DEMA, the dive industry Trade Association is beginning probe into material handling charges during recent Show in Miami, Florida.
NOTE: While the DEMA Trade Show is for all members of the dive industry, this communication is targeted specifically to DEMA Show Exhibitors
Dear DEMA Exhibitor:
As you know, DEMA recently sent a letter to all exhibitors addressing the 2003 DEMA Show in Miami Beach, Florida. In that letter the topic of material handling (drayage) was briefly discussed. Since that time, DEMA has received additional and significant information pertaining to the drayage issue that warrants further investigation.
As you all know, the drayage fees for the Miami Show were substantially higher than for the shows in the past. We were advised that this was because of the expense associated with the specific venue and because of agreements set forth in prior contracts. The previously negotiated contract that we now believe was in force suggests that the drayage charges should have been levied at a different rate than was in effect at the 2003 Show.
As this matter involves complicated legal issues and the interpretation of a number of contracts and addenda to contracts, we have retained legal counsel to investigate the issue further. We have been advised that this is not a simple matter, and may require some time to sort out.
I am writing to both notify you of these facts and to ask that you gather and maintain records of all drayage-related charges connected to the 2003 show. As this investigation goes forward, and DEMA seeks a resolution to our concerns, you may be asked to produce these records to assist us in determining any overcharges.
The prior show management team negotiated an aggressive exhibitor services package for the 2003 show, including lower drayage rates, with GES. Should this prove to be the contract in effect, it will greatly reduce the charges that exhibitors paid in Miami Beach, as well as in Houston for 2004. Obviously, previous show management sought to keep costs down for exhibitors and fought to protect the interests of DEMA, the association, the show, and therefore, its members. Like all of you, DEMA is understandably concerned with any increases in drayage rates and it is our intention to pursue the latest information available to determine if reduced charges and refunds are applicable.
We at DEMA are always dedicated to the service of our members and committed to improving the show in any way that we can. We are looking forward to the 2004 show in Houston and to resolving this matter with a goal toward better serving our members, exhibitors and the dive industry.
DEMA Executive Director