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Is Our World Underwater show dying?

Discussion in 'Shows and Events' started by GIANNA LOMAX, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Only 3 shops will be there from the looks of it. DRIS, Scuba Emporium, and Indy MPH Water Sports.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  2. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

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    @GIANNA LOMAX
    @Marie 13

    I suspect the time of the year and Chicago winter weather is a huge factor. It is extremely difficult to justify for some one from a sunshine state to travel to a city in the middle of the winter to present a program .

    Most simply do not posses the necessary cold weather gear.-- I certainly don't !

    Several years back when SoCal was the center of the diving world a number of us were invited to speak at the WUW.
    One traveled back to Chicago and returned with rave reviews about the reception of their programs, the Midwest hospitality - but the weather was horrible.
    I was invited 2 times to present and two times I rejected the offer to present - I can only assume the rest of the local tribe was also removed from the presenters list.

    I sincerely suspect the weather is a factor

    In SoCal we have the SCUBA Show -- In May or June in Long Beach weather is great every year it becomes bigger and bigger...

    SAM , .

    .
     
  3. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

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    @Sam Miller III

    The show used to be much, much bigger from all accounts. My opinion is that the internet has killed or really hurt these types of shows. Why go to a show when you can get all the info you need online?
     
  4. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

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    @Marie 13

    Interesting justification for one with so little experience who must rely on I think, I suppose and I was told

    If the internet is a culprit

    Then why is the Long Beach so huge ? Bigger and better every year - most considers it as good as or better than DEMA. 2 days of exhibits, programs and even a huge Saturday night pizza party--

    SDM
     
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Friends tell me the outdoor/boat type shows are also much smaller than they used to be.

    OUW seems to have had some management issues - I wonder if that might be part of the problem.
     
  6. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
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    @Marie13

    Happy California warm and sunny Valentine to you

    SAM
     
  7. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    Thank you...I think!
     
  8. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

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    I think when market forces start to thin out the market place, not all outlets are affected equally. As exhibitors find they need to pick and choose which events they will attend and which events they will skip, the larger shows will be far more resilient than the smaller shows. I have never been to the Long Beach show, but I suspect they are probably one of the larger, healthier shows and it takes much smaller hits on those business decisions.

    Chicago weather? Well... it sure isn't a selling point at that time of year. But OWUW may also be calendar blocked. Between the dates for other shows, and perhaps favorable venue pricing for that time of year, there may be little or no opportunity to change the dates. I think it has always been around that time of year, so larger editions in past years happened in spite of the weather. Chicago weather is not new to the equation for a once much larger show.

    I am not privy to the OWOW budget, but I would be very curious to understand how much revenue comes from attendance, and how much comes from exhibitors. I would not be shocked if the two buckets of money are closer than some might think. Regardless, BOTH attendees AND exhibitors need to feel they get value for cost, and each relies on the other for the value received.

    I fully agree that e-commerce has affected the dynamics drastically. I think overall dive equipment sales have been in a slump for several years, even with internet sales included. An LDS that comes to OWUW finds it harder to earn back the cost of attendance, much less gain a long term profitable relationship with a customer, so they stop coming. And equipment manufacturers find they need to pinch more pennies, and they start to drop some show from their list. Often that decision is largely up to a regional sales manager, who is directly and personally impacted by the cost of attending the specific show in their area. (show fees, shipping fees, payroll, hotels, etc.) If there are very few of their shops there to feed customers to, the benefit becomes less tangible. And attendees who "window shop" a manufacturer booth and then go home to shop online will benefit the larger company, but not a single penny at the local level where the shows costs are financed. (Another point in favor of Long Beach - there are a LOT of dive equipment companies in the immediate area that would find it far less inconvenient and costly to attend.)

    So I have kind of covered manufacturers and dive shops, which are two of the three major draws for the attendees. The third is travel. Anyone think the travel industry hasn't been affected by the internet? Dive travel wholesalers and travel agencies have taken a big hit, and those remaining can't continue the same business practices they employed 15 years ago. I suspect the individual destinations that do attend to try and drum up interest in the end product also have less funds to spend on shows, and do more picking and choosing, even if they "win" by driving attendees to make internet reservations.

    These are all interrelated elements that depend on each for success, and as soon as one link weakens, the others start to feel the effects. I do NOT pretend to know how to "fix" it and change a vicious cycle back into a virtuous cycle. But I do think I understand at least part of what is happening, and yes the internet plays a very large role.

    As long as I am at it, two other items that have not helped the industry that financially supports these shows:
    • The tremendous extended hit that travel in general took after 9-11.
    • The exorbitant nickel and diming by airlines that makes luggage fees a major consideration for many divers when choosing whether or not to purchase their own gear or to rent.
    Just my opinions...
     
    cerich likes this.
  9. Mason Gierke

    Mason Gierke Angel Fish

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    @Marie13

    I'm thinking about making the trip Sunday but it's about a 2 hour drive for me, I'm looking for a beach resorts and to try on as many masks as I can, if you happen to notice that the show is lacking those things could you please send me a message and then I can save half a day of driving. Thanks.
     
  10. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    you made a lot of on the nail head points there
     

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