It was an incredible opening day for ADEX in one of the world’s busiest cities. With a wide-range of speakers and products on show, visitors were treated to seven hours of non-stop entertainment.
The Main Stage: What Happened
The main stage opened with Michael Maes’ stunning blockbuster, Epiphany. Followed by speakers James Harvey, Paul Montgomery and John Fang.
Hidy Yu gave the huge crowd a look into how diving has changed her life. There was no seat free for Dada Li’s talk. Aaron Wong explained the techniques behind Watercolors just before the start of the Opening Ceremony.
The Opening Ceremony attracted the biggest crowd of the afternoon, with ADEX Organiser John Thet kicking off the celebrations. Ms. Wenxi Zhao gave a welcome message, before the Miss Scuba China girls performed.
Freedive speakers, Jessea Lu and Potti Lau and 2016-2017 ADEX Freediving Ambassador Dada Li gave quick introductory talks. John Fang, Tek Dive speaker, and Zhou Qinan, Photo/Video speaker, also introduced themselves on stage. ADEX Ambassador for Compact Cameras, Tim Ho – who has a large following in these parts – was welcomed on stage to loud cheers, before he got the crowd to join him in singing “Happy Birthday” to John Thet. Ambassador of Photography, Aaron Wong, who is a well-known underwater fashion photographer, gave an insight into his upcoming talks. Amos Nachoum gave a humorous introduction, before Hidy Yu – who is ADEX Ambassador for Mermaids – also came to the stage. It was a welcoming introduction for the “mermaids” from Jeju Island, the Hae-Nyeo divers and Y.Zin Kim who introduced themselves and ADEX Ocean Ambassador Lee Yoon-Mi. Before Hong Kong actress, Joyce Tang, who stands as ADEX Ambassador for Greater China, gave the final speech of the night. The ceremony closed with the cutting of the red ribbon, which saw all of the speakers and special guests take to the stage to declare the event officially “Open”.
Following the end of the Opening Ceremony, the audience was treated to a traditional Hae-Nyeo dance (Leodosana) and this was followed by Y.Zin Kim explaining the origin, heritage and techniques of the famed Hae-Nyeo. Hidy Yu closed the speaker line-up, before the Lucky Draw hit the centre stage. Many prizes won through all the heckles and shouts from people waving lucky draw tickets.
Neatly tucked away in the corner of the event hall, the Ocean Zone attracted record-crowds for a long list of inspirational speakers. From turtle conservation by Wang Yamin, to extreme freediving by Molly. Many talks on photography from the likes of Tim Ho, Yoshi Hirata, Imran Ahmad, Alan Lo and Andrew Marriott. Joyce Ng presented her underwater modelling and mermaid experiences, and Pepe Arcos showcased breathtaking images. Wang Ao Lin, Jim Chen and Thomas Dederichs also gave dazzling talks, to fully-packed crowds.
It was a unique and wonderful first day: Large crowds, big-name speakers and many gimmicks which have come to make ADEX a household name in the residences of divers and ocean enthusiasts. Beijing, so far, has been one exciting experience for the ADEX team. Now we look to tonight’s entertainment.