White-Paper

DSC_0457DIVE LOCAL – A Dive Community Cooperative Effort
by Gene Muchanski
DIVE LOCAL Coordinator

DIVE LOCAL is a community effort to reach the general public and promote snorkeling and scuba diving as a exciting recreation. Our Mission is to show people how to; 1) Learn to Dive.  2) Buy Their Dive Gear.  3) Go Diving.  4) Stay Active in the Recreation.  Our Goal is to support and promote; 1) Local Dive Stores.  2) Local Dive Operators.  3) Local Dive Clubs.  4) Local Diving Instructors.

DIVE LOCAL – A Dive Industry Community Effort

Chapter 1 – What is Local Diving?
Chapter 2 – Four Pillars of the Local Dive Community.
Chapter 3 – What is DIVE LOCAL?
Chapter 4 – Levels of Participation.
Chapter 5 – Geographical Breakdown of Local Diving.
Chapter 6 – The Problems with the Industry.
Chapter 7 – Possible Solutions.
Chapter 8 – Actionable Items to Work on.
Chapter 9 – Regional Summit Conferences

CHAPTER 1 – WHAT IS LOCAL DIVING?

All diving is local.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in Chicago, Seattle or Cozumel.  The only difference is who is doing the promotion.  We are interested in having Local Ambassadors promoting their Local Diving Sites.  When a Dive Store in Chicago sponsors a dive trip to the Great Lakes, that’s local diving.  Same thing with a California Dive Boat taking Divers out to Catalina Island. When a group of dive resorts on Bonaire work together to identify and post 63 beach diving sites along the shores of Kralendijk, that’s local diving too.  To be perfectly honest with you, there is good local diving all over the world.  This fact has been with us all these years – the Heart & Soul of the diving community is “Local Diving.” 

CHAPTER 2 – FOUR PILLARS OF THE LOCAL DIVING COMMUNITY.

The diving industry as a recreation is spearheaded by four sectors of the industry who come in contact with the general public on a daily basis; the Local Retail Dive Centers; the Local Dive Boat Operators; the Local Dive Clubs; and the Local Diving Instructors.

Local Retail Dive Centers are the centers of activity in their Local Diving Community.  As public businesses, they are usually the first point of contact between the general public and our industry.  Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States learn to dive at dive stores every year.  Dive Centers are where people learn to dive, buy their equipment, and if done correctly, stay active in the recreation. Dive Stores also rent equipment, have a fill station, repair and service equipment, have a club, book local dive charters and conduct annual dive vacations to dive destinations worldwide.  A well-run retail dive center is a one-stop-shop for the recreational diver.

Local Dive Boat Operators do their part in keeping divers actively diving.  And they make money at it too!  Dive Boats service the student divers and certified divers alike.  Keeping Dive Operators in the public eye and publishing their individual schedules is a full time job.  Promoting Dive Operators is a national industry priority.

Local Dive Clubs were very popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Those were the days when being “Social” actually meant something.  In the past 46 years Dive Clubs have performed a very important role in keeping divers active.  Today, non-profit organizations like the Underwater Society of America are still bringing divers together by planning local events such as Underwater Hockey.  If we want our recreation to survive, we need to return to the club concept and keep divers actively involved.

Local Scuba Instructors teach in dive stores, high schools, colleges & universities, YMCA’s, resort destinations and independently.  Is teaching scuba diving a hobby or a business?  It could be either and it could be both.  Many of our industry retailers, reps, manufacturers and travel professionals started out as scuba diving instructors. Getting access to a classroom, pool and open water is relatively easy and there are many ways to accomplish this.  With the introduction of social media and modern marketing vehicles, advertising instructional services is easy and inexpensive.  There is no reason why Scuba Instructors shouldn’t have a WordPress Blog Website, a Facebook Page and a Constant Contact email account to help them market their services to the general public.  The only major challenge independent instructors still have is their access to reliable instructional equipment.

CHAPTER 3 – WHAT IS DIVE LOCAL?

DIVE LOCAL is a community effort to reach the general public and promote snorkeling and scuba diving as an exciting recreation.  It is a combined industry effort of dive industry professionals to promote diving and stimulate diving activity within the diving community.  DIVE LOCAL uses National Magazine coverage, Regional Dive Shows, and Regional Summit Conferences in addition to websites, newsletters, blogs, electronic mail, press releases, and social media networks to promote local diving shows & events and local diving activity.

Our Mission is to show people how to:  1) Learn to Dive.  2) Buy their diving equipment.  3) Go Diving.  4) Stay active in the recreation.  Our Goal is to get new customers in the doors of:  1) Local Dive Stores.  2) Local Dive Boats.  3) Local Dive Clubs.  4) Local Scuba Instructors.

Think of DIVE LOCAL as a pot-luck dinner that everyone can participate in, but only works if everyone brings something to the table.  For the community effort to be successful in the long-term, all of the participants need to gain something from their involvement.

CHAPTER 4 – LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION

Categories of participation for the DIVE LOCAL Community Campaign include: Ambassadors, Volunteers, Sponsors, Donors, Advertisers, and “Friends of the Industry.”

  • Ambassador: Any person that has a vested interest in the economic development of diving as a sport, recreation, profession, career, or hobby.  Ambassadors come from Dive Retail Centers, Dive Boat Operators, Dive Clubs, Scuba Instructors, Employed or Volunteer Diver, or from any Service Related Business.
  • Volunteer: Divers and non-divers alike.  Anyone can donate time and/or talent to the campaign to promote local diving.
  • Sponsor: Businesses that specialize in diving and watersports or who benefit from the economic impact of diving and diving related businesses have the duty and responsibility to help promote the community they rely on for a living.  Sponsors receive a direct benefit and promotion from their generous donations.  Sponsorships start at $5,000 per year and may be tax deductible.  Check with your accounting professional.  At least one sponsor is needed for every Trade Show we exhibit at.
  • Donor: Any person or business entity may make a donation to the Dive Industry Foundation, in any amount.  The Foundation is a non-profit, tax exempt, 501(c)3 charitable, educational organization.  Donations are tax deductible and Donors can specify what their donations are to be spent on.  The Foundation promotes local diving, conducts industry surveys, sponsors business seminars and luncheons, works with diving and diving related non-profits and has helped members of our community in times of personal need or disaster.
  • Advertiser: There are plenty of advertising opportunities through the Dive Industry Foundation and Dive News Network’s Scuba & H2O Adventure Magazine. Media Kits are under construction and will be available in the near future.
  • Friends of the Industry: Any person may become a “Friend of the Industry”, our partners in promoting local diving and doing good work for the industry.  Annual Memberships are recognized for a donation of $25 or more.

CHAPTER 5 – GEOGRAPHICAL BREAKDOWN OF DIVE LOCAL

Common Geographical breakdown is by City, County, State, Region, Country and Continent. Example:  Our office is in the city of West Melbourne, Brevard County, State of Florida, Southeast Region, United States, and North America.  What we consider “Local” depends on the number of Divers and Diving Businesses in an area.  Geographical Chapters should be formed based on ease of meeting and working on local events together.  There is no recommended minimum number of people in a Chapter but the maximum number should not exceed much more than 100 people per Chapter.  As your Local Chapter grows, we recommend you split the Chapter into smaller, easier to manage Chapters.  Chapter designations should be very flexible and changed to meet your local needs.

Continent – North America

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Caribbean Islands

Country / Regions – United States

  • Northeast – CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT
  • Mid-America – KY, NC, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
  • Southeast – AL, FL, GA, MS, SC
  • North Central – IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI
  • South Central – AR, LA, OK, TX
  • Northwest – AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY
  • Southwest – AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, NM, NV, UT
  • Caribbean – PR, USVI

Country / Regions – Canada

  • Atlantic – Newfoundland (NF), New Brunswick (NB), Nova scotia (NS)
  • Eastern – Quebec (QE), Ontario (ON)
  • Central – Manitoba (MA), Saskatchewan (SK)
  • Mountain – Alberta (AL)
  • Pacific – British Columbia (BC)

Caribbean Islands

  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
    • Tortola
    • Virgin Gorda
  • Cayman Islands
    • Cayman Brac
    • Grand Cayman
    • Little Cayman
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Netherlands Antilles
    • Aruba
    • Bonaire
    • Curracao
  • Trinidad & Tabago
  • U. S. Virgin Islands
    • St. Croix
    • St. John
    • St. Thomas

CHAPTER 6 – THE PROBLEMS WITH THE INDUSTRY

CHAPTER 7 – POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

CHAPTER 8 – ACTIONABLE ITEMS TO WORK ON

CHAPTER 9 – REGIONAL SUMMIT CONFERENCES

Scuba Diving Shows are the annual highlight event of every region.  More people attend their Regional Trade Show than any other event in the year.  That is why we chose to conduct five Regional Summit Conferences in the United States in 2016.

Regional Summit Conferences Held

  • January 22, 2016 – World of Water – Frisco, TX – South Central Summit
  • February 25, 2016 – Our World-Underwater – Rosemont, IL – North Central Summit
  • April 1, 2016 – Beneath the Sea – Secaucus, NJ – Northeast Summit

Proposed Regional Summit Conferences

  • None at this time

To Be Continued …