MIDE 2017 takes place from 12 - 14 May at the PWTC Kuala Lumpur and earlier that it usually is scheduled for the month of July as it was brought forward to facilitate the fasting month and the Hari Raya celebration. 

More good news is that MIDE 2017 is also moved from Hall 3 to Hall 1 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) to a bigger hall space of 8,000 square meters and covering a total gross space of 12,000 square meters of exhibition and retail space. The largest dive expo in Malaysia is also looking at more than 2,000 exhibitors, with 200 participating companies from local and abroad attending. 

MIDE 2017 is geared to welcome business entrepreneurs, tourism boards, dive agencies brand manufacturers and distributors to utilize the platform that has been created and designed to meet the lucrative business for every organisation.
Some of the new products that will be featured at MIDE 2017
Pros and Cons of MIDE 2017

With any event, there are bound to be pros and cons and for MIDE2017, there are the great sides while there are also the negative. The good thing about the dive expo is that many consumers or beginners get added awareness about scuba diving and also about the many different types of services and products found in the international markets. While the dive expo is well known as the main place for purchasing of dive equipment, courses and dive travel destinations. many consumers now have been spoiled to wait for the expo to buy their dive equipment and this has lead to a slowdown of purchases from the general retailers throughout the year. 

As I am a diver myself, I have been attending MIDE over the years and I have also spoken to to a number of people which includes consumers and also retailers. In the end, the consumers are the big winners as they hold back their general purchases until the event takes place. The retailers on the other hand, do good business, as suppliers and distributors would take advantage of the massive turn out by offering special discounts for their items or packages.

Most of the time, you would see a number items sold at really cheap prices and they are 'Only at MIDE Prices', meaning you can only get those prices if you come for the event. Suppliers and distributors are also seen clearing stock with amazing deals, most of the time, overstocked items or last season's items. Some smaller retailers have expressed frustration as in this niche industry, the larger companies have a strong monopoly over the mass consumer, leaving the piece of cake much smaller than it was ten years ago.  

For example, Hypergear, the maker of dry bags offered a serious 30% discount on some of their bags and many consumers waited for MIDE to buy these bags. A 20 liter fancy dry bag backpack retails at RM 320.00 with no discount, and at the expo, it was going for RM 220.00 which is a steal. 

In 2015, the Malaysian dive expo generated a total sales of RM 8 million and for the year of 2016, overall sales reached at approximate total of RM 10 million and the organizers are anticipating a turnover projected sales between RM 10 to 12 million for MIDE 2017. The organisers also claim that the expo has delivered and continue to deliver a great significant growth of revenue for participating companies and further contributes positively to a healthy economic growth towards the dive tourism.
Visitors checking out some of the booths at MIDE
Diving in Malaysia or Abroad? 

Most new divers are also spoiled for choices when it comes to dive destinations as ever since AirAsia and many of the other budget airlines came about, the choices to visit neighboring countries was no longer a luxury and affordable to just about anyone. divers now compare countries and live on boards versus back ten years ago when it was just which island in Malaysia we dived at. 

Recently, I as a diver did my inaugural diving at Komodo Island where it was on a tourism work trip and for me, an experience to share with my readers, but the truth be told, many divers have already been there due to the easy connectivity from the budget airlines. If you talk about diving in Maldives, chances are four out of ten divers have already been there. This goes to show that divers now have many choices and do not mind spending that extra money to go abroad for scuba diving. 

The writer diving at Mantanani Island, Sabah
Raja Ampat seems to be the flavor over the last few years and is one of the most expensive dive locations in the region, but during MIDE 2015, a few dive operators from Raja Ampat were seen at the dive expo, the one I talked to was a Raja Ampat Budget Dive Operator who was offering basic homestay on land and boat dives.

Speaking further with the operator, they had already known that there are in fact many new divers in Malaysia who are seeking budget destinations, but not your normal places and more exotic ones, like Raja Ampat.

For diving in Malaysia in 2017, I would have to say that Miri in Sarawak is one of the growing destinations to explore due to the many beautiful reefs that some even say are comparable to Sabah. There are only one or two dive operators there who frequent the many beautiful Miri dive sites which are around an hour from the mainland.
Visitors entering the Malaysia International Dive Expo in KL
ADCON 2017

While MIDE happens, the Asia Dive Conference 2017 (ADCON 2017) will also take place where this special dive conference will enable visitors to explore more option of the conference that will be take place during the 3 day event. The venue for the Malaysia dive conference will be held within the main venue hall to enable visitors have easy access to the seminar room.

ADCON 2017 will also focus on bringing more insight on technical aspect on diving, servicing and maintenance of dive equipment, camera housing, demonstration on latest products hands-on, demonstrating and teaching on Photoshop techniques, exploring on nitrox certification courses and more.

Diving Tourism and Social Media Branding Awareness

The writer diving at the Red Sea in Jordan
Unfortunately, there is no speaker to promote digital dive tourism and social media and diving as this is the current trend with society over the years. Digital and Social Media for diving is one of the best platforms to help businesses, dive resorts and operators to brand themselves online.

I have spoken to many local universities and events on social media and tourism, even as a diver who has been to a number of places around the world, I have been promoting this hobby over the years using Malaysia Asia and my multiple social media channels. Perhaps one day, it would be an honor to be invited to talk at a diving forum or seminar, but in the mean time, you can follow Malaysia Asia in Instagram for my updates.

MIDE 2017
Date: 12-14 May, 2017
Time: 10.00 AM to 9.00 PM
Venue: Hall 1, PWTC, Kuala Lumpur
Website: www.mide.com.my

With a strong consistent track record from 2006 till 2016, a total of  approximately 110,000 visitors have been visiting the MIDE dive exhibition and expo here in Kuala Lumpur. The number of scuba divers have also grown over the last five years with more and more people wanting to experience this amazing hobby, locally and also abroad and with MIDE being the pioneering force behind the scuba diving industry in Malaysia who organises these events, the number will continue to grow steadily. 

MIDE 2016 was equally impressive with huge turnout numbers and vendors and for the would be diver, I will easily say that a visit to MIDE 2017 will definitely open up your diving interest and possibly excite your passion to see the unique underwater life found at many places around the region and also the world. 

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