It’s a new name and the sixth year for Tacoma Dive and Adventure Travel Expo (DATE). Until recently, the show was known as Northwest Dive and Travel Expo. It has grown steadily every year. Starting with around 1500 attendees the first year, organizers at Dive News Network expect over 7000 attendees this year to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Locally known now has the “Tacoma Show,” the DATE gives divers and prospective divers a unique opportunity to learn about gear, services, training and dive travel from over 300 vendors under one roof. Even more this year, the Expo gives youth an opportunity to explore and experience diving. Included in the price of admission are over 50 seminars and lots of chances to win prizes.
The Expo and DNN is giving back again by partnering with and donating some proceeds to “Dive Around the Clock” whose mission is to “bring together the scuba diving community for an annual 24-hour scuba diving relay dive-a-thon charity event with the aim of educating and raising awareness about childhood cancer and to raise funds, benefiting Children’s Cancer Research, to be used to advance medical research into the diagnosis, treatment and cure of childhood cancers.”
Additionally, the show is also supporting scouting by offering a free admission to any scout that shows up in their uniform. Scouts and anyone over 10 can take a free Try Scuba course by registering at the show. Groups or organizations wanting the try scuba can reserve a time by calling 360.240.1874 before the show.
In a unique formatting change this year, all seminars will be right on the show floor. Seminar attendees will be enrolled to get additional prizes only available to participants. These are large prizes, including trips. For every three seminars you attend you will get an extra entry.
ScubaGadget will be reporting live from the show floor both days via FaceBook, Twitter and this ScubaGadget site. We will have live tweets and posts and daily summaries, as well as the post show wrap up and best of show awards. Please let us know your tips and choices for best of show via FaceBook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRICE IS $20 OR $10 OR FREE!!
You can pay the regular admission of $20 per day ($15 for youth 10-17) or you can pay half-price with this ScubaGadget Discount coupon [CLICK FOR DISCOUNT COUPON]. You can also see the show for free if you stay at the expo’s host hotel, the Hotel Murano during the show. If you book a room at the Hotel Murano, you get up to 4 free show passes to add to the $30 discount (show price $139) off of the regular room price ($169). On the other corner just across from the convention center is the marvelous boutique-style Courtyard by Marriot hotel which also offers a discount price for lodging during the Expo.
SHOW FEATURES and WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR
- Lots of new vendors
- A grand prize of a full north-west diving scuba kit which includes a SeaSoft drysuit and everything else you need to dive.
- A real pool for demoing gear and Try Scuba classes at the Courtyard by Marriott
- Cool dive boats
- A beer garden on the show floor featuring live music sponsored by DIABC (Dive Industry Association of British Columbia) with giveaways for guests.
- Seminars are all on the show floor.
- Special Prizes for seminar attendees.
- A show floor theater large displays, showing photo contest entries, dive videos and videos from local organizations.
- New and improved kid’s section offering 3-9 year olds a chance to have some interactive fun. Kids under 10 are free.
- The kid’s section is hosting Annie Crawley of Dive into your Imagination and Save Our Leatherbacks Operation (S.O.L.O.)
- Film festival participants will eligible to win 7 high end trips reserved just for them. Those tickets are selling fast.
- For those who pre-register for the Treasure Hung there is a free 10 year anniversary special t-shirt.
If you did not get them last year, we still recommend trying the Murano Hotel garlic fries. We agreed that these were the best garlic fries we had ever eaten anywhere in the world. Each one tasted as if it had been delicately painted with garlic butter. Executive chef Matt Stickle also suggested trying the Fries in white truffle oil.
The Tenth Anniversary Treasure Hunt
The underwater Treasure Hunt has been evolving and this year they have added a high tech component. All prizes will be awarded digitally and displayed on screens at the show. Prizes will be awarded to those who find numbered golf balls. Divers only need to find one ball and only one ball per diver will be eligible to win. The grand prize will be awarded to the person who finds the “magic ball” but no one will know which ball is the magic ball until the drawing. If no one finds the magic ball, the grand prize worth $1000 will be put in the general prize pool. With the number of prizes and entries, organizers say everyone entering will likely win something (however, no guarantees). The entry price for the treasure hunt is $35 in advance or $40 on the day. However they do have savings included in the show admission. The hunt is held at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park. All prizes will be digitally awarded and displayed on screens in the main conference area.
SHOW TIMES and ALL INFO
APRIL 20 & 21, 2013
SATURDAY: Dive Expo Show Floor Open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Hourly information seminars 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Cocktail Reception 6:30 p.m.; Sat Night Dinner Film Festival 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
SUNDAY: Treasure Hunt registration at Owen Beach 7:30 a.m.; Treasure Hunt 9 a.m. Dive Expo Open to the Public 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
And one more thing…
SANTA CLARA DIVE & TRAVEL EXPO 2012
Divers from the San Francisco Bay area and all of Northern California again have their own consumer dive show. The Northern California Dive & Travel Expo 2013 will take place this year at the Santa Clara Convention Center May 4 & 5, 2013. With the first year gone, and a resounding success, they are looking forward to the second year of this unique show! If you know the area, you will recognize that Santa Clara sits in the heart of the Silicon Valley and right between SF Bay Area dives and the best dive sites they all frequent in the Monterey area.
All other info: http://www.divenewsnetwork.com/expo/index.php