Connect with us

Miscellaneous Blogs

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



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.


Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)



It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!


Subscribe here:

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Paul Rose



Next in a new series of podcasts shared by our friends Gemma and Ian aka The BiG Scuba Podcast…

Ian and Gemma chat to Paul Rose. A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced divers, field science and polar experts, Paul Rose helps scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet.

He is an experienced television presenter and radio broadcaster. With a proven track record in business engagements, Paul is a sought-after speaker, chairman, host and moderator for industry, government and NGO events.

Former Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society(link is external) and Chair of the Expeditions and Fieldwork Division, Paul is currently Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.

He was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years and was awarded HM The Queen’s Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he received the US Polar Medal.

Paul is a mountain and polar guide leading Greenland Icecap crossing and mountaineering expeditions and polar science support logistics. He worked for four years as a Mountain Safety consultant to the oil industry in the Middle East.

On his 2012 Greenland expedition, Paul led the first expedition to successfully traverse a new 275km icecap route of Knud Rasmussen Land and repeated his first ascent of the north face of Gunnsbjørnfjeld, the highest mountain in the Arctic.

His professional diving work includes science support diving in Antarctica as the British Antarctic Survey’s Institute Diving Officer. He ran the US Navy diver training programme at Great Lakes Naval Training Centre and trained many emergency response dive teams including the Police, Fire Department and Underwater Recovery Teams. He remains a current and active PADI Dive Instructor.

Find out more about Paul Rose at

Find more podcast episodes and information at and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

More Less

Instagram Feed

Facebook Feed

Facebook Pagelike Widget