Beneath the Sea

30 Jan

Some of you may have heard of DEMA, or the DIVING EQUIPMENT and MARKETING ASSOCIATION. This is a huge convention that takes place every year in either Florida or Las Vegas. Well, there is also another convention, that is a little smaller, but still really cool, that takes place at the Meadowlands in NJ. This one is called Beneath the Sea. Here is a link so that you can look at what they have on their website. BENEATH THE SEA.


This the their description of the event. “Beneath The Sea’s annual exposition in March will feature seminars and workshops, lots of great door prizes, a film festival showcasing the work of world-renowned underwater videographers, great parties, and exhibits and demonstrations by hundreds of manufacturers, dive clubs, dive shops, resorts, and much more!”

To be honest, we have never been before, but we have had several of our divers mention this particular convention to us. As it is based in NJ, and only 10 minutes away from my Uncle Clay’s house and only about 1 hr from my mom and dad’s house, it is the perfect opportunity for us to go home, see some friends and family, and also get the word out about Octopus Diving to divers.

I haven’t done any fancy survey’s (yet… although I have lot’s of great intentions to do one in the future) but just from talking to our divers and getting to know them, I know that a huge percentage of you are from NY, NJ and Connecticut. (Wow, I don’t think I have ever written the name of that state out in full before, I totally spelled it wrong the first time and now that I look at it, it is not spelled at all how it sounds… CON – NECT – I – CUT. Anyway….) So, I thought that some of you might like to come out and see us while we are there. We of course, would love to see you.

I am really excited for this, and to be honest, a little nervous to. It is a big expense for us, so I want to make it worth it. I am in the process of designing fliers to take, as well as some flags and posters. Basically when you sign up for the convention you just get a space. Then it is up to you to use it the best way that you can. We haven’t had a booth at a convention before, and some of them are really amazing. I don’t have loads of money to spend on decorating the booth, so any suggestions are welcome.


So far, this is our plan. We are going to get 20 – 30 Octopus Diving mugs made. Then we are going to make coffee and offer it free to those that may pass by, and also home made brownies. Here is the catch though, they can’t take the coffee away with them. They have to drink it, and eat the brownie while they are at our booth. Then, while they are eating the brownie and drinking the coffee we will tell them about how great St. Martin is and also all about Octopus Diving… of course! What do you think? There are just so many possibilities that it is a little overwhelming. Try doing a search on line for “trade show booth displays” or “trade show booth ideas” and you will see what I mean!

The actual show is from March 25th – March 27th, so mark your calendars! We are going to bring some tee-shirts to sell, as well as some cool other stuff that I haven’t thought of yet. But if you do come, and you do happen to have an Octopus Diving tee, then please where it. If you do, and you come to see us, we will give you one of our custom made Octopus Diving coffee Mugs!!!

Oh, I also wanted to add that we have five free tickets to give out. Normally the tickets are about $100 for the weekend, but we have 5 that we can give away for free. All we have to do is send them a self addressed envelope and the ticket will be sent to the lucky diver. So we thought that we should do some kind of competition for them… perhaps we should tie it all together with the convention. We need ideas to interact with divers at the convention so that they will come to St. Martin and dive with us. Examples could be doing some kind of raffle, or giving away coupons or something like that. We especially would like to push the New Tec Diving aspect of Octopus Diving and Chris is going to bring his Poseidon Mk 6 rebreather as well.
What am I getting at?
Go to our Facebook Page and post an idea for Octopus Diving to do at the convention. It can be a way to decorate the booth, it could be some kind of display, or activity, anything goes. The cheaper the better. The best response will get 2 free tickets which I will have Beneath the Sea send you!
How does that sound?
Sorry, my brain is a little frazzled, we just got back from a really awesome dive at Turtle Reef, the water is a beautiful color today, and I have that after diving buzz going on in my head.
Anyway… go forth blog readers! Brainstorm for us and help us make the Octopus Diving booth the coolest booth ever!

Sally wrote this blog 🙂

4 Responses to “Beneath the Sea”

  1. Chazz Walker January 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Having done a few of the Fancy Food Shows, I totally agree with Jean-Marc. I went to these shows as a chocolatier, & I can attest to the effectiveness of using “media props”. Your potential clients have to be “wowed” into viewing the beauty of underwater St. Martin. Skip the brownies in favor of giving away my Chava chocolates. The mug could be a good idea, although a good t-shirt is hard to beat. I picked up a nice t-shirt at Coki Beach Dive Shop in St.Thomas that I love to wear here in Raleigh, NC. Wish I had a groovy t-shirt from Octopus. Cheers,
    Chazz Walker

  2. jean-marc nantais January 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I am guessing that people attending this trade show are “serious drivers”. Occasional, vacation divers on a tight budget probably don’t go through the pain of going to a trade show like this AND pay $100 to enter. I am also guessing there will be many “diving destinations” promoting either their (large volume) dive shop or an entire diving area. You could be next to Stewart’s Cove Inc or next to “All of the Cancun”. If your booth looks too “cheap”, you will look like a 3rd world destination. You will need to spend some minimal money, otherwise this could play against you. If you have the funds, my proposal is as follows :

    (1) Create two slide shows running concurrently connected to two large screen (triggered by 2 portable computers). Both would run on a table (with a blue table cloth). PCs and screens can be rented locally. One slide show would feature tons of underwater SXM pictures. The other slide show would feature tons of staff pics and your boats. You need to come across all personable and helpful. One of your slide shows needs soft music (not to annoy your trade show neighbours and annoy the person who will man the booth for you).

    (2) You need an attractive backdrop. I would propose a portable 10-feet display with a stunning picture of SXM sealife with (large font) text that lists the 3-4 advantages of diving with you. It should include a bullet about being top on TripAdvisor; one bullet on hundreds of hotels and villas for rental nearby; one bullet on your specialized courses; one bullet on VIP service. To save time and transportation on a 10-feet display, have it made directly in NJ (http://www.skylinenj.com/portable-displays/display-systems/10-foot).

    (3) ons of 5 x 7 take-aways (on cardboard printed on both sides), left on your table. You will need over 500 for sure.

    (4) General tone : you don’t want to look corporate. You want to look personable; VIP-type service AND in a location that has tons of sealife.

    Spirit : if you cannot talk every person walking by, minimally they will (1) see the SXM underwater life (slide show); (2) see what your staff looks like and your boats (slide show); (3) get the 3-4 top messages you want to get across (10-foot display).

    Good luck.
    Jean-marc nantais
    Canada

  3. Jim January 31, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    I am from The Scuba Sports Club located in Westchester County, NY and we will have a booth at Beneath the Sea also #107. My advice is to come up with the best looking backdrop you can afford and as Jean-marc mentioned a slide show. If all you can afford is a laptop then that will have to do. Above all just be pleasant and have some fun. That will leave a lasting impression on the people you are trying to connect with.

    This is your first show and by just being there you will learn and come up with ideas for the next one. It really is a fun filled weekend spent with people with a common interest.

    Stop by and say hello, leave some cards and brochures with us. We run a couple of trips a year for our club members.

    Jim

  4. Greg February 1, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Just my two cents worth, you might check with a resort or hotel to see if they would be willing to comp a night or two with a package of several nights, or a deep discount, or something like that, in exchange for free advertising at the show. Or check with a car rental place and see if they will do same. If they would then you can offer a package deal to come diving.

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