Another great weekend done and dusted. OZTek2019, once again, proved itself to be the premier dive show in the Oceania Region, covering all aspects of photography, travel and technical diving. In addition, freediving was included in the 2019 program.
Our second year at the ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour and overall, OZTek2019 was smoother operationally than 2017. We listened, learned and consequently made the following changes for 2019:
- All theatres in the same hall - rendering any movement outside the Hall unnecessary
- More time between sessions to ease congestion and enable more time for the exhibition
- Because of noise in the hall, all speaking spaces were equipped with silent conferencing headphones, which from feedback received to date, were extremely successful and liked by delegates.
- A scanning system on tickets to be able to provide more accurate data, and more specific information on who went where, when. This was mostly successful - although the Gala Dinner software needs more work for seating arrangements :-)
- Water bottle filling station - we drank 735,000 litres of water over the weekend and SAVED 1223 plastic bottles!! Thank you everyone who brought their own bottles to the show. See OZTek 2020 Mission
OZTek is, and remains, a speaker-based event with over 50 speakers. The show endeavours to inspire divers to keep diving, to get involved; to encourage them to stay in the water, travel and train more, as well as discover and try new and exciting things.
As always, OZTek is about quality over quantity - it’s about bringing our dive industry together and encouraging them to do more. Exhibitors feedback tells us overwhelmingly that quality of visitors was excellent.
Conference delegate numbers were essentially static, slight increases in Silver one day and half day passes. I’m hoping these went to new divers testing the OZTek waters. Our Single speaker program was also popular - again, designed to provide new visitors with the opportunity to discover what really makes OZTek special; our speakers.
Of course, one big difference this year was the inclusion of Richard Harris and Craig Challen, our Australians of the Year, brought their real-life rescue story to OZTek - for which we are extremely thankful. It was packed to overflowing and we had to stream the presentation into other theatres to ensure everyone was able to see and hear the presentation.
They did not disappoint, barely a dry eye in the house - it was an extraordinary presentation and a real privilege to hear first hand. Again a big thank you to Richard and Craig for the support and generosity they provided to the Australian diving community through OZTek.
Please note: I have not included the extra tickets of Thai Cave Only in the numbers - because not everyone who saw the Thai Cave presentation were divers and most who bought 'Thai only" tickets did not visit the exhibition.
Lastly, whilst I loathe to even mention the weather, Sydney did experience massive storms that weekend; and the rain on Sunday morning was extraordinary. Speakers and delegates were diverted to other airports, luckily all made it to the show but it was generally agreed the weather did affect Sunday numbers.
OZTek2019 Key Numbers:
Total number of visitors: 2178
Exhibitor stands - varying sizes: 85
Pass Holders: 652
(Thai Cave attendance: 577)
Exhibitors / Speakers / MC / Staff / Media: 339
Exhibition only: 1,207
Total Attendance: 2,178
Gender split: 65/35%
Facebook: > 5300