dema logo(Blue Ocean Network.com – May 15, 2014) — How can we re-activate previously certified divers? What are the demographics of people who currently dive?  What does the industry have to do to bring young people into diving?

These are just a few of the question that were addressed during DEMA’s latest 2020 Vision brainstorming session, conducted during the Beneath the Sea Show in New Jersey at the end of March.

Conceived in 2011 as a means by which DEMA Member input could help steer the direction of the Industry, 2020 Vision Sessions are part of the strategic planning process used by DEMA’s Board of Directors.  Ideas and priorities from these brainstorming sessions help the Board understand the needs of Industry Members “on the ground” and help to shape the future of recreational diving.  At the most recent 2020 Vision Session, held in affiliation with Beneath the Sea, participants focused specifically on two topics: how to reactivate previously certified divers and bring young people into diving.

For those already certified divers who have not been diving recently, participants thought it was important to focus on the following key factors to entice these customers, already interested in and familiar with diving, to start diving again:

  • Make it social and fun, and use social media, viral videos, celebrity endorsements, and local dive parties;
  • Since many divers take a hiatus to have families and are more available as their kids get older, focus on family connections and the health and wellness benefits of diving;
  • Highlight all the equipment and technology improvements and the ease of diving today;
  • Encourage a variety of eco-based activities, like local beach clean-ups or coral restorations

With data indicating potential for Industry growth by reaching possible divers in the age range of 11-17 years old, there was also a focus on developing ways to bring young people into diving. Ideas for reaching a young audience included:

  • More advertising aimed at this 11-17 year old age range
  • The use of mentor / guest lecturer programs within schools or youth groups
  • Make diving look fresh, fun and exciting, focusing on the fun people have in the water and as a fun social experience
  • Use celebrity kid-divers as role models
  • Find ways to share diving as a family activity
  • Integrate Open Water Scuba courses and some of the science and physical aspects of diving into public and private school curricula (e.g.: teach marine biology and physics using diving examples)
  • Use social media to promote and engage kids with the diving culture and lifestyle
  • Leverage viral trends to promote awareness and captivate attention (e.g. “dive twerking”)

DEMA encourages all Industry professionals to review the brainstorming notes from this session and develop their own thoughts to share with DEMA at the upcoming 2020 Vision Session being held at The Scuba Show in Long Beach, CA (details coming soon) or by emailing DEMA at 2020vision@dema.org

If you have any questions regarding DEMA 2020 Vision Sessions please contact 2020vision@dema.org or (858) 616-6408.

DEMA, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, is an international organization dedicated to the promotion and growth of the recreational scuba diving and snorkeling industry.  With more than 1,400 members, this non-profit, global organization promotes scuba diving through consumer awareness programs and media campaigns such as the national Be a Diver campaign; diver retention initiatives such as DiveCaching; and an annual trade-only event for businesses in the scuba diving, action watersports and adventure/dive travel industries, DEMA Show. 

DEMA Show 2014 will take place November 19-22, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV.  For more information on DEMA and affiliated programs contact (800) 862-DIVE (3483) or (858) 616-6408 or visit www.dema.org.  Stay updated by following “DEMAOrg” on Facebook and Twitter.