-8, 2019 in San Diego, CA

DEMA’s Board of Directors will gather for the first Board Meeting of 2019 on February 7th and 8th in San Diego, CA. The Board will focus on setting DEMA’s strategic goals and objectives for the year in order to bring businesses together to grow the diving industry worldwide. Topics for discussion will include:
  • 2018 DEMA Board Member Self-Evaluations
  •  Developing a Member Engagement Strategy
  •  International Membership and Programs
  •  Proposed 2019 Programs and Budget Review
  •  Officer Appointment and Committee Recommendations
Day one of the Board meeting will begin with the election of the Board Chair from among the 2019 Board Members. 2019 Board Members include:
  • A1-Manufacturing
    Mike Hollis, Aqua Lung
    Jenna Meistrell, Body Glove
  • A2-Diver Certification and Training Agencies
    Kristin Valette-Wirth, PADI
  • A3-Dive Publishing, Media, Consulting and Non-Retail Service Providers
    Jerry Beaty, Dive Training Magazine
    Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting
  • A4-Retailers
    Patrick Hammer, Scuba Emporium
    Myra Kurn, Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
  • A5-Travel & Resorts
    Stuart Cove, Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas
    Tim Webb, Caradonna Dive Adventures
Once the 2019 Board Chair is elected the Board will approve reports from past and completed activities as part of the “consent agenda.”  The February consent agenda will include:
  • DEMA 2018 Dashboard
  •  2018 Year End Financial Summary and Manufacturer’s Fund Report
  •  New Professionals Focus Group Summary
  •  Membership Audit and DEMA Bylaws
  •  DEMA Show 2019 Update
  •  Membership Update
  •  2019 Committees and Objectives
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, and the goals of Committees include creating new ideas, improving current programs and benefits, clarifying or resolving pending issues, and soliciting feedback from Industry stakeholders.  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.
After final discussion and approval of the budget and programs, 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

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Lead Capture Feature Added to Go Dive Now Retail Dive Store and Dive Vacation Finders

** Leads will be Sent Directly to Current DEMA Member Retailers and Travel Providers **
DEMA has announced the launch of a new lead capture enhancement on the website. The feature sends inquiring-consumer’s contact information directly to DEMA Member retail stores/travel providers when approved by the website user. A GoDiveNow merchandise incentive is provided directly from DEMA and offered to website users at the point of engagement to encourage approval and entry of contact information.
“The goal of this new tool is to help retailers capture contact information for users of to determine and improve conversions generated by the site,” said Kristin Valette-Wirth, DEMA’s Consumer Marketing Committee Chair. “This feature is just one of the ways we are working to improve the site and overall Go Dive Now campaign in 2019. We encourage all dive stores and travel providers to update their listings and utilize campaign resources to help generate business for stores, destinations and the industry.” Dive stores and destinations can request an update to their listing by submitting the Listing Update Request Form and access campaign resources from the Member Dashboard.
To improve lead generation dive stores and destinations can increase their visibility and optimize their search result position on the website by becoming a Go Dive Now Campaign Premier Partner. To become a campaign partner current DEMA Members must utilize elements from the free-for-Members campaign resources and complete the partner request form.
DEMA Members have access to numerous resources and tools to help them analyze their market, create marketing collateral and implement strategies to grow their business. Take advantage of these resources by becoming a 2019 DEMA Member. Businesses joining DEMA by January 31, 2019 will save $25 on their membership dues so act now! For questions regarding DEMA and the Go Dive Now campaign contact DEMA at (858) 616-6408 or

Monday, December 17, 2018

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: DEMA Offers Testimony to FWC on Topics Critical for Divers

On December 12, DEMA’s President and CEO, Tom Ingram, and Legislative Advocate, Bob Harris, along with numerous interested divers and diving professionals, provided testimony to members and staff of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). The parties provided input to proposed rules and processes suggested by FWC staff on three topics important to divers in Florida:
  1. Rules protecting sharks and divers during shore-based shark fishing
  2.  Rules applied to collecting aquarium specimens from the waters under the Blue Heron Bridge
  3.  Rules/research for Florida’s Goliath Grouper
Shore-Based Shark Fishing
DEMA’s input to the proposed rules for shore-based shark fishing included the need to:
  • Prevent a hooked shark from being landed (removed from the water) on a beach for the purpose of taking their picture or measuring the fish (which generally harms the animal).
  • Require the use of specific fishing equipment to make it easier to release prohibited and at-risk sharks.
  • Prevent chumming for sharks from shore, in the interest of the safety of swimmers, surfers and divers.
  •  Require all fishers, regardless of age, complete an education program prior to receiving a (free) permit which is required to target sharks from shore.
  •  Require that the distance from shore-based shark fishers to designated public bathing areas be 100 yards, the same distance from designated public beaches as required by current law for spear fishers.
While FWC is unlikely to adopt this last proposed distance rule because of the resistance from fishing interests, it appears the remaining rules are likely to be adopted at the February 2019 FWC meeting, making this a win for sharks and for divers wishing to see these animals.
Prohibition on Collecting Marine Life at Blue Heron Bridge
DEMA offered testimony in favor of a prohibition being placed on the removal of “ornamental” or aquarium-sized marine life and plants in the area under the Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach, Florida.
This well-known shore dive site is unique, and it appears that, even with FWC’s limited data on the 500+ different species found in this area, excessive collecting and removal of marine life and marine plants is having a detrimental impact on this location. DEMA asked that the FWC create essentially a no-take zone at the Bridge which would remain open to divers for photography and observation. Since the area is already closed to spear fishing, DEMA suggested closing the area to hook and line fishing as well.  Although the request for closure to hook and line fishing is unlikely to be adopted, again owing to pressure on the FWC from the fishing community, the proposed rules that prevent removal of aquarium animals and plants mean that divers will be able to see the many different species at this dive site for years to come.
Maintaining the Moratorium on Harvesting the Goliath Grouper in Florida
Ingram and Harris reiterated DEMA’s long-held position that Goliaths should remain protected and that the current moratorium on harvest, in place since 1990, should remain.
DEMA’s testimony included the fact that in 2016 the FWC attempted but failed to complete a scientifically acceptable stock assessment of Goliath Grouper, and as a result, no valid stock assessment exists.  DEMA also testified that research shows Goliath Grouper flesh contains extremely high levels of mercury, rendering the flesh unsafe to consume and making even a limited harvest of Goliaths impractical and dangerous.  DEMA also suggested that protections commensurate with another slow-moving and valuable animal, the manatee, should also be afforded the Goliath Grouper. 
While DEMA’s testimony was that FWC does not have sufficient data to justify lifting the current moratorium,  the diving community should be aware that FWC staff are working to devise a scientifically-acceptable means to model the Goliath fishery so that it becomes possible to determine if the fishery should remain closed or open to some form of harvest in the future.
As a result of this meeting, FWC has indicated that until an acceptable stock survey is performed, the harvest moratorium will continue. FWC staff have indicated it will take until at least 2022 to make the determination. This is a great victory for Goliath Grouper and divers everywhere!
All of the proposed rules discussed during the FWC meeting in St. Augustine, Florida are still subject to additional changes before they are finalized.  Finalized rules will be available for public comment prior to the FWC meeting scheduled for February 2019. DEMA will also attend this meeting at that time to provide comment on the final version of the rules.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Jessica Keller Honored as DEMA’s 2018 Wave Makers Award Recipient

** Announcement Made at the 2018 DEMA Awards Party **

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association is pleased to announce that Jessica Keller is the 2018 recipient of DEMA’s Wave Makers Award. The announcement was made at the 30th annual Black & White inspired DEMA Award’s Party The event took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 16, 2018, to honor the 2018 recipient and finalists and celebrate the careers of the 2018 Reaching Out Award Recipients.
The Wave Makers Award was first introduced in 2017 and aims to recognize professionals who have been working in the industry for five years or less and have made a significant contribution to the industry during that time. The Wave Makers Award encourages the Industry to support a culture that fosters innovative thinking and encourages engagement with the association and industry by new professionals.
Other finalists for the 2018 Wave Makers Award included:
  • Mike Johnson, Michael Johnson Entertainment
  • Allie Paschen, Leaird's Underwater Services
  • Italino Pietrantonio, Air Hog Scuba
2018 DEMA Members selected Jessica Keller as the 2018 Award recipient by viewing and voting for the finalist of their choice, based on the biographies and short videos that the finalists submitted.
JESSICA KELLER is an underwater archaeologist for the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center. She graduated with a Master of Science Degree from the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Studies Program focusing on the development, sustainability and archaeological interpretation of underwater parks from Indiana University. The Submerged Resources team travels all over the country to assist National Parks with their underwater resources through the use of remote sensing surveys, shipwreck mapping and documentation, or natural resource management such as lionfish in Biscayne National Park or crown of thorn removal in American Samoa.
Keller is dedicated to industry growth through her work focused on outreach and education for children. She created an educational booklet that has been published by the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Underwater Explorer Booklet. The booklet, which can be downloaded for free at the website, is also available in Spanish.
DEMA congratulates Jessica Keller for her dedication and service to our Industry and looks forward to seeing the contributions she will continue to make throughout her career.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Legislative Alert: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting Regarding Goliath Grouper

Meeting in St. Augustine, Florida, Also Includes Draft Rules for Shore Based Shark Fishing and Marine Life Harvest While Diving at the Blue Heron Bridge
A meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and open to the public, will take place on December 12 and 13 at 8:30 am in St. Augustine, Florida.
The FWC Commission meeting will include a Staff review and discussion on the next steps for Goliath Grouper research and management. This presentation will include an overview of current and future Goliath Grouper research. Staff will present information on how recent events, such as Hurricane Irma and the 2018 red tide, have impacted Goliath Grouper. Staff will seek direction on adopting a management goal for Goliath Grouper in state waters.
You may recall that DEMA favors continuing the current moratorium on harvesting the Goliath Grouper. In the recent past, DEMA surveyed members of the Diving Industry and determined that 73% of divers responding favored continuing the moratorium.
DEMA’s President and CEO, Tom Ingram and Legislative Advocate, Bob Harris will be in attendance at this meeting to provide DEMA’s position to the Committee. YOUR public comments and input are also needed at this meeting; public comments opposed to lifting the moratorium could help prevent the future harvesting of this animal, which is slow to mature and reproduce.  There are substantial arguments against harvest, some of which can be foundhere.  Without your public comments, the status of the current moratorium could change in the near future allowing harvesting of the Goliath Grouper for the first time since 1990.  If you dive in Florida or live there, such a change in the moratorium status could impact your ability (and your customers’ ability) to see these animals.
This meeting will also include several Draft Rules important to the Florida Diving Industry; Draft Rules on Shore-based Shark Fishing, which has been shown to result in the killing of at-risk shark species such as the Great Hammerhead and Tiger, and Draft Rules on Marine Life Harvest at Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach County. 
The FWC meeting agenda and topics planned can be found on the FWC website here.
8:30 am
December 12 - 13, 2018
Renaissance World Golf Village 
500 South Legacy Trail 
St. Augustine, Florida 32092
The meetings are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on December 12 and 13, 2018.  However, as of this writing, the discussion of Goliath Grouper is scheduled for the afternoon of December 12.  Please note that the time and date of this discussion could change.
DEMA urges all professional members of the diving community to join DEMA in attending these meetings to offer public comment in favor of maintaining the current moratorium on harvest of the Goliath Grouper.  Public comments will be accepted at the end of each meeting day.  More diving community voices will be helpful. 
For those unable to attend or wishing to submit comments prior the beginning of the Committee meeting, send your written comments to

Sunday, November 11, 2018

DEMA Expands Disaster Assistance Program to Aid Show Exhibitors and Buyers Impacted by the California Camp and Woolsey Fires

**Funds Available to Assist DEMA Member Exhibitors and Buyers of DEMA Show 2018 **
The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) announced today that the DEMA Board of Directors has approved the expansion of the 2018 DEMA Disaster Assistance Program to include DEMA-Member Show Exhibitors and Buyers impacted by the California Camp and Woolsey fires.

DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program was previously activated on October 16 to include those who were affected by Hurricane Michael in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, and expanded on November 2 to include those impacted by Typhoon Yutu.  This additional expansion will account for exhibitors and buyers impacted by wildfires that began in California during the week of November October 5th. DEMA-Member companies who were negatively impacted by these fires and who planned to exhibit at DEMA Show 2018 are eligible to apply for the funds to help them exhibit. Buyers who planned to attend DEMA Show can also apply for funds to assist in staying onsite at DEMA Show. 

"DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program funds are available to Member manufacturers, destinations and other industry-related entities to aid them in getting to and exhibiting at DEMA Show 2018,” said Tom Ingram, President and CEO of DEMA.  “Registered Buyers from DEMA Member businesses who are staying in the DEMA hotel block are also eligible for funds to assist in attending DEMA Show so they can buy the products and services they need to keep their businesses in operation.”

Exhibitor Assistance Program: DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program funds are available to 2018 DEMA-Member Exhibitors who are fully paid by 5:00 PM Pacific time, September 21, 2018, and physically located in the affected mandatory evacuation areas of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. 

For each 100 net square feet of exhibit space purchased and paid for by September 21, 2018, DEMA will provide regular DEMA-Member Exhibitors with $US 400.00 in assistance.  Funds will be awarded onsite at DEMA Show 2018 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 at DEMA Central in Las Vegas, NV prior to close of DEMA Show at 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

For more information and to receive a DEMA 2018 Disaster Assistance Fund Processing form visit DEMA Central in Booth #1858 at DEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, NV. Complete rules for disbursements will be available onsite at DEMA Show.

Attendee Assistance Program:  Impacted DEMA-Member Buyers who are registered for the Show and staying in the official DEMA Show hotel block at The Westgate Las Vegas Resort are eligible for reimbursement as follows; One registered Buyer from an attending DEMA-Member business physically located in the affected mandatory evacuation areas of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties can receive reimbursement for a one-night hotel stay (single occupancy) in the DEMA hotel block prior to midnight Pacific time, November 16, 2018. The complete rules for disbursement will be available at DEMA Central onsite at DEMA Show 2018.

The designated Buyer from an affected DEMA Member must apply for the disaster funds and present the receipt for the hotel stay through the DEMA Office prior to close of business on December 6, 2018.   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.