A successful trip to the annual Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) show in Las Vegas November 16 – 19 helped Cayman’s dive operators get a jump on 2017. More than 10,000 dive industry professionals from across the globe gathered for the annual convention – industry news is shared, new equipment is introduced, promotions are launched and friendships are renewed – all which invigorate the dive industry before the new year.
In Las Vegas Cayman celebrated the 60th anniversary of the birth of recreational diving in the Cayman Islands by Caymanian pioneer and International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame member Bob Soto. It also promoted the opening of the ISDHOF permanent exhibit in the Cayman Islands Museum in George Town and announced its newest members to be inducted in Grand Cayman in September 2017. A photo booth in the Cayman pavilion added fun and helped get people in a celebratory mood, always good for doing business.
“For Divetech it went really well. We made some bookings and have a lot of people to follow up with, and we even made a booking for 2018!” said Divetech Managing Partner Jo Mikutowicz. “I thought the Cayman aisle, in general, looked great, the photo booth was a lot of fun and the DOT had some great promotion material that I found myself using quite a bit.”
“We had a great DEMA, with everyone appreciating our “Back to the 80s package” celebrating Red Sail Sports 30th Anniversary in 2017. I wouldn’t say it was busier or less busy than previous years but the quality of inquiries was good,” added Sarah-Jane Harlan, Red Sail Sports Marketing Manager.
DEMA is also an opportunity for dive professionals to meet the movers and shakers in the diving industry through seminars, panels, parties and other social events – all important for staying in touch with travel trends and industry news. Some dive operators said was the best DEMA in recent years, and their booth traffic reflected that. Cayman tourism officials predict increased tourism numbers in 2017 with the opening of new resorts in Cayman and improvements to the airport.
“I did think it was good… and we did make some bookings,” said Neil van Niekerk of the Southern Cross Club. “No way to tell in the current political climate if anyone will travel for sure, but that’s not our fault – I think Cayman did a great job.”
“It was lucrative enough that we signed up for next year already, and this is before we have even had a chance to follow up with the 50+ people we need to send more information to,” said Mikutowicz.