Preliminary Report – August 13, 2010 – prepared by Steve Lewis
This survey was designed to gather some coarse-grained data from sport, technical and public safety divers by asking very basic questions about travel habits, dive show preferences, and simple demographics such as location and certifications held. While not intended to be a definitive study of any specific issue in the broader dive community, our intention was to follow-up with a more comprehensive study later in the year.
Invitations to participate were sent in our eNewsletters and posted on various diving forums.
Participation was high enough to make data gathered statistically valid. We can interpolate these data across our WHOLE associate membership (your customers) with a 95 percent degree of confidence and a four percent margin of error.
1.       This survey presents participants with a simple lineal grouping of questions with no branching and no mandatory questions.
2.       All answers are anonymous.
3.       Questions were vetted by our marketing department.
We started by asking which agencies respondents had been certified by. Answers could be multiple choice which means that for EACH selection a score of 100 percent was possible.
What was noticeable was the gap between SDI and TDI ratings: approximately 12 percent in favor of TDI. Perhaps this is to be expected given the providence of our mail list, but it also indicates an opening to continue to promote TDI courses to SDI certified divers who are interested in continuing to develop stronger inwater skills.
Certification with other agencies of one sort of another are held by more than the majority of respondents. This weighting reflects both the market situation, and represents the opportunities open to promote SDI and TDI programs both as primary and continuing ed.
Responses followed pattern established by previous surveys. Simple breakdown is that about 30 percent from UK and 58 percent from USA and Canada (several of the Other category were Canadian).
Perhaps the most interesting results were the data collected regarding DIVE RELATED TRAVEL. For example, more than one quarter of the audience told us they have taken three or more dive trips requiring a flight in the past 12 months.
In addition, three quarters of the audience answered that in the past 12 months they have been away from home on dive trips for five nights or more. More than 52 percent have been away more than 10 nights.
Based on these data, I would suggest our pro-members are MISSING THE BOAT if they are not promoting dive travel HEAVILY to their customers.
We can see by results of asking the audience what gear they own how biased our associate membership is towards Tech. Almost 29 percent have full tech gear (not defined); and more than eight percent own a CCR!
Equipment ownership seems to be a high priority with our audience since less than two out of a hundred own nothing, and less than four only have a mask, fins, snorkel combo.
We next asked about visits to dive shows in the past 12 months and projections for the coming year.
No real surprises but informative data nevertheless. Twenty percent have been to a local show in the past year (no overnight), and 10 percent have done an overnight event.
There is close to a balance between the numbers attending no show in the coming year (30 percent) and those who say they intend to visit one show (36 percent). Coupled with results from a pro-member survey, we might say that show sponsorship and promotion in conjunction with member instructors and facilities should continue.
We asked about the pull of seminars and workshops at dive shows. Studies done in the past couple of years have indicated a strong growth in interest for these at local dive shows. What is interesting was that more than 46 percent of the audience told us they are interested or very interested in attending non-diving certification courses – CPROX, Eq2uipment Tech etc. This would appear to be a potential opportunity to work with local facilities and other partners who may be interested in hosting these sorts of workshops during showtimes.
Perhaps the most interesting stat from the study with regards to shows and show attendance, and certainly something we can explore in future surveys, has to do with buying gear at shows. We specifically asked if a show presenting the opportunity to buy gear (retail interaction) would be more likely to draw respondents onto the show floor.
Almost 54 percent said yes. The 23 percent who answered no, verifies the number of respondents who told us they do not plan to attend any show in 2011… Obviously, it will take something else to get these folks off their couches and outside!
Response to this survey was excellent and the data collected is true (given the margin of error) across our whole audience… that is your customers and ours.
There are several issues that we can dig into more deeply; however, the travel stats are very interesting. There seems to be an opportunity for facilities to focus strong promotes on dive travel and con ed and cross references between SDI, TDI and ERDI.


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