The Australia International Dive Expo (AIDE) debuts in Sydney, Australia on 22-23 February 2014. Mallika Naguran gives a preview of the goodies that await for scuba divers at the Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park.
Singapore, 4 February 2014. First there was MIDE, now there’s AIDE. Beyond acronyms, these are milestone events held in Malaysia and Australia for scuba divers to mark in their diaries, to meet like-minded people in celebration of the spirit and fun of diving.
AIDE, or the Australia International Dive Expo, will debut this month in Sydney to get Aussies excited about the marine world with the range of dive operators, tourism boards, holiday dive resorts, equipment suppliers and camera specialists at the dive show. AIDE, like the Malaysia International Dive Expo or MIDE, is run by the brother and sister team Kennedy and Ness Puvanes of Asia Events Exsic.
“Not only is scuba diving a social recreational activity to bond with friends, family or even colleagues, it is an easy sport to learn and provides a non-strenuous full body workout,” says Ness Puvanes, Director and Organiser of AIDE. “It's also an incredible sensory experience where one will see new colours and textures; hear unique sounds of the marine world; feel the soothing currents of varying water temperatures and experience a certain calm that can only be had deep underwater.”
Listen to experts such as George Evatt (a multi award-winning underwater cinematographer), Christophe Bailhache (Underwater Earth) and Sarah Richmond (Sarah Shark Project). Others, like marine biology lecturer and underwater photographer Mike Scotland, dive blogger Michael McFadyen, University Lecturer Dr Kay Dimmock will share diving tips, marine conservation projects, practices and efforts that will help visitors appreciate and understand more of the underwater world.
Visitors will have the opportunity to marvel at a selection of award-winning photos of the weird and wonderful marine life, courtesy of Underwater Festival™. Now in its eighth year, the organisers of the Underwater Festival will also be introducing its new project, the world’s first perpetual photo competition at the Expo.
Families with young kids would be kept entertained with endless photo opportunities, face painting, a variety of art classes and other games that will be available throughout the weekend.
Keen holiday-goers will enjoy exclusive holiday deals and dive courses offered by the exhibitors. Some of the destinations visitors can be excited about include Christmas Island, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, East and Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Guam, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Maldives, Solomon Islands and many more.
People with disabilities will not be excluded. Disabled Divers International reports that since its introduction in 2010, the number of disabled divers around the world has increased tremendously, by more than 100 fold. “According to the association, the physical rehabilitation, freedom of movement and social aspects of the sport have proven massive benefits to disabled individuals,” says Ness. Visitors can obtain more information on this at the show.
On top of $10,000 worth of gifts and prizes waiting to be won over the weekend, each visitor to the Expo receives a goody-bag valued at $80. Visitors stand to win dive holidays as well to one of the world’s most exotic locations.
As part of the many door prizes and giveaways at this inaugural Expo, PADI will also be giving out four e-learning vouchers valued at over $160 each. The vouchers entitle the winners access to theoretical knowledge for a certification course.
The general admission fee is $5 for adults on site, $4 for online registrants and $3 for PADI divers. Admission is free for children under 17 years of age. Online registrants will have a choice of door gift options as well. Also, new divers who sign up for any PADI courses at the Expo will receive a PADI T-shirt, while existing divers who get their friends signed up for a dive course will receive a free PADI Diving Society Bag (while stocks last).
To find out more about the Expo, freebies, activities and more, visit www.australiadiveexpo.com.
About AIDE: Organised by the team behind the successful Malaysia International Dive Expo (MIDE), the Australia International Diving Expo is the premier event and meeting place for the local and international scuba diving industry and dive enthusiasts. While this debut Expo is in February 2014, the following Expos will be held in September from 2015 onwards.