So another DEMA show has drawn to a close and what a fun one it was. The last DEMA show that I had attended was two years ago when I was pregnant so my "networking" time was more of a minimum as apart from the fact that my feet ached, I got tired so easy. Plus in Orlando, a lot of "networking' happens in the "mosh pit" as we fondly call it, the foyer bar at the Rosen hotel.
If you haven't ever been to the DEMA show I can highly recommend it. It is a great learning experience but you need to definitely make a plan of action to get the most out of it, otherwise you will be wandering around the aisles of amazing scuba diving products looking up in awe and coming away with nothing to move forward with. A good goal, as a dear friend of mine says, is to come away with at least 3 good contacts. People or companies that you may be looking to work with in the future, can collaborate with.
So I made my three contacts at this show and what did I learn? Well, various things especially looking at what is coming into the world of scuba diving. One of the things I noticed is that there are so many of those full face snorkel masks out there. Why? It's funny as literally every rep we talked to rolled their eyes when you even mentioned them but hey, everyone is buying them so it's a necessary evil. I know there is some controversy around them at the moment so the recommendation I think is to stay on the surface whatever.
The course director update as always was interesting as PADI is looking at updating the instructor program ready for next year. I think it needs the update as the world and everyone in it are continually evolving. I am looking forward to seeing more online and digital options which will be more accessible for learning.
Also, hit the shark and ray tourism seminar which was a fun workshop. Okay so we don't always work with sharks and rays but many aspects of the sustainability options for the program, can be applied to our business model in everyday practice. I am going to see which of these I can start implementing soon....
One of the most exciting things for me, was the launch of the PADI Adaptive teaching techniques program. I had the honor of being able to work on developing the program with PADI which honestly, is largely in thanks to my inspirational friend Ernst Van de Poll who is an incredible instructor and has devoted may years to introducing scuba to people of all abilities and being a phenomenal educator in all aspects of marine conservation. I have definitely taken some of my cues from him.
So, back to the program, it is developed into two parts, the adaptive support diver and the adaptive teaching techniques. The teaching techniques is for anyone of a divemaster rating (or in active training) and above who wants to learn techniques to be able to adapt standard PADI programs for anybody who wishes to learn. I think it's a great thing and I will writing a bit more about it soon when we schedule out first program. Exciting stuff though.
As for the rest of DEMA, it was fun catching up with everyone and enjoy the lovely Sam Adams that PADI was nice enough to put on at the booth at 5pm ; ) It's funny how everyone gravitates to one area depending on what's being served !!