DEMA Show 2012 Analysis

DEMA Show 2012 Las Vegas, NV
What happens in Vegas shows up online

I’ll once again be heading off to the annual Diving Equipment and Marketing Association Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ll be covering the latest gear, industry and certification agency information for Aquaviews┬áin daily posts. I’ll also be live-tweeting via @LeisurePro Wednesday through Friday afternoon, then @SCUBAMarketing Friday afternoon through Saturday.

When everything is over, and I’ve recuperated a bit from the long week, I’ll be posting my event analysis here. I won’t be discussing the cool new gear or latest training materials from the certification agencies (unless I see some unexpected marketing aspect worth discussing), but will instead be discussing my observations from the trade show itself.

As I finalize my preparations and pack my bags, I’m curious to see how the event has evolved.

Photo/Video Policy

Will there still be a strict no photo/video policy? Will I continue to be the only person to pay attention to it?

I think this is one of the most backwards policies I’ve seen the last few years.

The show doesn’t allow photos of the new product showcase even though the last 3 years, 99% of the “new” products are just color updates.

Most manufacturers announce their new products weeks in advance of the show, so it’s not like we’re actually reporting on anything that isn’t out there already.

Cutting Edge Seminars

I love attending the marketing seminars so I can know what the rest of the industry is being told is “cutting edge” ­čÖé I’ll leave it at that.


We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

This is both mildly entertaining and mildly frustrating every year.

I have a media badge. I write for the most heavily trafficked blog in the dive industry, tweet to thousands of followers, share with tens of thousands of Facebook Fans, yet the “salespeople” working most booths won’t give me the time of day.

When I traded badges a couple of years back with someone who had a buyer badge, the same people were falling all over me.

Don’t manufacturers understand that when Apple, Google or Samsung hold product events, they invite the press, not Best Buy and AT&T managers? The press helps sell product…if given a chance.


Most manufacturers have already said they aren’t answering calls or responding to emails this week. Even Scuba Board has posted notices on the manufacturer sub-forums not to expect replies this week. Apparently they’ve never heard of smart phones.

Judging by the customers already complaining about not being able to get in touch with anyone, this lack of communications during the event is a bad business practice.

I can’t even imagine telling my boss I won’t be replying to him at all this week and I definitely won’t be neglecting any customers that need my help.

Social Media

Will I be in an echo chamber like the last few years (other than the prolific self-retweeterers…is that a word?)?

I’ve seen a few new people working booths say they’ll be live tweeting, but I can’t help but expect they’ll fall by the wayside as soon as they get busy with customers. That’s perfectly fine, they should be helping people (especially those of us with media badges ;)) instead of playing around on their phones.

Enough speculation, it’s going to be a great event for those of us with realistic expectations. I’ll be the blond guy tweeting, Instagramming, toting around my Apple products and raising my hand all too often in the marketing seminars. Say hi if you see me.

Will you be attending the 2012 DEMA Show in Las Vegas?

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