Events – Scuba Pride 2018!

 

Continuing from my last post about events that PADI are supporting, I would like to bring your attention to Scuba Pride 2018!

Scuba Pride which is taking place at Vivian Quarry in Parc Padarn, Llanberis on the 21st of July.  (Please click here for more information). Also, there is NUPG Scuba Pride Photo Competition taking place on the 22nd of July.  

Vivian Quarry is in a prime location to venture out to the stunning Snowdonia National Park. Duttons divers is a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Centre and a Project AWARE 100% Partner Centre based in North Wales.  

Speaking with PADI Course Director Clare Dutton (Vivian Quarry and Duttons divers), they have 12 stands in total who are already confirmed. They will also have the face painting, bbq, competitions and will also have a mini ‘fairground’ – coconut shy, other small games around the quarry for fun. 

Throughout the day they will be offering various try dives – discover scuba, discover the Menai (The Menai Strait is a narrow stretch of shallow tidal water about 25 km long, which separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales), Sidemount diving, Full Face Mask and Twinsets.

Hopefully, manufacturers maybe offering trials of their equipment and will have slots in the training cage we have on site.

Clare has said that they will have some t-shirts that have been designed for the scuba pride event. If you would like to purchase one, please let her know. They are £15 each with profits going to LGBT North Wales.

The team at Vivian Quarry are excited about the event and to be supporting the LGBT community in Scuba diving. There have been lots of emails from various groups including the chairman of both LGBT North Wales and GLUG UK that have been advertising the event.

It is great to be able to support this event and PADI will be there to help make the event memorable.

Events – National Watersports Festival and Leeds Triathlon

It’s that time of year when things are heating up and people are looking at what to do

PADI Event Tent

with their summer. At PADI we try to aim our Marketing at both Divers and importantly non-divers. This means when we look at events to attend we try to think about how it would benefit our members. By this I mean we work hard to put our brand in front of people who will take note and then actively seek out a PADI Professional to learn (and hopefully continue to learn) to dive.

 

With that said we have to very exciting events coming up this over the upcoming weekend 8th – 10th of June.

The first is one that PADI has supported for a number of years – National Watersports Festival. (#NWF2018)
The National Watersports Festival is aimed at water sports enthusiasts Windsurfing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayak, Dinghy Sailing. So already keen on enjoying themselves on the water but missing all the good bits below the surface.
With Families, Camping, Parties, Taster Sessions and a great atmosphere theirs little wonder why we have been getting so much interest in people wanting to learn to dive. The great benefit for yourselves as a PADI Pro is that the attendees are from all over the country and when they return home they have seen diving and how easy it fits into their lifestyle.  I was speaking with a Pro Windsurfer who travels all over the globe to compete and train, but there are often days with poor conditions for Windsurfing. Poor conditions for Windsurfing would often mean great conditions for SCUBA.

I am very much looking forward to being there and working together with Dive Rutland and other Manufacturers to offer DSD’s at Rutland Water.

The second event this weekend is the Leeds Triathlon. Taking place at the  Roundhay Park and finishing in Leeds City Centre, it is going to be quiet an event.
As part of the ITU World Triathlon Series, Leeds Triathlon is aimed at both Elite athletes and first-timers Triathlon try’ers. People who are active, enjoy a number of sports including the water, are used to spending good money to get high-quality training and equipment. PADI is going to be in the heart of the action at Roundhay Park.

I am really looking forward to presenting diving to everyone and working with Scuba Leeds and other Manufacturers to offer DSD’s and advice.

Again as this is a national event there will

Local news

be families and athletes from all over the country and further afield who will have seen diving and how it can fit into their lives.

 

At both events, we will be pointing all to their nearest PADI Dive Centre.

Project AWARE® and how to introduce more to your Business

I have mentioned before about Project AWARE® and the benefits for your Business. But I have been moved by the recent uptake of PADI Centres and Instructors who have signed up as 100% AWARE Partners. If you don’t include myself there is now 9 Centre’s and 4 Instructors in the UK. Each one making a contribution to the cause with every Certification they are doing.

Thank you
Oxford Dive Centre
Vivian Dive Centre
Reef Scuba Ltd
Scuba Leeds
The Fifth Point Diving Centre
Wavecrest Scuba
Viewpoint North Diving
Gatwick Scuba
London Diving Centre
Instructor’s Daniel Chan, Ollie Powell, Geoffrey Creighton and Ian Edge

One of our goals at PADI is to mobilise  Divers to Be a Force for Good, which is critical to PADI’s Four Pillars of Change.

Project AWARE® plays a huge part in our Ocean Health Pillar.  Ocean Health is vital to us all on this Ocean Planet and we at PADI are forging partnerships with organisations that support the establishment of more marine protected areas (MPAs) and the reduction of human pressures that threaten the future of our blue planet like marine debris.

Please take time to mobilise your own divers and get engage through the Project AWARE® specialty courses. Why not include Dive Against Debris® as part of your Advanced Open Water or conduct it on every dive as it is so easy now to record your data using the Project AWARE® App.

Do you generally dive at the same spot, then why not Adopt a Dive Site™? Adopt a Dive Site is tailored to our most dedicated dive leaders: participants commit to carrying out monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, reporting types and quantities of marine debris found underwater each month from the same location. This picture was sent to me from The Fifth Point Diving Centre. What was really interesting was the fact that Tudor Crisps went out of business in 1993, so that bag which looks relatively intact has been around for some time.

I was watching with interest over Scuba Leeds’ quest to find a site to adopt. The social media interactions over this from people who were inquiring as to how to join in and to let them know next time they were doing a dive was phenomenal. Fantastic work everyone and please keep up the great work.

Why not have a look at the interactive map  and get your own clean up on there. It will certainly raise your profile when you share it.

Please speak to your Regional Manager to find out more about it.

 

PADI Regional Manager Project AWARE Dive Against Debris

It was a very proud day for me as Regional Manager of Malta (and Northern UK), to have recently been able to introduce my fellow PADI Regional Managers, to one of my regions, Malta.

Malta played host to a major conference at which time all of the PADI Regional Managers from around our EMEA Region, also we had all of the Territory Directors, Vice Presidents as well as our CEO Drew Richardson and CMO Kristin Valette-Wirth in attendance.

The annual conference is a chance for us to update each other and get a better understanding of how we can, as PADI Regional Managers better support our Members.

During this conference, we made time to conduct a Project AWARE  Dive Against Debris®.  This opportunity allowed us to lead by example as one of our goals at PADI is to mobilise our Divers to Be a Force for Good, this is critical to, PADI’s Four Pillars of Change.  (find out more here http://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/04/11/mobilizing-divers-to-be-a-force-good-padis-four-pillars-of-change/)

Project AWARE plays a huge part in our Ocean Health Pillar.  Ocean Health is vital to us all on this Ocean Planet and we at PADI are forging partnerships with organisations that support the establishment of more marine protected areas (MPAs) and the reduction of human pressures that threaten the future of our blue planet like marine debris.

Our clean up took place at the HMS Maori (a Tribal-class destroyer, sunk while at Malta in 1942) which now sits near the bottom of the walls to the stunning capital Vallette.

Please take time to mobilise your own divers and get engaged through the Project AWARE speciality courses. Why not include Dive Against Debris® as part of your Advanced Open Water or conduct it on every dive as it is so easy now to record your data using the Project AWARE App (https://www.projectaware.org/news/use-your-phone-take-action-clean-ocean).

Do you generally dive at the same spot, then why not Adopt a Dive Site™? Adopt a Dive Site is tailored to our most dedicated dive leaders: participants commit to carry out monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, reporting types and quantities of marine debris found underwater each month from the same location. (https://www.projectaware.org/adoptadivesite).

Please speak to your Regional Manager to find out more about it.

Matt Clements
PADI Regional Manager

 

Aqua Lung iXperience Tour2018

Aqua Lung has decided on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary to organize a Tour of events, all over Europe in collaboration with PADI EMEA and DAN Europe.

Unlike the European side of the tour there’s no need to book through an Aqua Lung Centre, simply select your venue and visit the Aqua Lung tent at the water’s edge and collect a computer*. This is your chance to dive the new Aqua Lung range of computers – FOR FREE!

Why not take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the Nitrox Specialty courses both at Professional and recreational level?
PADI will be following up this event with a “Business of Nitrox” Seminar and promotion. The “Business of Nitrox” will be organised and open to all PADI instructors and Centres by the PADI EMEA Regional Managers Matt Clements and Emma Hewitt.

Finally, there will be the possibility to participate in a workshop organized by the DAN Research Team, to download the dive profiles on the Dive Safety Guardian platform.

The tour runs across six dates and venues, simply select your venue and visit the Aqua Lung tent at the water’s edge and collect a computer*

Everyone that tests a computer has the chance to win a Reveal mask and a matching Aquilon snorkel!**

Location Dates
Capernwray
LA6 1AD
14th and 15th April 2018
Stoney Cove
LE9 4DW
21st and 22nd April 2018
Vobster Quay
BA3 5SD
5th and 6th May 2018
Wraysbury
TW19 5ND
12th and 13th May 2018
NDAC
NP16 7LH
19th and 20th May 2018
The Delph
PR7 5PR
26th and 27th May 2018

Come and speak to your Regional Manager to find out more about integrating computers into your courses.

** Aqua Lung rental equipment is free | Product availability will vary due to demand | Proof of dive qualification or instructor supervision required.
** The winner will be drawn at the end of each day and contacted the following Monday.

*Please note, entry fee to the dive location (if applicable) is not included.

PADI Approved Youth Training Centre

Last year, PADI brought out the PADI Approved Youth Training Centre recognition for PADI Dive Centres in the UK. Whilst all PADI Professionals will have received training on how to teach children and young adults during their Instructor Development course, reaching out to engage with this market in the UK may require you to incorporate various measures to help safeguard the welfare of children in your care.

There is huge potential for your diving business when you reach out and engage with schools and youth groups. If you are able to establish an ongoing relationship with a school, you can gain a potential guaranteed annual income by repeating training for the next year group. There are opportunities for running an ongoing dive club just in their school pool, or for running UK and overseas dive trips where the children may complete core training as well as specialities.

Benefits of working with school groups:

• New students intake every year
• Opportunity for improved course margins with some schools having their own swimming pools
• Opportunities to branch out and offer courses for family members
• Opportunities for school staff professional development
• Opportunities to offer EFR courses for the school
• Potential opportunities for overseas scuba trips
• Benefit to the school by enhancing students education and cross-curricular links

The PADI Approved Youth Training Centre scheme is one which is designed to provide you with the knowledge surrounding safeguarding measures which may be requested by various schools and youth groups which you are planning on working with. Gaining this recognition from PADI gives you access to additional resources which you can use to help promote and build your school and youth group diving business.

The PADI Approved Youth Training Centre recognition is a free application for all PADI Dive Centres which are 100% PADI, who can confirm that they have the relevant policies and checks in place to safeguard children according to Child Protection rules in the UK.

PADI Approved Youth Training Centre information pack version 2.2 contains all the key information relevant for training children in the UK. For more information on this contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant – Emily Petley-Jones (emily.petley-jones@padi.com) or PADI Regional Manager – Matt Clements (Matt.Clements@padi.com) or  Emma Hewitt (emma.hewitt@padi.com)

 

Summer is Here!

After a harsh end to Winter we have had a lovely sunny start to the season and divers are probably pouring through your door BUT, many dive centres still have time for more customers, especially midweek.

So how do you keep your staff busy Monday to Friday over the summer season?

Bubblemaker, Seal Team, Junior/Family Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver courses often appeal to families during the school holidays,  so why not schedule some midweek courses specifically aimed at this market?

Make sure you are clear about what makes the courses special, some options may be:

  • Parents do not need to attend – this does mean you become “childcare” for the day so you need to have the staff and set up to accommodate this (see our article on Approved Youth Training Centres)
  • Parents DO need to attend – you are aiming at a family vibe and parents are there to look after their kids when you’re not in water.
  • Only family groups accepted – this is reassuring to parents and maintains a consistent group philosophy.
  • Kids only events, such as birthday parties etc with parents welcome to watch, photo opportunities etc.

Consider the logistical differences to your normal courses, some examples might be:

  • Can you transport kids from your dive centre or do you need parents to drop them off and pick them up on site?
  • Ratios are smaller when younger children are involved, so plan ahead for your staffing needs.
  • Don’t forget the fun – I know time is money, especially in the pool, but families don’t want to feel rushed so may prefer to take their time and do less e.g. schedule a Scuba Diver course over the same time you usually do an Open Water Diver course when young children are involved.

Make sure your staff don’t accidentally devalue courses that are not full certification courses by implying they are “less”. Anyone who dives is a diver and if you teach someone Scuba Diver this year, next year you can offer them the top up course to become Open Water Divers.

As well as scuba training, why not offer Discover Snorkelling and Skin Diver. Skin Diver and Turtle Not only can you take students younger than the minimum age for scuba, but there is also a big market of middle-aged and older holidaymakers who want to go snorkelling, but don’t have the confidence to do it without a bit of training or guidance. And they have plenty of disposable income! You may even attract the ultimate family groups; kids, parents and grandparents!

Here in the UK Skin Diver is usually a pool course and can be run in a short time with minimal kit. You may want to invest in a few snorkel vests, rather than use BCDs, but these are inexpensive by comparison. This is also a great opportunity to get your Divemasters teaching. Make sure you spend time with them beforehand to help them prepare and run the course with confidence.

If you have access to suitable shallow areas around the coast why not organise Discover Snorkelling events in the sea? Equipment and staff requirements are simpler than for scuba diving courses and gaining a little confidence under professional guidance while getting to see what’s under the waves is just as much fun for many people as scuba diving.

Top Tip – the standards for Discover Snorkelling are in the Key Standards table in the Instructor Guide and there is a more info in The Guide To Teaching but this is a very flexible program and relies on your creativity and enthusiasm.

 

The Great Northern Dive Show – 17th – 18th Feb

 

great northern dive show

With January out of the way, it’s now that time of year for “The Great Northern Dive Show” this year running over the weekend of the 17th – 18th February at the Emirates Old Trafford. Lancashire County Cricket Club, The Point, Talbot Road, Manchester, M16 0PX.

The Great Northern Dive Show wide will have a variety of guest speakers including PADI Course Director’s Tracy Timperley from Academy Divers and Claire Dutton from Vivian Diving Centre.

PADI AYTC Logo

PADI’s very own Regional Training Consultant, Emily Petley-Jones, will also be presenting. Emily will be discussing diving opportunities for children. Emily’s presentation will also include information about PADI’s Approved Youth Training Scheme (AYTS). If you are interested in being an Approved Youth Training Centre and the marketing support this scheme brings, please email your PADI Regional Manager.

Along with a whole host of manufacturers who are exhibiting at the show,
there will be a great number of PADI Dive Centres who are there to support you;
Academy Divers
Blue Planet Aquarium
Coral Cay Conservation
Dive Manchester
Dive Style 
Divers Warehouse
Divewise 
Duttons Divers
H2O Divers
Robin Hood Watersports
Scuba Leeds
Techwise
Vivian Diving Centre
Wreck Finder Charters

Ruth and the team like to do things differently and will have Actors Ross Mullan and Ross O’Hennessy dressed to impress as Game of Thrones characters.

So if you are looking for something to do over the 17th – 18th February then pop along to The Great Northern Dive Show.
Saturday: 9.30am until 4.30pm
Sunday: 9.30am until 3.30pm

Winter Options and AWARE Week UK

It is that time of year again and winter is fast approaching, have you lined up your Courses accordingly? With this blog, I am going to list some options to try and help you get through the challenging winter months. There is a great deal of PADI Courses which can be done “dry”. Also, PADI has teamed up with Project AWARE to run #AWAREWeekUK which will take place from 1st to 10th December 2017 there is a lot of marketing support available through the landing page.

#AWAREWeekUK http://dive.padi.com/AWARE-Week-UK/ is being run with perfect timing fitting in with the latest BBC Wildlife documentary series on BBC One – Blue Planet II http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04tjbtx. If you have already started watching it, you will hopefully notice the importance they are placing on the environment. One thing that could help make some difference is your involvement in doing something about it and raising people’s awareness.
What I have learned from running Project AWARE events for both PADI and PADI Dive Centres is just how popular they are. The recent event I ran in Malta had people coming in just for the Dive Against Debris. Register your interest to take part in this joint PADI & Project AWARE event that https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/aware-week-tickets-37876244868

Other “Dry” course ideas for you to look at are:
Equipment specialty
Enriched Air/Nitrox (click on link for a MailChimp template)
Emergency Oxygen Provider
EFR
Gas Blender
Having an arsenal of these courses over the winter months will help keep your customers engaged. We are doing some promotions to help, so give Emily a call in the office use promo code 17UKDP.
Using your CRM system you can drill into who has what course and with EFR when did they last have a refresher. If you would like help with making templates to go with these then just let your Regional Manager know. 

On top of the Dry Courses and #AWAREWeekUK, there is the whole Christmas Gift market to look at. Like me you may have scorned the supermarkets and pubs for marketing Christmas for me what felt like as soon as easter finished, but, one thing that is for sure, venues are booked and people have started stocking up. You need to think ahead and promote, to plant the seeds and let them ideas take route. Acting now will give you the best run in for December sells. 

Revisiting an idea of old was a DSD pack, the success of this was in the presentation. If you are reaching out to Customers to purchase a gift for friends and family (or even themselves)  then you need to make it as easy as possible for them to give it as a present. Running with the Christmas theme your customers fall into 3 categories, Past, Present, and Yet to Come and like the ghosts from the Dickens classic, each has its own wants and needs and goals to achieve. As a Centre, you need to think about how to market to each of these groups.

Blog! Blog! Blog!

As a regional manager for PADI, I get to work with some truly fantastic people, who are often doing some inspirational work. The one thing that is sadly lacking is the time (or inclination) to write about it.

Self-promotion is big business and is vital to the success of yours. I am not suggesting that you should aim to become one of the growing keyboard warriors and look at trying for “guru” status. But I am betting that there is a whole host of things that you are your team are doing which should be highlighted and sung from the rafters.

I often hear that “I am posting on social media” which is fantastic and a step in the right direction. But regardless if you are a small business or a multinational company, blogging needs to be an integral aspect of your online marketing strategy.
There is a huge list of reasons your company to blog but I have tried to keep the list to a few, in the hope that the importance of it is driven (or diven, I know bad pun, but we are all divers at heart) home!

Website

I am willing to bet (or at least I hope) that you have put a lot of time and effort into building and running a website. It costs a good chunk of money to run it and if now the prime route for someone to find out about what you provide as a company. What is the point of all this time, effort and money if you are not driving traffic to your website?
Your blog should be at the heart of any and all social media, news and marketing effort. The cycle should begin and end with people engaging on your website. You should blog and then share on social media, this will then mean that your customers (and importantly, your soon to be customers), will see what you have been up too but then are drawn to your website to find out more.

SEO

Posting a regular Blog will increase your SEO! Who wants to be top of the internet search? Yes, you can buy your way to the top, but people are more and more wary of adverts, being there, on page 1, at the top, through and organic means is more long term success and will outlast the cost to get there with money.
By having regular fresh and pertinent content on your website means that as the searching algorithm updates it databases you will have ticked some of its programming boxes, which enables it to promote you higher.

industry leader

A positive side effect of all this fresh and pertinent content on your website means that you are positioning your brand (yes you need to start thinking of your business as a brand) as an industry leader. There might be something that you are passionate about (one of the reasons I love the PADI system so much is all the specialities) find time to write about it. That incredible dive which has kept you coming back for more is powerful and will inspire others.
Recently for myself has been a few incredible sea dives with seals. The company and comradery of a people who I have never dived with, bonded over the fun of the diving. (Yes I am a strong advocate that diving should be fun, you need to be well trained and follow the other safety principles that PADI advocates, but fun none the less. I doubt I would have remained a diver for the last 21 years if I had not enjoyed 99% of my dives and that includes working as a DM and OWSI). What has this ramble got to do with being an industry leader? Well, I am promoting UK diving as some of the best in the world, it helps if you have some great experiences to sell it to someone who’s never tried it.

So in short, make blogging a most do action and at a minimum a monthly one. If you need help, please get in touch.