250 Trade Personnel (including Dive Centre Owners, Shop Managers, Pro Instructors, manufacturers and distributors), 20 Exhibitors, 6 members of the Diving Media (British Diver, Diver, Dive The World, Scuba, Sport Diver, X-Ray Magazine), 6 Training Agencies (ANDI, BSAC, GUE, IANTD, PADI, SAA), 2 members of the HSE Diving Inspectorate and 1 professional cartoonist attended the 2011 UK Diving Trade Show on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th November 2011.
During the two day event 12 talks were given covering topics such as "Ecopreneurship" (David Jones), "Is your website working for you?" (Richard Howes), "The down and dirty on image copyright" (Simon Brown), "The BSAC snorkel diver course" (Margaret Baldwin) and "Power Up with Proven Business Practices" (Simon Chance).
He gave two exceptionally useful, entertaining and educational talks to industry personnel covering "How fit is 'fit to dive' " and "Thermal stress and diving. "I've been inspired to start exercising again after listening to Neal", observed one delegate. Meanwhile a number of the audience in the Thermal Stress talk soon discovered that they were probably not bordering on hypothermia following a winter dive at Stoney Cove. While less exciting on the fish story scale, they were merely "just cold".
Cold water featured heavily during the UK Diving Industry Christmas Party when award winning cinematographer, Doug Allan, gave a mouth-watering presentation on the BBC's Frozen Planet series. The talk kicked off with a brilliant sequence filmed from a helicopter. The shot began with a wide view across the polar ice that continually tracked to eventually swoop in low, and closed with a very tight image of a Polar Bear. Over the next 30 minutes Doug transported the entire audience to polar regions with his superb imagery and stories.
Another man with an interesting story was Fraser Bathgate. This year he was the first Brit to win the DEMA Reaching Out Award, and this was acknowledged during the Dinner - Fraser received a much deserved standing ovation for the work he has done in the field of disabled diving. It was fitting therefore that the raffle was in aid of Deptherapy and raised just shy of £1,500. SITA gratefully acknowledges the generosity of BBG Distribution, Rod Roddenbury, and everyone who donated something yummy for the two Christmas Hampers.
There were more reasons to celebrate success and the party was the perfect place for SITA to thank and honour Douglas Nash of PADI. He is retiring shortly after more than 32 years service to the Industry. Vini Howlett, Chairman of the Scuba Industries Trade Association presented Doug with an engraved decanter whilst highlighting key aspects of Doug's career.
On the product front, the 2011 UK Diving Trade Show saw the British debut of more than 50 products including Fourth Element's Core Body Warmer, Storm Jacket and Arctic one piece. "This was a good opportunity to meet many of our UK Dealers and will form an important part of our UK activity in years to come", stated Jim Standing.
Meanwhile, over on the Hollis / Oceanic stand Kelvin Richards stated, "I did not get much of an opportunity to go and listen to the speakers due to the overwhelming work load. This was the UK unveiling of the Hollis Explorer Rebreather and there was huge interest in it. It made me proud to see the trade platform come back into our industry and Oceanic/Hollis will certainly support all future trade events".
The Poseidon stand was also packed, as Simon Morris launched 46 new products. "It was important to us to showcase our latest equipment range to the UK Diving Industry who couldn't make it over to Orlando for DEMA". New products include the "One" wetsuits, Rebreather wing, Rebreather BCD with the counter lungs built in, line cutters, wet boots, rash vests, iPAD holder, laptop bag, stage cylinder bag and fins.
Attendees included Chris Wake of Christal Seas Scuba who left his newly constructed dive centre and drove over from Norwich "to meet up with suppliers and other people in our Industry. I found it useful catching up with industry personnel I've not seen in ages and the social side was great. It was well worth attending".
Premier Diving Equipment, a new company to the diving industry attended the UK Diving Trade Show for the first time. "We came to meet people we've been talking to for the last 12 months", explained Rachael Bell. "We've made a lot of new contacts and it was good to be able to spend time with key players and explain our product range to them. The talks were really interesting, especially Neal Pollock's Thermal Stress because we're just about to launch a heated vest. I think what's equally important is that from a personal point of view, I really can't wait to get out and do some more UK diving"!
Images from the UK Diving Industry Trade Show can be found on www.facebook.com/tumc.co.uk
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