The organiser behind the first Big Scuba Show claims the event met the low-end of his expectations this year but is shaping up to be a significantly bigger show in 2012.
The launch exhibition attracted 73 exhibitors and just under 8,000 visitors, results which were at the lower end of expectations, Dive Magazine MD Graeme Gourlay said. Key attractions included a commercial diving pool, guest speakers led by former Royal Marine turned TV presenter, Monty Halls, as well as the British Underwater Film Festival.
“For a launch event it was pretty good as we had the key players exhibiting,” he said. “Egypt is going through a tough time and that trimmed back a few of those colleagues but all things being equal, it was a good event.
“What was interesting from our customer surveys was that we’d managed to establish a new type of show with a different qualitative experience through our features and atmosphere.”
The Big Scuba Show will again run in Olympia’s National Hall from 18 to 19 February 2012. Gourlay said it was 60 per cent rebooked and that the organiser planned to significantly increase investment into more space.
“We had a reasonable amount of features compared to exhibition space so this will slightly increase next year, and we’ll have more workshop and seminar space on the floor,” he added. “We’ll also look to run lectures and features in a more engaging way.”
The Big Scuba Show was launched by Dive Magazine to challenge the more established London International Dive Show (LIDS), organised by rival publisher Diver Magazine. The decision came after The British Sub Aqua Club’s contract with LIDS expired, opening up discussions with Dive Magazine.
LIDS runs at Excel London from 26 to 27 March.
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