November 19, 2015
Written by: Sophie Gaze
Dive Immersion Senior Divemaster
Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents would occasionally treat you to a trip to the candy store? There was an overwhelming confusion over where to look, what treats to take home, and you could almost feel the sugar rush before you even took your first bite! I remember this feeling well; it felt like total sensory overload. Well, that’s what the DEMA show is to SCUBA divers, and this year I had the opportunity to attend my first show in Orlando earlier this month. It is a privilege to represent Georgia Aquarium at DEMA, so when I heard that there was a last-minute ticket available, it was difficult to contain my excitement!
DEMA, or the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, holds an annual trade-only event in either Las Vegas or Orlando. The organization is dedicated to promoting the growth of scuba diving and other water-related activities in the business. The annual DEMA show allows vendors and exhibitors to network with each other, communicate important information related to the industry and reveal new equipment or programs. It is definitely a scuba diver’s candy store!
DEMA is four days of scuba diving bliss. More than 600 booths with representatives from all over the world covered a massive floor space in the Orange County Convention Center. Everywhere I looked there was something scuba-related, from wetsuits and regulators to demonstrations and displays. It was truly a sensory overload! I was only there for two of the four days, but in that time I was inspired by the magnitude of the diving industry. It was fantastic to see so many people gathered in one area to talk about a shared passion. I have never seen anything like it in my life. I attended several seminars on underwater videography, learned the names of brands and equipment that I never even knew existed and left with a greater appreciation for my job as a whole.
Georgia Aquarium has attended DEMA for several years now. Since our first appearance, it has been our goal to share the important educational significance of aquariums and promote our Journey with Gentle Giants interaction. This year was particularly exciting as we unveiled our new Try a Rebreather experience, where guest divers will have the opportunity to try a Poseidon SE7EN rebreather in the Ocean Voyager habitat. More details will be announced about this amazing program in spring of 2016, but for now we are eagerly anticipating what is to come!
All in all, this year’s DEMA was a great success for our Georgia Aquarium booth. We enjoyed catching up with old friends in the industry and making new ones as well. Attending such a large show reminds us that the possibilities for expansion in the diving world are endless. I am so honored to be along for the journey as Georgia Aquarium continues to find new ways to engage and educate our guests.