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London Dive Show - cancelled?

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've just received some spam advertising the London Bike Show, offering 3 shows for one ticket: Bike, Triathlon and Telegraph Travel Show; used to include the Dive Show.

    Oh well, a sign of the times. There's still Birmingham in on the 21st + 22nd October.
     
  2. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    That's a shame. I've never been to the London show, but been to the NEC one a few times and seen it shrink over the years. Not been for a couple of years and I'll be up at the Farnes that weekend, so won't be there this year either.

    I went to the Manchester show earlier this year. It's a nice idea, but it only took about half an hour to walk round. I enjoyed some of the talks and the display tank in the middle was good, but I was done after a couple of hours.

    Is it nearly the end for shows like this?



    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Cybes

    Cybes Active Member

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    Personally I think that these types of show are limited in how much they can engage your interest. TekCamp at Vobster seems like a good example of a much better way of grabbing and keeping your interest, getting you involved with new kit and actually getting you in the water diving it.

    A good day out.

    Becks was involved in a tech weekend in the north, diving Capernwray last year. This seemed to be very well received.

    I think that bringing training agencies and retail outlets to a dive site where you can do more than look and spend is the way forward.
     
  4. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Active Member
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    I've never been to one of these shows - whether it be diving, mtb'ing, proper biking, whatever.

    I'm sure they're entertaining enough once you're there though, but life's too short and I'd rather be doing something than poncing around trying to save a few pennies on more tat that I don't need.
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I used to love the London boat show when it was in Earl's Court. Places like Exsell are soulless places.

    However it's the intarnets that's done for these shows. We used to go to these shows to get info on new kit, kick the tyres and grab a bargain. With the internet this just isn't necessary, especially given the cost of buying, stocking and running a stand.

    Alas these shows are doomed unless there's other attractions or massive marketing budgets. Again, look at the boat shows now where the only thing keeping the London Boat Show running is the cock boat stands where 'people' come to be seen.
     
  6. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    The problem is not nailing their audience. The reason tek weekends work is because people get to go diving. The target market for dive shows must be actual divers, so why they sometimes have a try dive pool always confuses me.
     
  7. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Wrong. The target audience for dive shows is as much NEW divers and those wanting to get in the
    sport along with the family entourage who the holiday company gets cause one of them is a diver :)
    It's all about having multiple targets, more you have the more exhibitors will attend.

    Try-dive pools are to encourage the kids/family to get involved, which generates more holidays,
    training courses and then kit all which are funnily enough sold at the show. When it's RB try-dives
    doesn't need a lot of punters to say yes before the unit or training equals a very good earner.

    The demise of the dive show is less to do with the lack of punters willing to go to a Southern show,
    it's more that the location and size is now tainted. One main dive show a year in a central location
    so that most companies can attend is why the NEC makes sense and still has legs. However even
    with the catchment area of London the crippling cost of exhibiting (£160 odd Sq/m floor space -
    min 6sq/m, £120 for a power point, more for lights phone line etc £100 a night hotel, travel, food -
    do the maths)
    especially for those firms from up-country means other methods of PR are
    now more attractive..For all those punters many will happily drive three times as far to go to the NEC
    with the ease of access and parking etc. then even attempt to make it to the much closer Excel.

    I've run over a dozen stands at NEC and Excel/Olympia etc and reckon the answer IMO is to have a
    more localised west of the smoke on the M4 corridor that sucks in all the dive outfits and suppliers in
    the South and Midlands. This pitches it at the start of the UK dive season, so what better time to
    promote both training, kit sales and UK diving. This cuts the exhibiting costs down and makes it more
    affordable for smaller outfits to get involved. You've got the Northern Dive Show, so make it the Southern
    Dive Show, but break away from the London shackles or at least make it West so that the ease of access
    from M4/M25 is good and the exhibiting cost lower.

    Trouble is this needs someone with vision, a new broom that is willing to take it on and take a chance as
    it's a fairly big gamble, one which needs a different captain at the helm than the Diver Group.
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It needs to change the focus from flogging tat to an event.

    Shops, per se, are dead. No margin and little point when it's easily available online.

    On the other hand, specialist info stands, for example rebreather manufacturers, photographic housing/lighting manufacturers, or even specialist kit manufacturers (e.g. Santi, Light-for-Me, Halcyon, Dir-Zone, Apeks/Aqualung) would be efficient use for marketing budgets.

    Personally I'd rather it was an auditorium with proper comfy seating where there's decent presenters maybe running themed streams, much like that of an educational conference. Need to be able to learn things or be wowed with quality content. Exhibitors would have a separate hall for the changeover periods and quiet times for one-to-ones.

    This is the case for the bi-annual Tech conference. It's the content that matters.
     
  9. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Seems like the vobster event and more lately the bsac try tech weekends are popular. Maybe their more the format we need.
     
  10. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Yeah right :)

    Depends how much you want listen to someone droning on about stuff you don't want to hear
    about while waiting for the odd speaker who might actually have something worth listening to.
    No thanks.

    As for that list of kit manufacturers who on earth do you think is your target audience?
    That will be the ones that already have enough knowledge to know and who won't be swayed
    by a stand. I don't need to see an eg: Apeks stand to know what regs they sell so why would
    that be a draw to go to a show?

    Throw in what many of us have, a personal contact with shop or manufacturer selling a particular
    line and it's hardly an advantage to go pay ££ to see the same guy somewhere else.

    The likes of the Tek show panders to a niche market, but has a finite size which it's already
    reached. Mirroring that by adding another similar would just detract from the main and both
    would suffer. Distributors know this which is why they pick one not both and so again the
    small Tek community loses out.

    Meanwhile the other demographic of the new diver is poorly serviced with a massive percentage
    either doing all diving overseas or a single UK course before again diving overseas. This is an
    untapped market and it's this demographic the industry needs to attract or switch to UK both to
    boost shops sales and boost UK diving overall. .

    Thinking Tek is the saviour of all is a big mistake, it;s needs feeding by ordinary divers at the bottom
    as the numbers at the top stop diving. Tek is of an age now when most of the rec into Tek pioneers
    and early divers are hanging up fins, yet the rec levels are way down so less are being fed in at the
    base. Bottom line is that if Rec shrinks it's onoy a slight delay before Tek does as well and we are
    already in that zone :(
     
  11. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Niche events pandering to a limited demographic, which limits the quantity before the events fail.

    Keep it niche = works, scale it up and do too many = fail.
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    That's largely my point: there shouldn't be any 'droning on' of a half-arsed presentation. It needs to be, as the BBC put it, to educate, entertain and inform.

    In the case of novices, talks about the early-day courses, reviews of the basics, excellent instructors covering some of the theory. Get PADI to dust off some decent instructors for example.

    Could be coverage of special skills required to dive in the UK (Drysuits, sticking with buddies, using torches, SMBs....)

    For the tech-curious, coverage of kit config, some deco theory, finning (although hard without a tank (heck, wheel on a glass-sided tank o the stage???)

    Some first-class presentations on expeditions, amazing dive sites, trips to Truc, Scapa, etc., star presenters - Attenborough on the Blue Planet, crew on his trips; photographers; inter to photography...

    Just not some tacked on old duffer droning on. Make it the reason for going.
     
  13. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Did you go the recent Vobster event, Tel? I'm guessing not.

    No droning on, just a chance to actually do a 'proper' dive (ie not 10 minutes in a swimming pool) in a rebreather unit of your choice (or a number if you were so inclined to spend a little more cash).

    Plenty of people around to explain and discuss the units and training.

    It was excellent actually.

    M
     
  14. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Read the post again. Droning is in reference to the conference model with a day of mixed speakers,
    NOT the Vobster effort which was a practical event doing what is the point of all this stuff which is
    going diving.

    They are two totally different animals and bare no comparison.
     
  15. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Makes sense and I would agree, but your reply directly follows a mention of the Vobster events, hence my misunderstanding :)

    M
     
  16. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    All you've done is replaced some old duffer droning on with some dive guru droning on, both of which will have
    little impact or interest to many new divers. Remember the target demographic needed to get onboard are the
    lost silent majority that need something new or different to engage them and not the same old dross that they
    got bored with on day two of the open water course.

    Stop preaching to the converted, think outside the shrinking box.
     
  17. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    That's what I said.

    Make it something that we'll all enjoy as the heart of the show not the tacked-on ananoverthing which it is at the moment.
     
  18. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    No, we are already done, that's the point and while more of the same in a different format
    will fail.

    The target needs to be the lost majority as its this group that have the potential to expand,
    NOT the ones that have already bought the book and DVD.
     
  19. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    I never see any non divers or potential beginners at dive shows. Only people from on here... hence my comment about knowing their market. Really, the adventure travel show is a better place to get potential new divers.
     
  20. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    There are loads as any that have pitched a stand near the toilets will testify :p
    Divers will engage in nearby stands while partners go in. Non-divers will usually
    just stand and look miserable while waiting until the partner comes out again.
    It's quite surprising how many walking around are not actually divers.

    As for one source of potential beginners just look at the number of kids walking
    around not quite old enough to go diving. That's why they do kids in the try-dive
    pool, get them hooked early. Kids need a dive course and they grow, so kit is on a
    replacement cycle. Then many want to do the lot overseas so that's where the
    lot on hols kicks in and if parent + kid gets to go, then other non-diving parent
    non-interested siblings do as well which means more bums on seats in the
    plane.

    Adventure travel show kind of misses the point about getting those that learned in
    the UK and who no longer diver here to get back into it. It also suffers from
    competition with oither ideas where a stand alone does not.

    Bottom line is not to think what you or I would like, but what would attract a
    a) Non-Diver or b) An only dive overseas diver to not so much a dive show,
    but a dive event.

    If anyone had the answer they'd be running a show, so it's still not been done yet.
     

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