The traditional dive show format has been around for a long time. Stands promoting equipment and trips, talks and seminars about different types of diving and a chance to meet up with divers from a variety of locations around the world. A social event to catch up with divers you have not seen for a while, maybe since the last dive show.
These principles have remained pretty much unchanged and the format is pretty similar at every dive show around the world. Due to this status quo, visitor numbers seem to be dwindling. It used to be that you could get special deals only available at the shows, but as the market place becomes more competitive and more dive centres and manufacturers promote online, this is not always the case any more. Dive shows have become much more of a social event for existing divers and as such less people are attending shows each year.
2016 changed all of that with the launch of The Great Northern Dive Show in Manchester, UK. In an attempt to shake up the tired old principles and do something a little bit different, Ruth and Duncan Mort of H2O Divers in Hindley broke the mould on what the traditional dive show is. No longer just focused on existing divers shopping for kit or cheap trips, The Great Northern Dive Show set about bringing new people into the world of scuba diving.
With much more to offer than a traditional dive show, The Great Northern Dive Show stands out immediately from its counterparts. And how is this achieved? With attractions that bring more people to see what scuba diving has to offer.
With an amazing opening ceremony, singers, Comic-Con characters (Batman was in attendance in 2016), stands not traditionally associated with scuba diving, the Aqua Theatre (the largest portable, open windowed tank in the world) and even Mermaids, it is immediately apparent that The Great Northern Dive Show is something a little bit different.
The latest addition to the 2017 show is an appearance by The Travelling Light Circus who perform fantastic pyrotechnic and light shows at major events through the UK and beyond. The Travelling Light Circus even perform at the Chinese New Year Parade in Manchester.
I have attended many dive shows in different locations, and I will continue to do so for my role as Managing Editor of The Scuba News and founder of DiveMedia, but The Great Northern Dive Show is the first event that I really felt compelled to be involved with. It is with this in mind that I volunteered for The Scuba News to become an official partner and sponsor of the show. I use the word volunteer because this is not something that I was “sold”, this is something where I actively wanted to participate.
The idea that someone is doing something a little bit different in the world of scuba diving is both exciting and compelling and both I and The Scuba News will continue to provide help and support in all aspects of the event, because this kind of shake up is just what some tired aspects of the industry need.
I look forward to meeting many of you at the event on the 8th and 9th April 2017!