Overnight, DEMA President and CEO, Tom Ingram, has issued a statement regarding the New Orleans DEMA Show.
Ingram confirmed that the DEMA Board of Directors had taken the difficult decision to postpone this years show "for the safety and financial well-being of DEMA attendees and exhibitors."
for the safety and financial well-being of DEMA attendees and exhibitors, the New Orleans show will not take place this November. Tom Ingram
This announcement will be welcomed by many in the industry who were puzzling as to how they could exhibit at DEMA. Three months of trading has been lost, profits have been wiped out and marketing budgets have been slashed or frozen because of the COVID-19 crisis. There was deep concern that come November a number of countries around the world would have only just opened their doors to tourists. The manufacturers and dive centre owners were understandably feeling a bit torn because they feel the need to concentrate on orders and the divers coming through the door, rather than looking at the latest equipment, catching up with training standards and techniques and meeting customers.
A Virtual Event
Ingram stated "While the industry will not be able to convene for a face-to-face DEMA Show this November, DEMA will connect with the diving community to engage in a unique and creative way beginning in September 2020. DEMA will announce details in the coming weeks, and we look forward to providing a great community learning and engagement opportunity for all diving professionals using tools that are well suited for the current business environment."
Ingram confirmed that exhibitors who have made payments toward their exhibition space will have the option to make changes to their exhibition space and location.
The next DEMA Show will be held from Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 November 2021 in the south halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Regular attendees should note that traditionally the show would open on a Wednesday. Next year, the first day will be Tuesday.
Caught between a rock and a hard place
You're cancelling a November show in June? Social media post
There have been a number of comments on social media by frustrated attendees about the show cancellation. Writing as an international event organiser, this decision will not have been taken lightly. A properly planned convention takes a huge amount of time and resource, and it is impossible to wait until the last minute to cancel it. It is worth noting that in many instances event show insurance is not paying out for COVID-19. If the Board had delayed their decision, flights and accommodation would have been booked. In many instances, the exhibitors and attendees would have a frustrating time getting a refund.
This was a responsible act by the DEMA Board taken in challenging circumstances. Rosemary E Lunn
This was a responsible act by the DEMA Board taken in challenging circumstances. It gives clarity to the scuba diving industry and it respects the New Orleans Mayor's announcement. Earlier this year, LaToya Cantrell stated that the city would not host any large events for the remainder of the year.