DEMA 2009, Days 3-4: Page 4 of 4 (page controls at bottom of this post)
The Trident booth was a stampede, not solely due to the aroma of chocolate chip cookies wafting from the oven manned by Mike Dreyfus and company. The usual array of diving accessories was on display, from spearguns to slates, tethers, retractors, and hose wraps. A new product is the silicone “rescue tape,” using a bichemical compound coating on front and back to bond to itself and make a waterproof seal in just a few seconds (yet not bonding directly to whatever it’s wrapped around). Worth keeping in the photo bag for a quick fix on a worn sync cord.
Ultramax was showing their line of inexpensive housed video cameras, which start at $549 (housing and compact camcorder). They also have video lights and strobes, and various packages that include base trays and arms.
The i-Divesite booth, staffed by Kelvin Lee, featured many accessories, including strobe arms and ball clamps, macro and dome port lenses, and a range of compact lights suitable for focus or modeling work called the iTorch line. Various configurations of i-Torch are available, including standard-thread Y-clamp models using six AAA batteries for up to 10 hours of total burn time. Their UAL series of wet-mount dome lenses come with mounts for the more ‘oval’ apertures on many OEM housings such as Canon and Sony, and is also available with a 67mm thread mount. The front dome elements are plastic, with a back optical glass seal.
Anthony Link of MemoryKick gave us a demo of their MemoryKick Si, a portable photo backup, photo and viewer, MP3 player, card reader, and data backup solution. There are a million stand-alone card backup solutions on the market, but the MemoryKick is special because it can copy media at a blazing 40 MB/s (if the card supports it). It can also not only copy data from flash cards and USB sticks to the embedded hard disk, but it also copies from card to card.
Because MemoryKick is a small company, they seem to be able to react to the release of new cameras more quickly than can larger companies. Support for new RAW formats are quickly added via firmware update. Backscatter, Reef Photo & Video, and other retailers carry the MemoryKick.
MemoryKick unit with a variety of media attached
Marketing notes from Michaela Brockstedt
If you had to describe the atmosphere at DEMA 2009, in a nutshell, the overall opinion was consistent: “Quality vs. Quantity” summed it up nicely. Both exhibitors and visitors alike commented on how the traffic was not as heavy, but the time spent at the show this year was definitely productive. Whether DEMA did a better job of qualifying the audience and weeding out the tire-kickers, or if those who made the effort to attend the show were more serious about their business, everyone we spoke with agreed that it was another great show in spite of the economic climate. The tourism boards of several countries also did a great job of staging events that sent lively music throughout the hall, keeping far-away destinations front of mind and spirits high.
As we walked the floor, it was apparent that some exhibitors were being a bit more judicious about how much merchandise they brought along, presenting carefully-edited assortments. We noticed fewer displays this year that were cluttered with product models in every size than in years past, and far more catalogs and marketing materials changing hands.
Exhibitors and vendors seemed to be engrossed in discussion from start to finish each day, and creatively-crafted deals were in abundance. There was also quite a bit of buzz around the topics of acquisition and retention in the dive industry as a whole. Discussion centered on whether or not it might be time for a paradigm shift in how we collectively think about the life cycle of our customers? Is there a way to bring more structure to the calendar year that might in turn offer greater opportunity to keep consumers engaged year round?
In addition, more than once we heard folks talking about families with kids and how we could collectively do a better job of attracting them to the sport and keeping them engaged. Diving drop-off rates left room for ongoing discussion on how to guard against consumers disengaging from the sport altogether as well. A lot of good thinking was going on surrounding topics that we will continue to monitor. As the show gradually started to wind down and the close of another year was at hand, in the midst of the flurry of activity to pack up and head home, last-minute reunions were taking place left and right. It was evident that camaraderie was alive and well, one of the many reasons that seems to keep us all coming back for more! (Author: Michaela Brockstedt)
That’s it for this year’s DEMA coverage! If you have any questions or comments, please head on over to our discussion forum!
This is Eric Cheng here, and I have to send out a special thanks to our AMAZING team at the show, who sacrificed sleep and day jobs to make coverage and Wetpixel representation possible: Matt Segal, Adam Lau, Michaela Brockstedt, and Richard Remski (our Wetpixel newbie, who was so helpful it was ridiculous!). Note that Michaela was instrumental in coordinating such a wonderful cocktail night. She is awesome. Thank you, all!