Dive Expos are a great way to start new partnerships and find out about new trends in the dive industry. They also give you the chance to meet with international and local dive clubs, other divers, travel agencies and equipment suppliers, not to mention providing the opportunity to attend seminars and training programs, start new partnerships and to meet the PADI team.
Normally, your Regional Manager will attend the show with members of the PADI Head Office who you might not usually get the chance to meet. This enables you to speak with the team face to face and build key relationships.
Dive Expo Tips for Success
- Try and include activities at your booth – prizes, games, unusual equipment or videos or maybe bust out your own Flash Mob! Sitting down on a chair looking at your phone will not bring people to your booth. For a living, we entertain people every day, why should a show be any different? Also, you might find that your best work is done outside the show when you’re attending training, an event, seminar, or maybe even at the socialising part of the day!
- Having a special deal for on the day bookings and a regular special for anyone who contacts you with a promo code from the show will help you increase course enquiries and bookings.
- Make sure you build a database of contact information of the people that visit your booth. This is important to ensure you can keep track of who you’ve spoken to throughout the day, what they are interested in and to follow up on any enquiries.
- Participating at Dive Expos also provides intangible benefits, such as increased brand awareness. Just by being present and showcasing your business to consumers and others in the industry, the next time they see your logo, business name or consider diving in your area, the likelihood of them contacting you for information, a fun dive or a course increases. Even now, lots of PADI staff recognise dive shop names they saw at DEMA over 10 years ago!
- Share your booth to cut costs. Instead of two small booths, rent a large booth and share it with a centre you work closely with. I.e. one you send customers to when you can’t fulfil the customers’ needs yourself.
- Check out the specials equipment suppliers are offering to take advantage of savings.
What show should you attend?
First of all, think about whether a particular show is right for you. We all know the Chinese market is growing, but is it the right show for you if you don’t have any Chinese speaking staff? If you are an internationally run dive centre or you have international managers, maybe their annual vacation back to their country can be timed with that dive show? You might even consider sponsoring a travel agent you use in a particular country to put a show on for you.
Assistance from PADI
Anyone who visits the PADI booth with be directed to PADI Members booths. We will come and visit you to have a face-to-face chat about your business goals and whether there is anything we can do to assist in achieving them.
If you’re a PADI Five Star Member, you may also be eligible for an Expo Scheme, which includes promotional materials and a monetary credit. You must apply for this at least six weeks prior to the Dive Expo you want to be a part of.
This year at the Deep Expo, Paul “Tosh” Tanner will be hosting a Members’ Forum covering the new revised Open Water Course, the new DSD booklet, PADI’s recent marketing efforts and how PADI Members are doing in our AP region.
For information on attending a Dive Expo, contact your PADI Regional Manager.
We hope to see you at the Expos around Asia Pacific and beyond!