Make a Donation to Dive Industry Foundation

Make a Donation to Dive Industry Foundation
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 9 to uniting the diving industry is to make a donation to the non-profit organization Dive Industry Foundation. Dive Industry Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), charitable organization dedicated to promoting economic development in the worldwide diving community.  The Foundation maintains a full time office in Melbourne, Florida.  It sponsors DIVE LOCAL, conducts industry surveys, exhibits at diving trade and consumer shows, and conducts business improvement seminars and workshops for dive business owners and their employees.  It is establishing a Business Reference Library with books and magazines from the diving industry.  The Foundation has sponsored three Regional Summit meetings (Dallas, Chicago, Secaucus) and conducted two industry luncheons in Tacoma, WA.  Dive Industry Foundation has held fund raisers to donate money to a Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and two dive industry families during their time of need.  The Foundation has no paid employees and uses only Volunteers.  It operates on donations from individuals and businesses.  Their web site is and they maintain a Facebook Page and post to Twitter.

Donating funds to the Dive Industry Foundation is very important for the growth and survival of the diving industry.  Every dive business and industry professional should make it their responsibility to fund this organization that works to research, analyze, advise and promote our industry.  The tasks and projects the Dive Industry Foundation takes on are detail oriented, time consuming and non-income generating in the short term.  The long-term benefits of having a research, educational, promotional and unifying organization in the industry is priceless.  An outside consulting firm can never do what needs to be done in our industry.  We must gather and use the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience of Dive Industry Professionals who have had successes and setbacks in their life-long profession.  Think of the Dive Industry Foundation as an organizer, mentor and guide that will assist the diving business community in dealing with its own internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  I am confident that the dive industry can correct itself.

As an organization with its primary goal of “Unify the Diving Industry” the Dive Industry Foundation has accepted the responsibility to define, analyze, advise, unify, promote and increase the economic impact of the diving industry.  Working within the parameters of these six steps, I believe the industry will be able to understand the complexities of its makeup, work to end the fragmentation of the market,  and increase the opportunities for all industry professionals.

Define:  The Diving Industry, as we currently know it, does not have one unified source of data that defines our market.  First of all, because we are not an industry at all.  We are actually in a niche market.  An industry is a government classification for a group of like minded companies that produce a common type of product.   The United States Government created NAICS Codes (North American Industry Classification System) that group similar businesses together.  An NAICS Code has six digits that identifies the main industry and its sub categories.   The Retail Industry is # 45.  The Retail Industry – Sporting Goods Stores are 451110.  All of the demographic and geographic information we need about this industry is laid out in the U.S. Census.  So now we know that Retail Dive Centers, or Dive & Adventure Stores as I like to call them, are not dive shops in the diving industry.  They are retail stores in the Retail Industry, that specialize in diving and adventure travel.

A Market is defined as a place where Buyers and Sellers meet to do business.  The Sellers come from many different industries, depending on what they manufacture or produce.  The Buyers come from many different recreations, hobbies, professions or interests.  Where they meet to do business doesn’t matter.  That’s a business model decision.  They are both seeking a successful outcome.  A successful outcome is an exchange of products for a fair compensation.

Defining and understanding our industries and market is the first step to unifying the diving business community.  Dive Industry Foundation has begun the process by creating the DIVE LOCAL program.  This is a big job in that it will take a significant amount of time, money and manpower.  that’s another reason to donate and support the Foundation.  Our World Directory is being listed on our website at  You’ll notice that our directory is divided by territories.  Each territory, is in fact, its own community.  It’s at the community level where people get interested in diving, take lessons, buy their gear and go diving.  It is also where the local diving community needs to create ways to stay active in our recreation.

The Dive Industry Foundation is writing a whitepaper on Uniting the Diving Industry that can be viewed in its progressing form on  It is in this whitepaper where we will address the issues on how the Foundation can analyze, advise, unify, promote and increase the economic impact of the diving industry.

Donations can be made to Dive Industry Foundation using our DIVE LOCAL Web Page at

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Editorial – March 5, 2018

It All Starts With Local Diving
by Gene Muchanski, Show Manager
Scuba & H2O Adventure Show

This editorial is being published as part of a Regional Newsletter to introduce the 12th Annual Scuba & H2O Adventure In Tacoma, Washington on April 20-22, 2018.

The first edition of this Newsletter Update is going out to all of the Exhibitors who took a booth at this years show and all of the Speakers who will be delivering Seminars and workshops at the show.  We want to show them what we have done so far in putting the show together and what our plans are as we promote the show for the next two months.  We want to check with them to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes or errors.

The Newsletter Update is also being sent to the active Local Dive Stores, Dive Clubs, Dive Operators, Dive Resorts and Div Instructors in the Greater Pacific Northwest and our Southwestern Canadian Diving Friends. These are the people who work in the local diving community all year long.  At DIVE LOCAL, this group is referred to as the “Five Pillars of the local diving community.”  This is your call to SAVE THE DATE and make plans to get involved in your annual dive show.

The purpose of the Newsletter Update is to make sure we are doing everything we can to make the show successful for the local diving community and to make sure that nothing “falls through the cracks” in our rush to get everything done.  After all, it is the Local Diving Community’s Annual Trade Show.  We just have the privilege of putting it together and managing it for them. 

Next week we’ll add the Exhibitor Guide to the update as well as Hotel, Shuttle and other discounts we have been able to secure.  We’ll also add our prospective Attendee list to our distribution.  For now, let’s just call this Newsletter Update, a “Work In Progress.”

My name is Gene Muchanski and I have been appointed as your Show Manager.  I can be reached at my office at 321-914-3778 or by email at  for any questions concerning the dive show.

See you Tacoma on April 20-22, 2018.

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Yann Herrera-Fuchs Selected as 2018 North American Rolex Scholar


Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society®
P.O. Box 6157, Woodridge, Illinois U. S. A.  60517
Phone/Fax (630) 969-6690   ·


February 23, 2017

Dear OWUSS Friends,

It is my very great pleasure to announce that Mr. Yann Herrera Fuchs, of Mexico City, Mexico has been selected to be the 2018 North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society. The Selection Panel conducted interviews on February 18th in Chicago. For the first time, we had three finalists who represented all three countries in North America: Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

The decision of the Scholarship Selection Panel was unanimous and they are confident that Yann is highly qualified to excel in his role representing the Scholarship Society and that he has the passion, vision, and capability to make a lasting contribution to the underwater world in the future.

I am sure you will all wish to join me in welcoming Yann to the Scholarship family and wish him success in his upcoming year of challenge, adventure, and learning. He can be reached at Yann’s bio and photo will be sent separately.

With kindest regards,  Robin MacFadden Parish


2018 North American Rolex Scholar

Yann Herrera Fuchs, 24, was born in Cuernavaca, the city of “eternal spring”, only a couple of hours driving from the Mexican coast.  His childhood years were spent between swimming pools and the tropical shores of the Mexican Pacific, attempting to swim like a dolphin or trying to hold his breath underwater for long periods of time.  At the age of eight, his family moved to Seattle, but not even the cold weather and all the rain stopped Yann from enjoying the ocean. He soon found a hobby in jumping around tide pools searching for jellyfish, sea urchins and starfish. Yann eventually moved back to Mexico City, but the longing for closer contact with the ocean brought him to Vancouver, Canada, a few years later to seek a degree in Environmental Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

AT UBC Yann focused on economic, social, and environmental sustainability.  He spent time in Costa Rica working with a volunteer organization on a turtle conservation project, patrolling beaches at night and relocating turtle eggs safely to keep them away from poachers.  This field experience triggered his passion for marine conservation.  He completed his open water diver’s course in Mexico, diving for the first time in the harbor of Veracruz.  Yann was stunned by the abundance of coral and marine life that was present despite being situated near a major industrial port.  Acknowledging the resilience that aquatic life can have with good conservation measures made him feel empowered to make a difference in Mexico’s efforts to preserve nature. This fueled his need to continue diving and discovering the country’s marine treasures.  Despite the logistical and financial barriers of diving, Yann attempted to explore different underwater settings.  In Quintana Roo, he submerged himself in cenotes, cavern-like orifices that connect the subterranean waterways of the Mayan coasts. He also got certified for dry suit diving in Canada.  During his final years at UBC, Yann served as a research assistant working on an indigenous fisheries project and was awarded a grant to take a sustainability field course in Iceland.

After graduating, Yann made the leap back to Mexico and began working for World Wildlife Fund, where he got closer to the fishing sector, government and coastal communities of Baja California. His lead project focused on developing alternative fishing gear in the Upper Gulf of California as a response to protecting the endemic vaquita porpoise, considered the world’s most endangered marine mammal.  He also participated as a diver in shark monitoring programs, reef clean-ups and ecosystem health assessments. Yann insists that community efforts and underwater education are key for preventing further disconnection between people and our natural water resources. The 2018 OWUSS Rolex Scholarship is a great opportunity to explore this idea and transmit a sense of stewardship back to the people that have lost this connection.

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Dive Industry Foundation To Exhibit at DEMA Show 2017

Dive Industry Foundation
Non-profit 501(c)(3)
DEMA Show 2017 – Booth 1502
November 1-4, 2017

Please stop by our Booth 1502 at the Annual DEMA Show, In Orlando, FL.  Here is what you will see…

  • Scuba & H2O Adventure Show Exhibitor Reservation
  • Scuba & H2O Adventure Shows Seminars
  • Formation of Dive Industry Business Library
  • Register for Dive Travel Specialist Designation
  • Dive Industry Foundation – FREE Business Consultancy Services
  • DIVE LOCAL Update – Donation & Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Business Course – Hypergrow Your Business
  • FREE Subscription – DIA Weekly Dive News
  • FREE Subscription – Monthly Newsletter – The Dive Industry Professional
  • Retail Dive Center Survey & Results
  • Manufacturing Sales Rep Survey & Results
  • Start-up Book – The TriStart Matrix: Signed Copy Available for $20 Donation
  • Free Marketing Tips on using Social Media, Press Releases & Trade Shows
  • Free Press Release Information on Constant Contact.  Discounts available.
  • Drawing for Books, Courses, Handcrafted Pen

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Exhibitors at Scuba & H2O Adventure Show – Tacoma 2018

The following Industry Professionals are exhibiting at the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show on April 20-22, 2018 at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in Tacoma, WA.  Make it a point to visit our Exhibitors’ Web Sites for SHOW SPECIALS.  The Exhibit Hall has a capacity for 157 Booths.  Contact Gene Muchanski, Show Manager for an Exhibit Booth Reservation Form.


Local Dive Centers

Local Dive Boats


Retail Sales, Services & Software

Tourism Bureaus

Travel Agents & Wholesalers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Certification Agencies

  • DAN – Divers alert Network – Booth 217 –
  • Scuba Schools International – SSI – Booth 210 –


Associations, Media and Shows & Events

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Developing an Industry Exhibitor’s Bureau

Developing an Industry Exhibitors’  Bureau
By Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
July 5, 2017


In our series Developing the Ideal Dive Show, we are breaking down the components that make a show successful for the attendees, speakers, exhibitors, vendors, advertisers, sponsors, volunteers, staff and show management.  The most important component are the attendees.  We design dive shows based on who attends the show, what they expect to see and do and who they want to meet.

We take into consideration whether the event is a trade show, a consumer show, or a combination of the two.  Consumer shows focus on exhibits and seminars equally.  Attendees pay to see both.  Shows that are designed around Industry Professionals, on the other hand, are classified as either Trade Shows or Professional Development Conferences.  According to Rhonda Abrams, in her book, Trade Show In A Day, “At a trade show or expo, the primary action takes place on the exhibit hall floor.  Attendees are there to visit booths, and all non-exhibit activities are secondary.  At a conference, the opposite is true.  Attendees are there to go to seminars and educational sessions, visiting the exhibition hall only during breaks in their daily schedules.”   Trade Show In A Day is a MUST read for any company thinking about maximizing their potential at a trade or consumer dive show. Face-to-face Marketing is an expensive investment and a large part of a company’s marketing budget, but if done correctly, can be the most cost effective way to increase sales, leads and brand recognition.

Exhibitors are therefore a very important part of any consumer dive show, trade show or professional development conference.    People come to shows to see what’s new in diving equipment, what’s new in training and what’s hot in exotic dive travel.  At dive trade shows, the main four groups exhibiting usually are Manufacturers (41%), Travel (35%), Non-Profit Organization (4%) and Training (3%).  At consumer dive shows, the same four groups have quite different percentages; Manufacturer (24-26%), Travel (40-50%), Non-profits (4-8%), and Training (2-3%).  The four largest groups exhibiting at consumer dive shows should be Dive Stores, Dive Boats, Dive Clubs and Dive Instructors.  Dive Stores currently account for only 5% – 6% of the exhibitors.  The percentage for Dive Boats and Dive Clubs combined is less than 1%.  For Professional Educators the percentage is zero.

With 36 years of experience attending, marketing, and exhibiting at dive, travel and watersports shows, I can honestly say that the local stores, boats, clubs and instructors have the most to gain by exhibiting at dive shows.  First of all, attendees are there to see dive gear, apparel, training and travel.  They want to buy stuff too.  Especially things that are $20 or less.   At seminars and workshops they want to increase their knowledge about the recreation, learn about new types of diving and diving equipment, and see exotic travel destinations.  The three most popular questions an attendee asks of an exhibitor are;  1. Do you teach diving classes?  2. Do you sell diving equipment?  3. Do you run dive trips? A Dive Store owner can answer yes to all three.

A major obstacle for local dive stores, boats, clubs and instructors is the cost of exhibiting in terms of time and money.  A typical 10’ x 10’ booth space at a consumer diver show runs between $750 and $1,400.  Add the cost for hotel, food, travel, freight and you are spending on average $3,000 per person per booth.  Another consideration is the time away from your business to exhibit and participate in the show.  Many dive stores are single owner / operators.  They would therefore have to shut the store down for one, two or three days to exhibit at a show.  Another argument is that a dive industry professional would lose the revenue from teaching an open water class session by giving up a weekend to exhibit at a show.  We will discuss ways to overcome these obstacles later in this article, but for now, let’s look at why dive shows work for industry professionals in a local dive community.

Establishing an Industry Exhibitors Bureau:  The only way to become a part of our Industry Exhibitors Bureau is to exhibit at one of the major dive, travel or watersports trade or consumer shows.  Notice that I did not say you must pay for a booth and get listed as an Exhibitor in one of the show guides. I said that you have to exhibit at one of the shows.

Major Dive Shows:  To stay focused on dive shows, both trade and consumer, we will cover only the major dive shows in the United States for now.  At a later time we can discuss surf, adventure travel, outdoor, boat and smaller dive shows.  A very important part of exhibiting on a world stage is the fine international shows currently being conducted.  We’ll discuss those at a later date also.

We rank Dive Shows by the number of attendees, the number and diversity of exhibitors, the number and quality of seminars and seminar speakers, the prominence and timeliness of the film show programs, the number and relevance of paid workshops and the number and attendance of meetings held by companies and organizations during the show.  The least important factor in the ranking of a dive show is the square footage of the building the event is held in.

In order of size and industry significance of exhibitors at the major dive shows are; DEMA Show, Scuba Show, Beneath the Sea, Our World Underwater, Scuba & H2O Adventure Show and the Lone Star State Dive & Travel Expo.  There are a number of other shows that have excellent seminars, film reviews or industry meetings and galas, but this article is focused only on Exhibitors.

How We Collect Data:  If Exhibitors are your target customers, you need to know who they are and where you can meet them face-to-face.  You’ll want to collect their full contact information, store the data in a usable and retrievable software program, and begin the task of establishing a business relationship with each and every vendor that meets your target customer parameters.

Looking at show guides from last year’s dive shows will give you some information and get you off to a good start.  Not all show producers publish a listing of their exhibitors with all the contact information you’ll need.  An exhibitor listing in a show guide will tell you what company purchased the booth and some, but not all of their contact information.  Many of the show producers are starting to list only the company names of the exhibitors and their website address.  This is all the information a potential buyer needs to know when researching an exhibitor.  Putting an exhibitor’s email address in a show guide invites list farmers and unsolicited emails.

The best marketing vehicle to bring buyers and seller together is the simple business card.  See our article, “Marketing Tools 101 – The Simple Business Card.”  All Exhibitors should have their business cards on full display in their booth, for attendees.  This will allow an attendee to take a business card and contact the company representative at a later time if the booth traffic does not allow an immediate conversation.  The best way to complete your database of exhibitors is to go to the dive shows, get a business card from each exhibitor and begin your business relationship right there at the show.  What you’ll quickly find out, is that the show has many more exhibitors than what is in the show guide.  To find local dive stores, dive boats, dive clubs and dive instructors, you need to visit each booth and see all of the business cards on display.

Having your company representative display their business cards at the booth tells the attendees who was at the show.  Show guides might list the company marketing director or the person in charge of pre-show booth preparations.  Those people may have nothing to do with company products or sales.

Two good ways to store contact information is digitally and physically.  Our digital database of over 3,500 industry professionals is processed by Dymo Cardscan Software.  See for more information.   For a quick, non-computer overview, we keep the physical cards in clear business card binder pages from Office Depot.  The pages hold 10 business cards per page but 20 if you don’t need to see the backs of the cards.  At last count, we had 787 cards with complete contact information in our Exhibitors Bureau Database.

Who Exhibits At Dive & Travel Shows:  As we mentioned earlier, most of the exhibitors in the exhibit hall are travel companies, dive equipment manufacturers, training agencies and non-profit organizations.  These are normally nationally based companies with a fair marketing budget.  They have the need to advertise and the budget to do so.  What they normally lack is sufficient staff to work all the shows.  On the other hand, the industry professionals who have the greatest need to exhibit and the most to gain from the shows are the local dive stores, dive boats, dive clubs and dive instructors.  They have the time and the staff, although they may lack the budget to pay for a booth.  You may have already guessed where I’m heading with this.  The need for industry professionals to cooperate with your industry supply chain is absolutely essential for dive show success. 

Show producers are always looking for exhibitors to buy booth space. It doesn’t matter who is in that booth space, it only matters that’s it’s not empty and whoever is in it, has a program, product, or service that a typical attendee wants to see, hear, feel and buy.

The following is not a new idea.  It has been going on as long as I can remember.  That means close to 40 years of trade show exhibiting. The travel industry was the first to figure this out.  A Tourism Board or a Convention & Visitors Bureau would pay for booth space at a show.  They would then ask a number of their Resort Destinations to staff the booth for them.  This is not booth sharing.  One entity pays for the booth and decorates it with their logos.  Their clients staff the booth and sell their destinations to the attendees.  Everyone wins with this business mode; the show producer, the tourism board, the resort destination and the attendee.

Let’s take it one step further.  A Travel Wholesaler pays for a booth and decorates it with their logos.  A number of their clients staff the booth and sells heads on beds and butts on seats to the attendees.  Same WIN-WIN; the show producer, the travel wholesaler, the resort destination and the attendee.  How about a Resort Destination buying a booth with their Dive Center & Dive Operator pitching in to staff the booth.  Everyone wins again.  With small local shows why can’t a Dive Store buy a booth and have his local Dive Boat, Dive Instructor and Dive Travel Specialist help out?

It works for Dive Equipment Manufacturers as well.  I know.  I did it twice with a major manufacture.  The manufacturer paid for the booth and shipped their display and gear to the show.  Their Marketing Staff (Me) set up the booth.  The next day their local Sales Rep came in and scheduled his local Dealers to take turns staffing the booth.  This business model works.  Local businesses sell to local attendees.  Sales Reps and Marketing Directors get quality time with their Dealers.  National and International companies get branding recognition and increased sales from their Dealers.

This Business Model would work exceptionally well with Training Agencies because they are usually tied into local store, boats, clubs and Instructors.

Are you ready to grow your company and increase the effectiveness of your Marketing Department?  The Dive Industry Foundation is available to work with your Show Managers as their Exhibitor Concierge.  We are currently working with the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, WA to implement many of our cost-cutting, revenue building strategies that make Local Dive and Adventure Travel Shows more meaningful and enjoyable for attendees, exhibitors and speakers alike.  Booth sales have been brisk and the show is promising to be a world-class event for the Greater Pacific Northwest United States and Southwest Canada.

For more information contact:  Gene Muchanski at


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Dive Stores – The Heart Beat of the Industry

Why Dive Stores Are So Important
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

There are between 1,400 and 1,800 Dive Stores in the United States and approximately 1,400 Dive Stores outside of the U.S.  That puts our worldwide total of Retail Stores, specializing in scuba diving and related diving activities, at around 3,200 stores.  Not a lot of retail outlets when you look at it from a global industry perspective.

We call these specialty stores, Retail Dive Centers.  Mainly because they are in the Retail Industry (NAICS Code 45), specializing in diving programs, products and services and they are the center of activity for our recreation.  They are our Industry Ambassadors that interact with the General Public on a daily basis.  When scuba diving started to become popular in the 1950’s in the United States, diving enthusiasts bought air compressors and set them up in their garages and basements, so they didn’t have to go to their local fire departments to get their air.  They started teaching scuba classes and soon began selling diving equipment to their students out of their home.  At that time, Army-Navy Surplus Stores and a few Sporting Goods Stores were the only source for equipment, air and repairs.

As the demand for scuba diving grew, the garage operations moved to commercially zoned retail locations and a specialty industry was born within the Retail Sporting Goods Industry (NAICS 451110).  Since then, Dive Stores have worked very closely with the Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturers (NAICS 339920), the Sports & Recreation Instruction Industry (NAICS 611620), and the various Travel Industries (NAICS Code 56+).  They have truly become the Recreational Diving Experts in many Industries that specialize in diving and diving related products.  To add to their credit, they have become quite competent in Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Law, and Labor Relations too.

The Dive Industry Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in “Promoting Economic Development in the Diving Industry.”  Our job is to research, study, understand and report on the diving business community.  We help dive businesses start, grow and succeed.  The Foundation offers free business consulting to dive business entrepreneurs and their employees.

The Dive Industry Foundation has been asked to advise on the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, Washington on April 20-22, 2018.  We are working with all aspects of the show including Show Management, Vendors, Sponsors, Advertisers, Volunteers, Exhibitors, Speakers, and Attendees.  In the process we are recruiting Industry Professionals from the Local Dive Store, Dive Boat, Dive Club, Dive Resort and Dive Instruction  sectors of the Pacific Northwest U.S. and British Columbia to Volunteer, Advise, Attend and Participate in the dive show.   That’s a big job.

The Foundation is in the process of building its Dive Store, Dive Boat and Dive Club pages on our website.  Mind you, a “generic list” is not important or desired.  We are looking to begin a business relationship with active dive businesses that want to grow and contribute to their local diving community.

The Scuba & H2O Adventure Show is offering two free show passes to the Show on Saturday and Sunday to every Retail Dive Center (Staff only) and Dive Boat Operator in the 6 state Pacific Northwest and British Columbia so they could meet with their vendors who are exhibiting at the show.

Show Manager, Gene Muchanski is creating a Professional Development Seminar Day on Friday, April 20, 2018 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.  Admission if free to Industry Professionals.  Seminar rooms will be sponsored by Equipment Manufacturers, Training Agencies and Travel Resorts and Operators.  We are looking forward to bringing topics of interest to the local dive industry professionals.  Registration for the Friday Seminars has not been created yet.

Registration forms will be available soon for the 2 FREE Show Passes.  Interested Dive Stores and Dive Boats may register now by sending their Business Card with full contact information via U.S. First Class Mail to Dive Industry Foundation, 2294 Botanical Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.  No emails please.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in the Pacific Northwest Diving Community on April 20-22, 2018 at your 11th annual event.

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Let’s Encourage & Promote Dive Clubs

Let’s Encourage & Promote Dive Clubs
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
June 11, 2017

It’s been a few years since I was the President of the University of Connecticut Scuba Club, at the main campus in Storrs, Connecticut.  We had over 200 members, met every month, sponsored parties and dove throughout the year.  Our two scuba classes each had 25 scuba students and 14 Teaching Assistants in them every semester.  That’s right.  We were training 100 open water students a year, in addition to advanced scuba classes and an Instructor Training Course (ITC).  The highlight of of 1980 was our first Underwater Symposium and Film Review, UCONN UNDERWATER.  We drew a record crowd of exhibitors, speakers and attendees.  John Stoneman from Canada was our Guest Speaker and he marveled the audience.  In true College spirit, we partied at the Faculty-Alumni Center with our Speakers and Guests during the Lunch Intermission and had one heck of a party at Rapps Deli (local pub) after the Show that evening.

Scuba Diving at UCONN completed my Business Education and opened up a whole new career for me.  Starting out as NAUI’s first Marketing Director right out of college, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work in many sectors of the diving industry; Training, Manufacturing, Retail, Travel, Media, Non-Profit and of course, Business Consulting.  Along the way, I’ve learned that for a diving company to be successful, you have to make your program, product or service FUN.  You have to have people who promote it enthusiastically and sell it with passion.  And above all, you have to have your Team of Professionals in the background, strategically running your business.  So I guess the secret to dive business success is that you have to have a plan and you can’t do it alone!

The Dive Industry Foundation has been asked to advise on the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, Washington on April 20-22, 2018.  To make the show the world-class event it is designed to be, we are looking into every aspect of what makes a dive and travel expo successful.  We are helping Show Management recruit Attendees, Speakers, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Advertisers, Media Partners, Vendors, and Volunteers.

The purpose of the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show is to bring the best of our recreation to the members of the diving community in the Pacific Northwest.  It is also to showcase the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest Diving Community, to bring more business to the Pacific Northwest.

One very important sector of the Northwest Diving Community is their Dive Clubs.  Although there are many “lists” of Dive Clubs in the Industry and on-line, our organization is compiling our own working database of people who are actively involved in starting, running and promoting dive clubs.  We are looking to start a professional relationship with Dive Clubs to help them grow and be successful.  We can use your help to work with us to design and promote the annual diving event of the year in your community.  We are not only looking for attendees, we are looking for show volunteers and local advisers helping us to choose the best seminars, films and speakers for your community.

I believe that the importance of Dive Clubs has been neglected for many years and its time for Dive Clubs to bring back and maintain the joys of diving to the general public.  We are asking local divers to look at our Dive Clubs Page at  and let us know if the clubs we have are still active and what clubs we have not listed.  We need complete contact information on the club and their logo if they have one.  Send the club contact information to   If you have a business card, patch, or printed material on your club, please send it to Dive Industry Foundation, 2294 Botanica Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.

We look forward to working with all Dive Clubs across the Globe.

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Dive Industry Creates a Speakers Bureau

Developing an Industry Speakers Bureau
By Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
June 7, 2017

In our series on Developing the Ideal Dive Show, we are breaking down the components that make a show successful for the attendees, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, sponsors, staff and show management.  The most important component is, of course, the attendees.  We design a dive show based on who attends the show and what they expect to see and do and who they expect to meet.

The second component of a dive show are the seminars, workshops, film shows, meetings and activities that are organized into an integrated program for the attendees.  We call this second component “Presentations.”  Presentations are the meat & potatoes of any dive show, whether it is designed as a consumer show, trade show or professional development conference.  Having a high level of presentations means there will be more interest in attending the event.

Speakers and Presenters are the Ambassadors of our industry.  I can’t stress enough how important our speakers are when it comes to promoting our recreation through positive contact with the general public.  They are the story tellers of our industry.  They are the hands-on, been there, done that people of the recreational diving industry.  No one knows the impact one short seminar at a long forgotten dive show could have on the future of one individual, sitting in awe of the information being presented by an enthusiastic speaker.  Maybe it could be that life-changing moment that turns a dream into a life-long passion or career.  That’s why we want to introduce our Speakers to the world.

The purpose of this article is to develop an Industry Speakers Bureau that keeps track of speakers and presenters in our industry and their topics of expertise.  As we compile a group of speakers and presenters, we learn a lot about their topic of choice and their scope.  Looking at the show guides of dive shows in the past, I can see that speakers tend to be International, National or Regional in Scope.  Some focus on education and some more on entertainment.  Some presentations are focused on topics that appeal to recreational divers and some have more of a professional development appeal.

For the recreational diver, topics of current interest seem to be Underwater Photography and Video, Wreck Diving, Freediving, Technical Diving, Rebreather Diving, Spearfishing, and of course, Adventure Travel Diving.  From an educational side, Diving Medicine is very important, and so is the mechanics and meaning of diving equipment.  From a professional development side of diving and diving instruction, the topics of interest are plentiful.  Career development, improved teaching techniques, equipment maintenance and repair, employment opportunities, certification updates and renewals and the business of diving as a part-time or full-time profession.

Dive shows need to have an element of interest for recreational divers and industry professionals alike.  Both types attend the events as attendees, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers or staff.  Show producers establish the venue to accommodate local divers and visiting industry professionals.  To maximize the benefits of so much industry talent converging on one location for a weekend or more, it makes sense to include as much activity as the facilities can handle.

The Scuba & H2O Adventure Show is scheduled for April 20-22, 2018 in Tacoma, Washington.  Exhibiters and Speakers will be arriving from all over the globe on Thursday and Friday.  While the exhibiters are setting up on Friday, the show will host its professional development side of the show.  Show management is encouraging speakers and companies to conduct workshops, seminars and meetings targeted toward dive industry professionals.  Workshops that pull an audience away from an event for 4-8 hours, like equipment repair training, Instructor certification updates and technical training sessions are not a problem on Friday.  The Saturday and Sunday portion of the show is focused on local attendees and visiting divers as much as possible.  Everyone can participate and enjoy the exhibits, the seminars and film shows.  With proper booth staffing, exhibitors can even schedule time with their Instructors, Clients and Dealers anytime during the entire weekend; Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

The main purpose of organizing workshops, seminars, and meetings ten months in advance of a show is that it gives us time to find the most interesting topics that have the most appeal with audiences.  It allocates sufficient time to promote the show activities and invite attendees who would be interested in the program. Our goal is to bring a world-class event to Tacoma in April and inform and invite as many people as we can.

The Dive Industry Foundation is asking all Speakers to send us their contact information and topics of interest. Please include a recent photograph and a short Speaker’s Abstract & Bio.  You can email your information to or mail your information and a business card to Dive Industry Foundation, 2294 Botanica Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.  For more information, contact Gene Muchanski at 321-914-3778.

The best example of speaker information I have seen so far is Beneath the Sea’s 2017 Speakers’ Abstracts & Bios.  Beneath the Sea published 14 pages of speakers and their bios in their 2017 show guide.  Fantastic job; clear pictures and short bios.  They even included a short abstract of each seminar the speakers were presenting.  This format should be the model for all seminars and show guides to come and we certainly will use it as a guide when we create the Dive Industry Speakers Bureau.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Tacoma on April 20-22, 2018.


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Dive Industry Foundation Consulting on Tacoma Dive Show

Dive Industry Foundation Consulting on
Scuba & H2O Adventure Show
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation

With the season underway, industry planers are starting to think about next year.  Of course, we still have to get through the DEMA Show in November but that is really part of this year’s planning, which should be well underway for many exhibitors.

There are a number of good shows and events on the docket for 2018.  To get the best prices and the best results from our pre-show, at-show and post-show efforts, we are planning now and ready to execute our plans in a timely manner.  The Dive Industry Association will be exhibiting at four shows and attending and marketing a dozen more.  Our non-profit Dive Industry Foundation is not only exhibiting at a number of shows but are working with a number of show producers and exhibitors to help make their shows more successful.  Part of that success is based on solid planning and timely execution.

The Dive Industry Foundation has been asked to advise on the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, Washington on April 20-22, 2018.  Although the show is ten months away, a lot of planning needs to take place to make it the world-class event it is promising to be.  We are working with all components of the show; Attendees, Presenters, Sponsors, Advertisers, Exhibitors, Volunteers, Staff and Show Management.

Putting a show together is a lot of work but it is not Rocket Science.  What has helped me tremendously is looking back on the company that built our swimming pool four years ago.  On the first day of our meeting, the builder sketched out a rough draft of the type of pool we wanted. He added and deleted options as we discussed them and added things he knew would be needed.  At the end of our first meeting he had a clear idea of what we wanted.  After reviewing our needs and budget, Paradise Pools was ready to make a solid estimate on the cost of the pool, the materials that were needed and time it would take to complete the pool.  After our second meeting, the builder knew what he needed to know.  In his mind’s eye, he could see the process from start to finish. He already knew what the pool would look like when it was finished.  How did he know that?  Because he had done this many times before.  It wasn’t his first rodeo!

I learned a lot about building a business from that experience.  For 52 days I photographed and video taped the pool building project and shared the progress with my facebook friends.  On any given day 30-50 people tuned in and experienced the daily success of the project and yet, none of us knew exactly how or when everything would come together.  But the builder knew ever since the second meeting.

I am hoping the Scuba & H2O Adventurer Show in Tacoma will turn out to be the world-class event we are planning it to be.  However, it is going to take more than good planning and execution.  It’s going to need the excitement and participation of the diving community in the Northwest United States and Southwest Canada.  I am confident that will happen.

As we work on all aspects of this event, i.e. Attendees, Presenters, Sponsors, Advertisers, Exhibitors, Volunteers, Staff and Show Management, we will share the progress with the diving community.  Hopefully, like my pool project, we’ll all see the show come together right before our eyes.

If you would like to be a part of this event, contact Gene Muchanski at


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