Monday, April 15, 2024

2024 Go Diving Show Goes from Strength to Strength

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The UK’s GODS (GO Diving Show) just wrapped up the other weekend, March 2-3, 2024, and by all accounts, the UK diving scene is healthy, vibrant, and going from strength to strength.

COVID-19 had not been kind to the diving industry, and even the yearly shows were not as big as before the pandemic. However, this year, it felt like the show was getting to where it used to be.

People queued around the building to get into Go Diving Show 2024. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic
People queued around the building to get into Go Diving Show 2024. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

Layout and Feel

Since last year, the show has added some halls; this year, GODS was in Halls 1, 2, and 3. Hall 2 was the main exhibition, with many stands from manufacturers, dive operators, and more. To the side in hall 3 was the main stage hall and socializing area, where many hours were spent catching up with old friends in the industry.

The try dive pools was constantly busy with a variety of types of diving to try. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic
The try dive pools was constantly busy with a variety of types of diving to try. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

Planning the main stage and socialization area in the same hall was great since you could easily monitor the talks. Although smaller, hall 1 was equally exciting with the try dive pool and the main PADI stand.

Some impressive stands were on display including this one by Apeks. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic
Some impressive stands were on display including this one by Apeks. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

Exciting Speaker Line UP

This year, the speaker lineup was as exciting as ever across the events’ five stages. The five stages this year were.

  • The main stage.
  • Inspiration stage.
  • UK stage.
  • Tech stage.
  • Photo Stage

Needless to say, it was impossible to see every presentation on every stage. That said, depending on your area of interest, there was a fascinating talk for everyone.

The main stage saw the likes of TV personalities Monty Halls, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Andy Torbet take to the stage – their presentations filling the seats and accompanied by a fantastic TV screen and sound system.

TV Personality Monty Halls was a draw on the main stage. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic
TV Personality Monty Halls was a draw on the main stage. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

Personally, Jarod Jablonski’s journey through the past, present, and future of technical diving was illuminating. Tech divers would have been fascinated to see how their sport has evolved over the last thirty years.

Equally fascinating was the talk by stuntwoman and powerboat champion Sarah Donohue. It was surprising to learn that divers play a key role in powerboat safety, and safety divers are required for races to go ahead.  In bigger races, highly trained safety divers on powerboats and a helicopter assist and extract the crew after an accident.

Fans of underwater photography would have plenty to see and do with a range of acclaimed underwater photographers taking to the stage, including:

  • Alex Mustard
  • Stuart Philpot
  • Anne and Phil Medcalf
  • Saeed Rashid
  • Byron Conroy
BBC One Show star Miranda Krestovnikoff on the main stage. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic
BBC One Show star Miranda Krestovnikoff on the main stage. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

Exhibitor Lineup

The list of exhibitors was impressive, and some were at the show in force. These included Apeks, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary and had a massive two-story stand at the show. The celebrations included a presentation and drinks later in the day.

Also, with one of the biggest stands in the heart of the main stand, Fourth Element was out in force. The company had many leading products on display and available for purchase.

Speaking of thermal protection, divers were spoiled for choice regarding dry suits. Stands from O3, Otter, Hammond, Santi, and DUI were busy, and plenty of divers were being measured for their bespoke suits.

In addition to training agencies, travel companies, and kit manufacturers, multiple stands from different conservation groups were present. These groups were busy raising awareness about their specific cause and included stands from Bite Back, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Neptune’s Pirates, and more.

Finally, on Saturday night, after the main halls closed, the Ocean Film Festival ran from 6 pm to midnight and featured many interesting films with stunning visuals.

The diving industry enjoyed getting together. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic
The diving industry enjoyed getting together. Photo courtesy of Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

Final Thoughts

This Go Diving Show was one of the best in the UK in recent years and shows that the UK dive scene still has lots of growth potential. The number of attendees and exhibitors seems to grow yearly, which can only mean good news for UK diving going forward. So, hopefully, there will be many more shows like this one in the coming years.  

Images courtesy of Jason Brown – bardophotographic.com / @bardophotographic

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmyhttps://www.deeperblue.com
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for DeeperBlue.com

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