#scuba Annual DEMA Dive Show Bring Industry Professional Together – California Diver

December 3, 2019 - Comment

Thousands of dive industry professionals pack the entry to the 2019 DEMA show in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Rebecca Ziegler The professional scuba diving community is a worldwide network of individuals and companies ranging from recreational, professional, and technical skill levels. Once a year, over 9,000 of these individuals meet up for the DEMA (Diving Equipment &


Thousands of dive industry professionals pack the entry to the 2019 DEMA show in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Rebecca Ziegler

The professional scuba diving community is a worldwide network of individuals and companies ranging from recreational, professional, and technical skill levels. Once a year, over 9,000 of these individuals meet up for the DEMA (Diving Equipment & Marketing Association) show, which is held in Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada, alternating locations each year. This year dive professionals from around the globe gathered in Orlando, Florida. From November 13-16, these diverse individuals and organizations all came together for a compilation of seminars, training sessions, exhibitions, and meetings. Attendees were able to choose from over 250 professional development seminars and nearly 600 exhibitors featuring the latest technologies in the dive industry from dive equipment, accessories, camera gear, and more.

More than 250 seminars are offered for professional development at the annual DEMA show. Photo: Rebecca Ziegler

Wandering the exhibit floor at DEMA, you can stumble across a myriad of giveaways, free food and drinks, dive buddies you haven’t seen since last year at DEMA, or that one dive trip you did back in the spring. DEMA is an important place for meeting other professionals and heads of organizations face to face. While an individual or dive shop can send an email to other organizations and suppliers, there is no substitute for meeting the person face-to-face. Whether it is exchanging business cards on the show floor or grabbing a pint at one of the several after hours meet ups, DEMA is a great place to mingle with other divers at all levels of an organization. This ease of accessibility to heads of well-established companies is especially important for newer groups breaking into the dive scene. For example, Alex Finden a co-founder of Mammalz, a new media streaming and social platform dedicated to nature, going to DEMA was a must. “DEMA is one of the most genuinely social industry events I attend. Everyone is willing to sit down for a quick meeting on the convention floor or chat at a party about how they can help collaborate with your company. For my startup, Mammalz, community is everything. I definitely felt I was a part of the community at DEMA.”

Training seminars are held daily in a wide array of topics, like this one for becoming an OTS guardian full face mask technician. Photo: Rebecca Ziegler

Personally, I look forward to the training sessions and seminars. In the past I have attended sessions looking at diving physiology, risk management, and diving tourism. This year, however, I was sent by my work for two equipment service technician courses. They took a full day each to complete. The first was to be certified as a cylinder technician through Cylinder Training Services and the second was to be a Guardian Full Face Mask Technician with Ocean Technology Systems. Both of these have been on my professional development check list at work as well as a personal goal for myself as a diver.

The DEMA show is a great place for diving professionals to network and meet others in the industry. Photo: Rebecca Ziegler.

DEMA is so much more than just another trade and travel show. It is a place where you can see the diving community come together and learn just how connected everyone is to each other. It is a place to learn something new or maybe just refresh what you know and to meet new people or catch up with old friends. And of course, DEMA is great for sharing underwater stories from across the world over a drink (or two).

Walt Disney World Water Science Dive Technician Richard Smindak tries out a piece of new technology being showcased at DEMA 2019. Photo: Rebecca Ziegler

Words & Photos by Rebecca Ziegler
Rebecca is a member of the Explorers Club and a Royal Geographic Society Fellow. Visit her website at www.rebeccaziegler.com

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