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LIDS – on its last legs, or a Phoenix rising from the flames?

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While most divers in the UK are looking forward to DIVE 2015 as the next big date in the UK dive calendar, the companies that make up the UK dive industry are already being courted by the Dive Show Group – the company that organise and run the two UK dive shows – for the London International Dive Show (LIDS) 2016, which takes place in February next year at London’s ExCel centre.

Traditionally a two-day event that always took place on the last weekend in March each year, this year the event was brought forward to February to coincide with the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show. By buying a ticket to LIDS, visitors would also be granted access to the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, The London Bike Show and The Triathlon Show: London (so four shows for one ticket – a right bargain). Although the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show is a four-day event, LIDS remained a two-day event and ran in a hall adjoining the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show.

So why did the Dive Show Group make this move? For two reasons: firstly, to answer the call made by many in the dive industry to do something to introduce some desperately needed new blood into UK diving. And secondly, to save LIDS from extinction. Over the years, LIDS has seen a dramatic fall in both exhibitors and visitors, due in part to the location of ExCel (anyone who has been there can tell you it’s a right pain in the backside to get to), and also because of the restrictions exhibitors are faced with when they are unloading and loading back up their gear.

So the question is… did latching LIDS onto the side of the Outdoor & Adventure Show work?

To be honest… not really.

But why not? It was a great idea, and a move that was welcomed by many in the dive industry – a great opportunity to promote scuba diving to the uninitiated, to those who have a passion for outdoor and adventure sports and activities. So why didn’t it have the effect that many in the dive industry had hoped for?

There are a few theories. One is that in order to get into LIDS, you had to leave the main Outdoor & Adventure Show hall. For many, mild curiosity was not enough to drag them away from the activities that got them to the show in the first place.

Another theory is that although the doors between each show were wide open, they were flanked by security guards who were scrutinising visitors’ credentials. Why though? If you were already in one show, and your ticket granted you access to the other events taking place, why did your wristband need to be checked by a heavy with a judgemental glint in his eye? The security guards’ overbearing presence may have been enough to put people off checking out LIDS.

For whatever reason (or reasons), despite taking place at the same time and at the same location as other outdoor enthusiast shows, this year LIDS felt smaller and quieter than ever.

So what next?

Convinced that hooking up with the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show is the way forward, for 2016 the Dive Show Group have taken things a step further. Instead of being latched onto the side of the main attraction, next year LIDS will actually be a part of the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show – and what’s more, it will be slap bang in the middle, meaning that no matter what outdoor activity you are interested in, at some point while you are walking around the show you are bound to be exposed to the world of scuba diving. What’s more, as an official section of the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, LIDS will now be a four-day event, running from the 11th-14th February.

So far, the response from the dive industry has been mixed. While some see this as a fantastic opportunity to bring new people into scuba diving and more people to sell dive courses, holidays and equipment to, others are already concerned about the fact that they will have to fork out for an additional two days-worth of wages, hotel accommodation and meals for their staff. Having to be at the show for a couple of weekdays in addition to the weekend also means that their staff aren’t at work doing their normal everyday jobs, which some fear could also have a detrimental effect on their business.

One thing that cannot be denied though is this: the Dive Show Group have listened to exhibitors and are trying to do something to reinvigorate LIDS. OK, so this year’s experiment wasn’t exactly a resounding success, but they’ve learned from it and have made some changes which could deliver on a question they are frequently asked by people within the dive industry: “What are you going to do to get new people interested in diving?”

So will this new strategy save LIDS? Only time will tell.

What do you think about LIDS? Is it worth saving or should it be left to die? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or in the Scubaverse Forum.

 

Gear News

Gear Maintenance: Episode 1 Masks – Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)

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Everything you need to know to make your scuba diving mask last a lifetime! Welcome to Gear Maintenance!

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the ES155 Mask from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/c/diversready?sub_confirmation=1
  2. Enter the contest here: https://gleam.io/LOgJt/dive-rite-es155-mask-giveaway

A scuba diving mask is a seemingly simple piece of kit, but there are things that can wrong with it. Proper care, cleaning and preventative maintenance will help you keep your scuba mask in the best condition for years and years. We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning, defogging and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Oh, and here’s the soft case I recommend. (Yes, this is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link m ay earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Mask case: https://amzn.to/35b6Avj

Good luck to everyone!

D.S.D.O

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Miscellaneous Blogs

5 Women Divers With YouTube Channels That Inspire Divers Ready (Watch Video)

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Another in the series of weekly videos from Divers Ready! This video was originally produced to coincide with PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019 but it’s worth celebrating everyday!

Ahead of PADI Women Dive Day 2019, it seemed appropriate to shine a light on the awesome content these 5 women divers are putting out.

We made this as a tribute video to 5 female rockstars of the diving world whose YouTube Channels have inspired Divers Ready in one way or another.

Links below! Head over and hit their subscribe buttons!


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