It’s DIVE SHOW TIME……Dive2015, Birmingham NEC
We love this action-packed weekend bringing together divers and non-divers alike to explore all things water based. Make sure you leave the last week in October free and come join us at the next event.
Each year, normally only a couple of days following the liveaboard, Ash and Hannah pack their bags and jump on a flight to the UK to meet up with our UK based Divemaster Carrie and her boyfriend then make the long drive from Kent up to Birmingham to exhibit at the annual Dive Show hosted at the NEC in Birmingham. The event is organised by DIVER magazine and brings together hundreds of exhibitors including dive centres from all over the world, diving equipment manufacturers, dive and adventure sports clothing and accessories as well as educational talks from leading specialist on topics such as underwater photography, crime scene investigation, adventure dive documentaries and conservation.
This is our 3rd year exhibiting at the event so we’ve been a bit more organised and ‘in the know’ about how things are run and are more relaxed and excited about meeting new people and catching up with the many previous eagle divers visitors who pop by the stall to say hello.
Friday night however, is always a rush to get things set up after the long drive to get here. We seem to always think it’s going to take us longer than it actually does to set the stall up, in reality we’re done in around 20 minutes. Shiny new banner is in place behind the stacked table with promo flyers and of course freebies (even if the only reason you stop by is for a free sweety or wrist band, that’s ok with us!). Next is grabbing a bite to eat and then bed so we have as much energy as possible for the big event!
Saturday morning comes and we’re poised behind the table at our stall ready to welcome and chat to everyone who passes by. The event in Birmingham is really well attended, by exhibitors and visitors so there’s a good vibe about the massive hall. Our Facebook has been pinging continuously for the last 24 hours with people telling us to expect them at the stall at a certain time that day or to schedule in a break so we can go off and help them purchase their first BCDs or wetsuits. It’s such a novelty being with our guests in their country instead of them coming to visit and dive with us in Sharm el Sheikh.
We’re also here however to meet new people and encourage them to either learn to dive in the Red Sea or holiday here. We’ve found from the past three dive shows that a number of people who have stopped to talk to us have never been to the Red Sea before, much to Ash shocked expression. You must remember Ash has been brought up on and in the Red Sea and it was only very recently he made his first ever cold water dive off the west coast of Scotland which was surprisingly enjoyable for him despite the low visibility and even lower water temperature. Anyway, back to the main point, being at the dive show allows us the opportunity to explain to people face to face exactly what they can expect from holidaying in Sharm el Sheikh and diving in the Red Sea. We can show them actual photographs and videos of the diving centre, boats and dive sites so they can see for themselves what kind of an experience they’ll have and it’s always nice to put a face to a name when booking holidays.
Over the two days of the dive show we meet so many people and offload literally hundreds of wristbands and pens it’s hard to keep track who we’ve already given them out to. We’ve met guests who we had diving with us only 5 days before and others who we haven’t seen for a couple of years and its really great hearing their adventures and seeing how their passion for diving has progressed. It would be impossible to list everyone who popped by to say hello so instead we offer you all a big thank you, we really do appreciate it! So as day two comes to an end, we pack up the last and few remaining goodies for our lovely Carrie to store for next year’s event. It’s been a busy, actioned pack weekend with lots of fun but it’s safe to say the dive crew are now well and truly ready to put their feet up for a little while…but wait, they have another flight to catch and emails from the dive show to reply to, they’re not on holiday after all!
Thanks to our seasonal Instructor Jojo for giving up her Sunday and manning the stand for us, she probably ate more sweeties than she gave away but we love you anyway!
No dive show would ever be complete without Carrie and Jim. You help us massively in the lead up to and during the event and for us the support is invaluable, next time you’re in Sharm Onions is on us!