In September just gone, the 2nd DRT Show was once again staged in Manila on the top floor of the SM Mega Mall on Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 2016! Last year was the First Show so really the active partners were a little nervous as they did not know if the event would be a success or not but as it turned out, after a slow start it turned out to be very successful!
This year it was quite obvious that the SCUBA Equipment Suppliers generally had bigger stall areas and had much more Equipment on display and for sale! The standard of the stalls was much better with lots more thought being put into the design and construction and high quality advertising being displayed! Its worth putting the effort into your display as the stall area rental price was between 5
and 10 Thousand US Dollars for the period of the event and when you pay out money like that then you must really try to make it worth while with good sales! The great thing about an equipment show like this is that you can see a very good selection what is available in the SCUBA Industry within the country and to actually see stuff is much better than looking at pictures in magazines!
Not only were there SCUBA Suppliers but also Resorts which offer all kinds of water sports also! These resorts got lots of interest so I hope that they get plenty customers in the coming months because of the Show! The Socksogen Booth was a bit of a let down because of in fighting between the Sarangani Province and the Socksogen area board, they would not allow our local businesses to advertise on the booth so it was a waste of 5,000 Dollars to my mind!
There were lots of very professional presentations from top international experts in their very varied specialties in many aspects of the underwater Realm including, Endangered Sharks, Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs, Night Time Weird Creatures,
Underwater Photography, Marine Biology, the Underwater and Shoreline Environment, Marine Contamination and other subjects! Many of the speakers had traveled from many places in the world while some were home grown! Gutsy Tuason Travels the world taking Pictures of incredible creatures, is is a famous author and owns a very high class Dive Equipment Outlet in the Fort and he is a good guy also! The SCUBA Suppliers that I deal with were all very happy with the show as the sold lots of items and will be back once again at the next years event!
One problem for the Dive Industry in Mindanao is caused by the bad press, because of the Bomb in Davao.
Now, as usual, People are being warned by Foreign Embassies not to go to Mindanao because of the danger of kidnapping and terrorist activities! They never say Stay Away from Manila or Cebu where the real danger is!
The location of the DRT Show I think is well chosen because it is displayed in the SM Mega Mall it good Not only for the Divers but also for families as they have a huge mall to spend their time and husbands money in!
Most of the Booths had some form of raffle where prizes were given out for the lucky winners who bought equipment and got raffle tickets with their purchase. Cameras were the main prizes but there were also all kinds of different items of SCUBA Equipment to be won, also, there were all kinds of giveaways to
anyone who showed Interest in their products!
There were lots of new items available this year, Side Mount is a latest set up where the tanks are by your side and not on your back! I have not tried this so cannot really comment on it but many people use it! After year 2 of this event all suppliers seem very happy just how the showing and are ready for next year, the only complaint was the price of the booths and they all hope that the prices will stay the same and not increase again!
There were complaints also from the public about the show only being held in Manila, some said that Cebu should be the next years location but really Manila is the best place for it as many of the local suppliers are based in Manila and would not like to travel to Cebu with their equipment!
It was a good show and will be held once again next year probably bigger and better and in the same venue, I cannot wait!