February 19-22 the Second Moscow International Festival ‘Diving 2004’ was held in ‘Radisson-Slavyanskaya’ Hotel (see photo gallery). It’s too early to draw final conclusions but we can say one thing for sure: the festival was a success and it must go on. All the participants agree in it, for whom it is to speak now.
Moscow International Festival ‘Diving 2004’
Irina Berestneva (Russian PADI distributing center)
The only goal of an exhibition like this is to make diving popular in our country and I think the exhibition has done pretty well in that respect. Besides, I hope next year we’ll manage to attract to the exhibition those who are still planning to take up diving.
Anri Levski (‘Undersea review’ magazine)
I was really glad to see the increase in number of exhibitors and visitors as compared to last year, which means that there had been a good PR-campaign. The overall impression of the exhibition is very positive.
Yury Belsky (‘Diving Empire’ company)
I like everything that’s going on here. It’s rather hard for me to judge about exhibition as a whole as I’ve spent almost all the time at our booth. But judging by the steady streams of visitors the exhibition is a real success. This exhibition is the only way to communicate so many colleagues and friends over such a short period of time.
Denis Sheremetov (director of SSI office in Russia)
I liked the exhibition a lot. Our office in Russia has just opened so I can’t compare it to the last year one, but it’s been really effective for us. The only thing I’d like to change is to expand the exposition area. Besides I think the headquarters of the exhibition must be more efficient.
Denis Davydov (‘Chelovek-Amfibia’ company)
Compared to last year the number of the visitors has definitely grown. Everybody used to take part in different exhibitions, close to their specialization, now we all have an opportunity to get together. I really like the diversity of the products exhibited, which is not so common at divers’ exhibitions in other countries.
Natalya Balashova (‘Katran’ company)
The exhibition has importantly grown, in the exposition area as well as the number of participants and the standards of organization. It was very effective for our company: we were able to introduce our products, the assortment of which is constantly growing, to the Russian divers. I’d like to wish the organizers to better promote the exhibition in the media next year.
As for ‘Zolotoy Delfin’ festival of under water photography I liked the generally high level of the works.
Andrey Nesterov (‘Octopus’ magazine)
The exhibition is definitely something we really need and is successful and we must further develop it and finally make it a Russian analogue of DEMA Show. The positive changes as compared to last year are obvious. I think within the given area the organizers managed to get maximum effectiveness.
Sergey Gluschenko (‘Delta’ school of Underwater Photography)
Compared to last year the festival is much more eventful. The photo and video festivals held in the same place definitely add much to it. I can’t help mentioning the visible growth in standards the participants of the photo festival meet.
Victor Gladkovsky (‘Gladkovsky Diving Club’)
Compared to last year the number of the visitors has grown importantly and the number of the exhibitors has grown two times. Moreover, the festival has gotten going and now has a life of its own. Even if supposedly all the organizers give it up it’ll survive. I think they shouldn’t change the place: let it become traditional for friendly get-togethers.
Konstantin Bondarenko (DIVERSITEA)
Compared to last year the festival seems to have grown importantly whatever parameter you take. The only fault with it is the lack of space, but the organizers have promised to solve this problem next year.
Vadim Zverev (‘Barracuda’ Diving Club)
It’s a great exhibition, which is still growing and developing. Today it’s grown by two times. I hope next year it grows even more compared to this year.
Igor Baskakov (Center of Underwater Photographers of Russia)
Compared to our previous photofestivals we can see important progress; the number of participants grows every year: 53 photographers were presented at the first festival, 61 at the second, and this year the festival presented 120 works of 78 authors. This year the selection was very harsh, but we tried to present more photographers. I was really glad to see some new names appear, some of them girls.
Besides, this year our photofestival has got a name and a symbol, ‘Golden Dolphin’. Next year we hope to attract far more foreign photographers, which will make the exhibition even more interesting.
Dmitry Butusov (‘Lokhmaty Kashalot’ underwater club)
The exhibition is something we really need, it must be developed. It’s essential to take into consideration the interests of all the exhibitors and the exhibitors should come to an agreement and think out their policy in advance, not the night before the exhibition as they did this year. Otherwise the exhibition can collapse the market rather than stimulate it. Besides, I’d like to see more representatives from the regions, but unfortunately they know nothing about it. The lack of information was obvious even in Moscow.
Valery Darkin (‘Bosphor-Vostochny’ company, Vladivostok)
Lots of divers’ exhibitions around the world are now shrinking and shriveling. The Moscow exhibition is the only one in the world obviously growing. However, I hear next year the organizers are going to invite other branches of active holidaymakers as well: skiers, cyclists and others. I think it’s a mistake as it’ll make the exhibition a clone of many others and can keep the professionals away from it.
I really liked the idea to place the invitations in the divers’ magazines: it provides wide coverage of the exhibition.
Sergey Maguer (‘Tetis’ company)
A good exhibition, something we really need; this year the organization is a bit better. The exhibition has good prospects of further development, but it should have better press coverage as besides the experienced divers we should attract here more of those who are just thinking about it.
To prevent the exhibition from turning into a close in-group get-together and to attract more people who could come into diving, the PR-campaign should be organized in a different way, there should be show-programs, demos of the new models of equipment, special events.
Kyrill Modylevsky (‘Union-Sport’ company)
The exhibition has become bigger, better, higher quality. The exact number of the visitors has not been calculated yet, but there are far more of them compared to last year.
The only problem we as organizers faced was that we had to reject over a third of exhibitors just because of the lack of space. Next year the exhibition will move to a modern exposition center, ‘Krokus-City’. We’ll have our own swimming pool, a full-size stage to say nothing of highly increased e exposition area.
Oleg Tchebykin (‘Aquatex’ company)
The exhibition is above all to demonstrate the development in the diving industry, which includes tourism as well as insurance, hotels, equipment sales, and the actual organization of dives. It’ll also help destroy two myths: ‘Diving is extreme’ and ‘Diving is expensive’.
Gennaro Nardone (Sipadan Water Village Resort)
I’m more than content with the exhibition as I didn’t expect the potential of the Russian diving market to be so high. Quite a few Russians are interested in diving and I believe if we introduce our business to them properly soon we’ll have lots of guests from Russia.
Osama Mansur (Aqua Red Sea Safari, Egypt)
I liked the exhibition and was surprised at the enthusiasm of the Russian divers, however the organization is far from ideal. The main stream of the visitors was going to the main hall of the festival and not so many of them came here, to the second hall. I hope next year the exhibition will be organized in a more effective way.
Craig Devit (Dolphin Enterprises, Papua New Guinea)
We’ve done a long way to come here and see what the local diving market is like. We were moved by the enthusiasm of the Russian public and as for the standards of the presentations they are as high as at other international exhibitions. We’ve made a lot of useful contacts here. As for the negative side I would say here, in the second hall, we were in fact cut off the most active part of the festival but it’s still possible the most serious visitors did come here.
Mark Buzutill (St. Andrew’s Divers Cove, Malta)
I was surprised to see the number of people really interested, there were very few rubbernecks. Of course this exhibition was not the biggest I’ve ever participated, in fact it was the smallest, but small doesn’t mean bad. The main difficulty for me was the language barrier. Everybody around speaks only Russian, all the notices and captions are in Russian. If next exhibition is more – say – international it’ll just make it good.