The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) show is the largest diving exhibition in the world. With more than 10,000 professionals gathering annually, it a show not to be missed! This year the show was in Las Vegas and as expected it was a very busy week! With stands covering all aspects of the diving world, from diving manufacturers showcasing their new products to stands showcasing environmental issues, there was everything in-between including; dive trips, resorts, new technologies, underwater photography and video, magazines, artists, diving support networks and all the training agencies.
Dr Glen Egstrom yet again offered to help us out and drove the three scholars across the desert ( 4 hrs) to Las Vegas. Upon arrival it was quite a surreal place and but we were soon checked into our hotel to escape the madness. The scholarship organisers were all there; George Wozencraft (President), Elvin Leech (Chairman and the European VP), Robin Parish (North American VP and co-ordinator), Jim Standing (European coordinator), Maureen Sweeny (Social organiser), Sara Shoemaker-Lind, Anya Watson and Brenna Mahoney the past NA scholars and board members, and of course my mer-mum Jayne Jenkins and Sue Crowe.
The next four days were spent at the show walking around the huge exhibition hall getting introduced to many of the scholarship supporters and diving icons. There were so many people to meet and it was really good to feel the warmth and support that many people in the diving industry have for this scholarship. We were particularly thankful to Dan and Betty Orr from Divers Alert Network (DAN). They took us under their wing and introduced us to many people and invited us to be their guests at the DEMA awards party.
Every evening there were functions to attend, starting with the PADI party on arrival, the DAN party, the DEMA awards party, we also had our own scholarship reception at the Las Vegas Hilton. There we invited many people especially those involved in the scholarship to a social evening with a presentation and talks form the scholars. We had some great times and many laughs together, meeting many people that I hope to meet again in the future and touching base with the scholarship family once again. It was definitely a memorable week.
Thank you to everyone I met at DEMA, especially those who have agreed for future hosting and sponsorships for the scholarship. Particular mention goes out to Kevin Gurr from Delta P technology for sponsoring the three scholars with VR3 computers (they will be used very shortly….) and Michael Aw for inviting myself and Jayne to his underwater photo workshop in Indonesia next February!