Give Us Your Millions $$$ –
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional
You would think the November Editorial would be about the DEMA Show? Well, it kind of is and kind of isn’t. Every year around this time, like clock work, we go to the Dema Show to take part in a Trade Expo to promote our products, a Professional Development Conference to attend seminars and work shops, and a social event to network with our peers in the industry. As a trade event, it is expensive, time consuming and worth it. But this month’s editorial is also about something else that happens in November – Elections. Not for the DEMA or NAUI Board of Directors, I mean the political elections where the candidates running for office are raising millions and billions of dollars to pay for their campaigns. So how do we connect dive shows and donations to political campaigns? Glad you asked.
Dive Shows, Adventure Travel Shows, Boat Shows and Outdoor Shows all work to sell products and to educate and entertain a targeted group of recreational buyers. They are fun, educational, and entertaining for the attendees. For the exhibitors, they are time consuming, labor intensive and costly. Still, if we are educating and entertaining our audience and growing our business at the same time, then we are doing our job and need to do more of it.
So, it’s November and the diving industry is all packed up for the DEMA Show next week. The pre-show marketing campaigns have been circling the industry, in a small way, and now we are ready to launch our at-show part of the campaign. Our at-show pitch is always about who we are, what we do, what we sell, and why you should do business with us. If you are doing it correctly, it can be a real eye-opener for you.
As an example: The Diving Industry Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit, tax exempt, educational and charitable organization that researches, analyzes, educates, and promotes policies and procedures that bring buyers and sellers together while constructively establishing sustainable ways to protect the marine environment and its inhabitants. We start off by conducting primary research into the details of our recreation as it pertains to its size, composition and economical potential. We study the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to our business community and environment. We educate our dive businesses and dive industry professionals about business programs and technologies that make us all more professional, productive and profitable. We analyze industry trends and establish best practice guidelines. We promote our recreation and its Key People to the general public that is outside of our inner circle, so that we can spread the word about our cause, achieve our desired outcomes, and preserve and protect our community and environment. Now that is a tall order. And it’s time consuming, labor intensive and expensive. BUT it identifies obstacles, works on solutions, solves problems, and makes things better for everyone. Now, can you see the connection?
Back to trade and consumer shows. There are a ton of them. Our Shows & Events calendar on our website lists the dive and surf shows. Although this is good, it’s kind of like preaching to the choir. If we added all the travel shows, outdoors shows and boating shows, it would number in the hundreds. That would really get our message out. That also means we can’t afford to be at all the shows ourselves, but with some additional time, money and manpower, we could be at a lot more than we are now.
Political candidates in the United States are raising a record amount of cash to run for office. Regardless of your political party or candidate preferences, there are Billions of dollars being raised by all the campaigns. People donate money to a candidate who they think will support laws that will improve the environment and their way of life if and when the candidate gets elected. But campaigning is time consuming, labor intensive and expensive. Billions of dollars are spent on air travel, fancy RV’s, advertising and TV ads. And not all candidates who run for office are elected. So how much of the billions of dollars raised are being spent on clean air, clean water, healthy coral reefs and sustainable fish populations during the election process?
Nonprofits raise money to further their mission, not to benefit the donors or founders. There are more than two dozen types of tax-exempt non-profits. A 501(c)(6) is a professional organization that is allowed to lobby the government. Donations and contributions made to 501(c)(6)’s are not tax deductible. 501(c)(3)’s are non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable organizations that do not lobby the government. Donations made to these charitable organizations are tax-deductible to the donor and and are used to further its mission.
We have a easy solution and recommendation. Give the Dive Industry Foundation your billions of dollars. OK, we’ll settle for millions. We will put it to immediate use that will help improve the diving community, the marine environment and marine life. We will continue our good work for the community that includes:Conducting Primary Research Analyzing Industry Trends Establishing Best Practices Exhibiting at Shows & Events Conducting Educational Programs Business, Recreation and Environmental Consultation Promoting our Recreation Media Coverage of the Industry’s Progress Growing our Industry
The Dive Industry Foundation will be exhibiting at the DEMA Show on November 13-16, 2019. You can bring your generous donation to Booth 447.
For more information contact:
Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Foundation
phone (mobile): 832-247-5315
Web 1: www.diveindustry.net
Web 2: www.diveindustry.org
Web 3: www.divelocal.org