Rockin' the Boot 2013

My trip to the Boot trade show in Düsseldorf with Gulen Dive Resort was a great success. The reception was exceptionally good, and we made many connections that will be useful in the future.

Posted on Feb 3, 2013

Gulen Dive Resort just north of Bergen on the Norwegian west coast are aiming for the German market, and an important part of their effort was to be present at the Boot trade show which was held in Düsseldorf last week.

They had hired me to help producing their stand material and to hold presentations and workshops on the different BOOT stages. I also handled interviews and meetings with the dive media and talked to visitors on the stand.

Europe's largest dive magazine Tauchen showed great interest in my stories, and their readers can look forward to a story about the diving opportunities at Gulen Dive Resort in an upcoming issue.

Great reception

Hundreds of divers from Germany, Holland, Belgium and other countries visited the stand. The general reception from the public was great, and it seems more and more divers are looking for different and unique experiences.

The flyers I had designed were to-the-point and focused on the special events and safaris offered by Gulen Dive Resort. Please click the images to download a PDF of each flyer.

25 presentations and workshops

In addition to helping out with the material and talking to visitors on the stand, I also held several different presentations and workshops about diving in Gulen.

We had six slots on the main stage, where I was interviewed by host Bernd Hamer while a video showing off the great diving opportunities at Gulen played in the background.

On the main stage at BOOT 2013 with Bernd Hamer. All six presentations were done in German, mostly before a big crowd.

In the adjacent hall the Water Pixel World stage was my main playground, and the presentations Diving in Gulen, Nudibranch Safari, World Class Wreckdiving and Periphylla Safari recieved quite a lot of attention.

As on the main stage, everything was done in German to suit the home crowd, and host Carsten Ruland did a great job with the interviews. It was very nice to see so many people visiting the Gulen stand afterwards!

The dynamic duo of Christian Skauge and Carsten Ruland in action during one of my 14 presentations on the Water Pixel World stage.

In addition to the stage appearances I held five workshops at Pixel World. The turnout was a little so-so and I think I will focus on presentations for next year.

Award shows

Boot is not just a place for customers to check out the latest equipment and destinations or business meetings - it is also time for fun, meeting colleagues and handing out awards.

I was invited to the Hans Hass Awards by Dietmar Fuchs from Media2Dive, and along with journalists and other esteemed guests we got to meet the prize winner Laurent Ballesta. The event was sponsored by the Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain.

» Laurent Ballesta recieves Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award

My ticket for the BOOT Clubbing Night was already purchased, but at the last moment I got another invitation... an offer I could not refuse!

We were also invited to the Tauchen Awards hosted by Europe's biggest dive magazine Tauchen by editor-in-chief Maike Grützediek herself, and had a lovely evening.

Awards were presented to happy winners from around the world in several categories, such as Best Liveaboard, Best Dive Resort, Best Regulator and so on. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

The award show was held at a downtown nighclub called Nachtresidenz, which is actually listed on The World's Finest Clubs. It was a truly great spot, and the post-award-party will not easily be forgotten.


I was interviewed by Dive TV during the BOOT show, and the clip is online on their website - please click the image above to view it. And no, I'm not CEO at Gulen Dive Resort - they just made a small mistake...

Underwater photographers

Many of the top German underwater photographers came by to say hi, and some of them also had stands on the show.

Andi Voeltz and Serge Abourjeily were very busy at the Hydronalin stand, and around the corner I talked to Thobias Friedrich from Below Surface and Marcus Roth from MaRo Visions whom I met at the ESA Spacediving facility in Cologne in 2009.

» Click here to see the Spacediving images

Next to the Gulen stand I found Sven Gust from Northern Explorers, Bettina Balnis dropped by and so did Hurghada-based nudibranch lover Sven Kahlbrock. I also had a very nice chat with Werner Thiele from Waterworld. It is always nice to meet face to face!

Meeting and mingling

We met lots of interesting people during the BOOT trade show, some of which we will definitely be working with in the future. A deal was made between Gulen Dive Resort and famous liveaboard operators World Wide Dive and Sail, which soon will result in a new Gulen VIP program.

Azores or the Philippines? The options for travel-hungry divers were many, and decisions were tough to make.

I had the pleasure of seeing again some people I met during my Indonesia trip last fall - Stefain Mair and Valentina Buonanno from Siladen Resort, Hanne Garbol from Gangga Island Resort and last but not least Danny Charlton and Sascha Janson from Lembeh Resort.

We discussed a pretty interesting idea that came up during the show, and will be in touch for further planning. If everything works out, we will cooperate bringing out a new and exciting concept never before seen in the diving industry. Stay tuned...

All in all I think it's safe to say we really rocked the BOOT!

» Click here to see more impressions from Boot 2013

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