A full weekend of scuba submersion, and we didn’t even get wet!
A couple of weekends ago, we had the pleasure of exploring the Long Beach Scuba Show. This show has become one of the largest consumer expos in the world devoted to the scuba diving community. There are amazing opportunities to compare resorts, dive shops, equipment, liveaboards and destinations, all under one roof. Even photographers and scuba-centric charitable organizations are present to represent the industry.
Walking through the turnstile at the Long Beach Convention Center reveals the massive nature of the show. The sight is slightly overwhelming because of the sheer number of scuba vendors in attendance. As we looked around, we quickly realized that in order to see everything, we needed to craft a plan of action to get the most out of the show since it is only open for two 8-hour days.
At the scuba expo, there is a full spectrum of the scuba business community walking about:
- Consumer – The primary audience, hunting for the next travel or product bargain. Of the 10,000 people in attendance, most people are represented in this category.
- Buyer (dive shop) – Looking for the next product line they would like to carry or next years plan for a shop hosted dive trip.
- Distributor (products and services) – Local and regional dive shops are represented. The show creates a great opportunity for distributors to find and connect with their current and future buyers.
- Scuba Dive Advisor Team – Representing the reader. We are curious. We want to know what products and resorts look like. We want to find great places to visit and discover all the different types of vacation itineraries that are available. Also, what our next gear purchase will be.
The scuba show also offers educational seminars throughout the day. While these carry an added cost, they range from photography and videography tips to underwater conservation. They are a perfect way to balance your experience at this expo and provide you with added confidence on your next dive trip.
The Scuba Show is not only about gear and trip though, it is more about sowing new seeds of possibility with future customers and businesses. We discovered there are so many places for you to travel to! And there are so many great ways to experience them; liveaboard, resort & independent. Gadgets? There are lots of those, too. There are also great opportunities to build onto your scuba education through conversations with many experienced vendors and divers alike. The scuba show has something for everyone, you just need to get there to be amazed by the experience.
One thing we realized during the Scuba Show is that it’s not only about researching new products and destinations. This gathering is also an opportunity to reconnect and cultivate old relationships with customers and businesses you have experience with from the past and plan to work with into the future. As divers continue to travel to dive destinations everyone will, at some point, update their gear, plan their next trip or plan their next level of certification. By attending the scuba show, you have the opportunity to build relationships with the many sales representatives, hotel and dive operators and trip coordinators allowing you a chance to gather trusted contacts for anything you need related to scuba or travel. This presents a reunion of sorts and any pressures to examine products or services is lifted. As you run into old friends who own or work at resorts you have stayed at and laugh about the fun times you had together, and ultimately make a plan to visit them again. It’s easy to see why scuba is so addictive, not only do you get to travel to some of the most beautiful places on the planet, you get to meet great people along the way.
As a matter of fact, do you remember our blog about buying a dive computer? We stopped by the Hollis booth and simply thanked their team for our DG-03 purchase. That product worked for us and if we found The Dive Shop at the show, we would have thanked them, too.
The Scuba Show in Long Beach is definitely a great expo to plan a visit to Los Angeles around. While you send the kids to Disneyland, get over to the annual dive expo. We hope to see you next year!