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 is being run with perfect timing fitting in with the latest BBC Wildlife documentary series on BBC One – Blue Planet II 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

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
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!


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.


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.

Marketing, ideas to help with your Dive business.

We all know there is a cost involved in advertising to new and none divers, but this is should be considered a fundamental on going running cost. We here at PADI we are reaching out to both new and established divers on your behalf on multiple platforms (online, in print, events and shows, TV etc. etc.) and of course we try and bring those inspired customers through your Centre’s door. It is great to hear so many people to asking to get their PADI, no matter whether that is a DSD to DM or beyond.

I have been hearing great things about the ongoing Get your PADI in the UK promotion we have been running on Facebook and the number of clicks to the micro site ( speak for themselves. The success of “Get your PADI” campaign has led to a further 57 being developed and we are reaching out in 6 languages in 14 Countries, with multiple regions within each.

The above was just one campaign and not cheap to do, what I am looking to do is share some ideas that you can implement. So I have done a few ideas to hopefully spark some ideas for you.

Landing Pages

These are important to understand what they are, you need to be able to do them quickly and easily. The general idea is that you will point people to these pages from any form of online marketing. You could have it as a Competition, e-mailing, Facebook ad, and newsletter. There needs to be a reason why someone will either sign up or give you their details and it needs to be easy for them to do it. Think about screen size on catchy text. There is no point paying for a campaign if that data is going to get lost of someone gives up the will to complete the process of filling it in.


A couple of examples. PADI recently was a completely none diving Event for above water sports, we got our foot in the door at the national watersports festival. PADI then teamed up with a local dive centre to help run DSD’s and we then both spread the message of diving to everyone attending. As this was a National event I was pointing people to their nearest dive centre for when they return home. Another recent and month long event has seen PADI teaming up with the Aqua Lung to help promote learning to dive in a Drysuit to those Centres customers who had taken up the offer. As you are hopefully aware you can easily “bolt on” the Drysuit course to both the Openwater and Advanced Openwater Diver Courses. Those PADI Centre’s who took part ran a promotion for learning to dive or taking their Drysuit Course as a “Fusion” distinctive Speciality. It was great fun and meant I was at different sites over the various weekends. I am looking to do more of the same. 

But, what about taking part in a local event to yourself? Have you thought about summer fairs, corporate events, market or a creative car boot stall? It shouldn’t have to cost lots but it should look professional. Reaching out to none divers it is important to look like they will be safe in your hands. PADI has a budget to help with none dive show events and as a 5* Centre you can apply for a marketing support pack (packs are limited to a specified budget but you should get in touch with your Regional Manager regardless).

What about running a regular Project AWARE event and adopting a dive site?


You should look at ways and means to apply for funding. Funding can unlock the means to really do something special to help those that may not normally get to take part in our beautiful sport. I have been keen to follow what Herts Dive Club has been doing since they were awarded Lottery Funding

It really does pay to give back as there is a huge about of positive messaging that comes out of doing something that makes a difference.


Have you reached out to your big local businesses? It is worth knowing that most companies will have a staff benefits scheme. If you are not on that list then why not. Let your regional manager know if you would like some help getting your foot in the door.

Youth Market

Don’t forget there is a huge promotion that PADI is doing with regards to helping your centre with the youth market. If you are not yet on the PADI approved youth training scheme please get in touch with the office.

If you would like more help with Marketing why not sign up for the PADI Business Academy?

What does your business image say?

Professional image:

One of the things I love most about working in the diving industry is that my 3 piece suit hasn’t seen the light of day for some time, save for the odd wedding and funeral. But does that mean that you can dress however you’d like? Professional image is important and there is a huge weight of Psychology studies which limit first impressions to the microsecond. This means that despite how informal the workplace, how you and your business are perceived has an impact. This tenth of second reaction effects someone’s judgment on your competency, trustworthiness, and professionalism. Once someone has formed that First impression it is very difficult to change their mind. Those Companies that provide both a professional image and another fundamental aspect of your business, quality service, not only attract buy also retain customers.

In my role as Regional Manager, I am constantly on the road, at dive sites, working with professionals which in turn means I get to see numerous dive centres and businesses around the globe. There is a marked difference in those that present their business in a professional way and others, who sometimes leave me wondering who’s a customer or the employee.

I am not suggesting that you impose a uniform but moreover if you have not already done so start to think about your corporate identity. If shabby chic, hipster, city worker or chain store is the image you are going for then make sure that you make it part of your overall business image, by this I mean the way your shop, website, marketing present itself down to the clothing you and your team wears.

Brand identity:

As a business owner, it is important to take some time to sit down and identify your Brand. What is it that makes you different, there are a lot of dive businesses out there, but what is yours to you? Once you know that you can start to build your own Brand. Brand identity primary means the way you communicate your corporate identity by your branding. Yes, I did mean corporate identity in diving, you are a professional at the end of the day and there is no shame in earning money by doing something, even if you love doing it.

I am willing to bet you already have a Logo but what about a slogan and mission statement? Once you get it right your brand becomes synonymous with the product, regardless of the company that makes it. PADI, for example, is the way the world learns to dive for a reason. Many companies are known from just their logos and some of the most successful companies are identifiable from just a colour scheme or collection of sounds.

One thing I like to see is when a team stands out at often crowded dive sites. When your team is visible there is no doubt for your customers on who they can approach for help. If you or your team is not clear then perhaps someone else’s is and that company inadvertently pick up your customers.

Cert of completion

As PADI has regional managers (RM) who are here to help we can work with you on your branding, website and professional image. If you feel that you have already put the effort in why not ask for a Professional Image Evaluation from your RM.


Fourth Element:

PADI has also teamed up with Fourth Element to help with gaining some form of identity for both your business and your customers. For help with a Bespoke Clothing Enquiry click on this link and enter your details 

If you feel you would like to start from the beginning then get in touch as PADI is here to help. perhaps it could be something as simple as your Logo needs some revamping, there is a host of services out there and as RMs we can help point you in some directions.

New Year News – A short heads up on 2017

Hi all,

With this being a monthly blog aimed at the North of the UK I wanted to share some useful information that will hopefully bring you all a few bits of success in 2017


I have mentioned the PADI Freediver programme before and what benefits it will bring to your Centre It brings me great joy to announce that we now have Steve Millard on board as a PADI Freediving Instructor trainer. Steve has a long history with Freediving so I was very happy when he spoke with me about choosing PADI to help grow the Sport within the UK. Steve is happy to be your go-to person to either bring you (or the team) up to speed as freediving instructors and beyond. Or if you see the business sense to add it to your centre but don’t feel you can do it justice then he could be your instructor for hire to start building your Squad.

If you have not tried it yourself the PADI Freediver manual is 3 courses in one (Freediver, advanced Freediver and master Freediver). I will be going on the road with Rich Somerset, Steve and some of the major brands to run the Business of freediving workshops. Please let me know if you are in the UK North and would like to find out more.

Here is the latest video on the PADI YouTube channel

Live Events 2017

I will be on tour with some of the big guns looking at workshops, training and forums across the North of the UK. Locations we are looking at are

  • Newcastle – Forum, freediving and equipment in.
  • Leeds – Business Academy
  • Capernwary – Dive day, drysuit and Forum.
  • Blue lagoon, Dive day, speciality Schermafbeelding 2017-01-13 om 14.44.50workshop and Forum.
  • 8 Acre – freediving.
  • Stoney, Forum – freediving and equipment.
  • The Delph- Forum, drysuit and equipment.
  •  Gildenburgh – Dive day, drysuit and Forum.
  • Orkney – Forum.
  • Edinburgh equipment, Dive day and Forum.
  • Glasgow, equipment, Dive day and Forum.

This is not a definitive list as there are a couple of big events in the pipeline but, as I write this blog these are what I have planned for the first 6 months. I will be looking to do a good number of private forums still this year also.

Events will be shared on Eventbrite, Facebook and direct emails.

PADI Business Academy PBA Lite 2017 Blog Header


There is a planned Business Academy in Leeds on 3rd of July. If you have never been on one then you are missing out. We cover a whole load of Business training in an environment that you can focus on the Job in Hand. Let me know if you would like some details but it is worth coming along from a Networking point alone as there will be like minded Peers who are driven to make a success of their business.

Pricing Work Shops.

One of the most commonly raised points on a meeting is over prices. Only you know your costs but what I can help with is to make sure you are getting a profit from really crunching the numbers and suggesting solutions. Do you know which items are given you the best returns? This workshop something that can be done remotely and is a real commitment in time for both yourself and me so this will be on the first come first severed basis. But if you would like to work on it yourself then I am more than happy to send you the files to work on. As with all things that are finance you have, to be honest with the report you are running and anything shared with me will be kept in confidence.

PADI Sales incentive 2017

Emily and Su-Li have been working hard with Emma and Myself to really look at a sustained campaign for 2017. Please call them in the office for the details but it would be worth your while to get up to speed on the offers and factor them into your pricing. PADI staffThere is only one goal that we have as your PADI team and that is to help you do as well as possible. We are all believers in growing the UK market and have invested heavily in marketing the UK to new divers.

London outdoor and adventure show 2017

I will not be at the show myself this year as I will be expecting to be a dad part 2 over that weekend. A shame not to see you all but… I hope you understand. The rest of the team will be there so please come and see them. But again the main focus of the PADI stand will be to reach out to new and old divers alike to drive them into PADI dive Centres to help bring them to the underwater world that we all hold so dear.

I am looking forward to seeing you over the coming 12 months but please email/call/facebook/Whatsapp/etc etc if you need any help.

One last video to leave you with as a hopeful touch of inspiration.

Winter Training Options and Diver Referrals

To borrow a phrase from a great northern “Winter is Coming” (Game of Thrones—Eddard Stark), or to be honest has already got here. While as I am writing this it is still relatively mild, however, the slow temperature decline has started in the water already.

So what does winter mean for your training pipeline and marketing effort? Well, there are those that don’t mind the cold and can be seen braving the ice in a semi-dry, those that honestly enjoy the experience are few and far between.
But you don’t need to put your business on hold and it really gives you the option to pull out your trump (no, not Donald) card and heap on the added value that makes your business stand out from the crowd. Diver Referral and Dry Suits are winter training considerations.

There are a few winter dive training options open to you but I would like to look at your Centre’s bread and butter, Open Water training. Whilst Tec is great and a fantastic route for the limited few who have made diving their passion, without a steady flow of entry level divers who will be your ConEd divers in years to come? Get your padi UK social media

Both of these options may mean that you need to look at your course pricing and equipment choices. If you would like to do a pricing workshop then please pick up the phone with your friendly Regional Manager as we are here to help. PADI reinvests heavily in the industry from marketing the industry (see latest UK-centric campaign) to local support for 100% PADI Centre’s with individual campaigns agreed with your Regional Manager. Your Manager is there to help so if you haven’t picked up the phone in a while please do.

Back to training, the logical 1st step is to include Drysuit training within your core open water course training. I know that for some this next section is redundant and a few of you do UK Dry Suit Cost divinginclude drysuit as an optional extra, however… I would suggest that at this time of year a drysuit is a must, especially in our temperate clime. Looking at some surveys of why people left diving, feeling cold was a strong indicator that someone would not continue.

Drysuits have moved on a long way in recent years and needn’t be the cumbersome and expensive beast they once were. If you ask around there are some exceptional budget choices that you could incorporate into your school right up to custom fitted deluxe options. But drysuit costs are something that you need to speak to your suppliers over.

What PADI can do is make the training, which is what PADI does best, link together. When did you last look at your instructor guide, in particular, the general standards section? Sorry for dragging you back to basics but please remind yourself about linking Courses:

P45 S7 2016 Instructor Manual –
Dry Suit Diver – integrate knowledge development, confined water performance requirements and conduct all four-course dives in a dry suit. Complete Dry Suit Dive 1 skills during Dives 2, 3, and 4. Conduct another dive beyond course dives to complete Dry Suit Dive 2 skills.

This means that if you are following the recommended Sequencing then you can “bolt on” an additional training dive on to one of the days to complete the added course. Your sells rep will be able to work out a “bolt-on” package deal when buying an Open Water product (Touch/eLearning or CrewPak) and the Drysuit Manual/Crewpak and PIC. If you need help with training then your Regional Training Consultant will be able to give you some guidance.

The 2nd option is to partner up with a Centre who’s able to carry out your winter training.  You could and should be set yo to just sell a “Referral” and hope that your student returns post course to continue diving. There are some great follow-up tips that your Regional Manager can help with to try and maximise the return of your student.

The referral market is a good one and some build their whole business on it. So what is a Referral? Well, incase you have never taught one a referral, it is a process in which student divers complete part of their training in one location, then complete the rest of their training at a different location with a different instructor. What is important if you are going to just send your customers out into the wild is to make sure you register them with PADI. As the referring instructor and Centre, you will get credited with the part certification and it can help with planning marketing once you get a true reflection on numbers. There is a great guide to Entry-level Diver Referrals if you need help.

Jumping back to point 2 teaming up. It is worthwhile building up a formal working relationship with a Centre who is able to conduct parts of the Open Water Course and run it as priced option on your core course structure. PADI invited a contingent of professional English speaking Italian Centres to the recent NEC Dive Show. These Italian Centres were looking to work with UK Centres for just this sort of tie in. Italy is one option there is, of course, the fantastic Isles of Malta and Gozo, the canary islands and the Azores to name but a few who operate all year round. All of which have excellent English and would be looking for a good reciprocal business partner. Don’t forget that resort markets have a similar need for a solid centre to send their DSD customers too in order to keep their interest alive ready for their next holiday.

All regional managers have links within the EMEA territory (and beyond) and will be able to help point you towards reputable 100% PADI Centres.


PADI Freediver, why not add it to your dive Centre?

padi-freediverWith the PADI Freediving programme coming up to its first Birthday it is fantastic to see how many people have decided to join PADI just for this option. These divers are not SCUBA Divers nor are they likely to ever be, however when you can dive to 40 meters on a training course or hold your breath over 3 1/2 minutes why should they?

It is time to get serious about freediving as it is one of the fastest-growing dive-industry segments. PADI EMEA is very proud to have helped launch along with Divesangha and O.M.E.R, Bristol’s first ever international pool freediving competition! The Bristol Blue Freediving Competition on Sunday 27th of November here in sunny Bristol join us live . I have been speaking with one of the team and they are expecting personal bests and records to be broken. Hearing figures like 8 min breath hold has the EFR IT in me worried but the freediver in me competitively jealous. I managed just under 3 minutes during my training and that was just from one day’s training.

If you haven’t guessed it the PADI Freediver courses provide you with new business opportunities and a pipeline to younger customers. If your  Dive Centre is not offering Freediving then you do need to ask yourself why not? Freediving itself might not be for you, nor your current student or club divers (have you ever asked them if they are interested), but one of the constant questions I get asked is how do I get more business. If you have honestly tried all of the advice and guidance from your PADI regional manager and still need more custom then what have you to loose?

When researching freediving online I have seen it described as the new Yoga and there an undeniable benefit of personal fitness that serious divers maintain. If you take to the sport then you will no doubt find the benefits stacking up (which in turn could help with the HSE Medical).

Health benefits to one side and looking at the padi-freediver4bottom line, most manufacturers have a fantastic range of equipment that will get those that need the new and shiny gadget twitching. There is a certain set of Carbon fibre fins and mask have my credit card fearing for its limits. But you don’t necessarily have to fork out to start with you can use your current Scuba mask and fins to get started.  Think also there are dedicated trips that you can take your new team on. I know a Centre who just organised a Seal Snorkeling and Freediving trip and it filled up with Scuba divers who fancied a break from the norm. Great!

With most Freediving instructors charging more for per student on a course than the average open water course, even if you only teach one or two students per course the figures stack up. The PADI Freediver manual is in a word visually stunning and has been written by a global team of experts. once you have downloaded the course it will have you engrossed in your tablet for hours, the nice thing about the course materials is that it is 3 manuals in one. That’s right, freediver, advanced freediver and master freediver in one beautiful product. It comes with the first PIC. 

I talked a lot earlier about record breaking and Personal Bests, well freediving is a sport and therefore it has that side to it. In Scuba if you want to be competitive then you can always have a good hover off. But Freediving is not all extreme as a Basic Freediver (pool based and a fantastic winter training tool), you will gain the training and discipline needed to stay safe during breath-hold dives. Afterwards, you can continue your education and progress to new depths.

If you would like to join the ranks then the process is straight forward and there are numerous undersea journal articles and training bulletins to help. However, you can also ask your training team within the PADI Office or get in touch with your Regional Manager. With your new skills as an instructor you can really bring alive the snorkelling and duck diving skills within confined training. 

There will be Freediving events taking place in 2017 so why not give it a try. pfd

Tips to help with digital and why it is important to your business growth.

Are you using the host of PADI Digital Products? There are normally 3 distinct answers that I get during my visits. The first being – “Yes, and I am pushing for 100% digital students”. Well this article might have some useful tips to try with extra marketing. The next is “Well I get them sometimes, but it’s not something that we actively promote”. The Finial one is a flat No often justified by “my customers just don’t want it”. Well I am hoping that the following will really help you reach out and grow your business (which as a Regional Manager (RM) that is my main goal)


Our (PADI’s) paper products are fantastic and not going anywhere anytime soon. It has been the norm to study with a paper based book, if you ask any school or higher education facility, the future of learning is digital. So if you would like to tap in to that ever growing market of millennials (who is a person reaching young adulthood around the 00’s.) then they will be use to learning via some form of digital platform.

Our eLearning products have been great, but the new kid on the block is our industry-leading touch products which have been designed to modernise and enrich the learning experience of students and PADI Professionals. If you have not yet used a one of the touch manuals then you should ask your RM for some help and training on them. Also you will be getting the chance to get yet another free one with your renewal, so if you would like a display copy just get in touch with the sales team to take advantage.

The current list of Touch products are;

  • Digital Certification Pak – Open Water (OW)
  • Digital Certification Pak – Rescue Diver
  • Manual – Freediver Touch
  • ReActivate Touch
  • Equipment Specialist Touch
  • eRDPml Touch

With the Advanced OW course to follow soon. Whist these products work unbelievably well offline on tablets (currently apple and android) they also work online via the website. So if your student loses their device (or does not have one) they can keep studying.

The current list of eLearning products are;

  • eLearning – OW – Cert Pak
  • eLearning – AOW – Cert Pak
  • Dive Theory eLearning
  • eLearning – EANx
  • IDC eLearning
  • Scuba Tune Up eLearning
  • eLearning – DUP – Cert Pak
  • eLearning – Rescue – CertPak
  • Divemaster eLearning

With new products to be added ASAP I wanted to help you with some things you could be doing to improve things with your student numbers. Also it’s with bearing in mind that all, none application, courses include the PIC with the course and what is better the student fills in their own details. As the customer fills in their own digitals it means you no longer have to try and translate their hand writing. The second benefit is this speeds up the whole online processing experience.

The other advantage with going digital is that you have the flexibility to teach in many deferent styles. The most obvious aspect to take advantage of is that with the new touch core courses, the student can complete their knowledge reviews, quizzes and exams within their manual, offline, at a time that suits themselves.  This will mean that you can have much more structured tutorage time where you can focus on their needs and on introducing them to skills and importantly the choice of equipment available in store. However you could still get them to sit the paper exams in the classroom if this is the way that works best for you.

There are 2 main ways of bringing digital products to your customers. The first is that you purchase what you think you need in advance, this means that you will hold some stock (online). The advance with the touch products is they are, (somewhat akin to Schrödinger’s cat in that) available simultaneously in multiple languages and the always most current version, that is until the point of download. Once on your student have chosen the language and download to their device they will have the option to update once they log in again, should any changes have happened. The other option is to let your students order through, this option means you will hold no stock but the price they pay is fixed.

Looking at some tips to help

1st If you are sat in the No, we don’t use Digital Camp (hopefully some of the pointers above will help to change your mind.

It is important to bear in mind that Digital customers could be any number of persons, if you are not using digital then you are most likely missing out on the youth market, who are used to learning this way. But also people who are time poor but otherwise affluent i.e. professionals.

It will cost you nothing to add a few lines of text to your website or to tell people via emails or on the phone that they also have this option.

2nd Use of Commission based Links PADI Pros site screen Shot

Are you aware of the PADI Commission system? As a PADI Dive Centre or Resort that for every single person who purchases through linked to your centre then you will be earning commission.

If you have not added these links to your emails or website then there is options to help your business grow through promoting and using the PADI Digital Product Suite. This is to both new and existing customers – PADI has compiled a collection of free marketing tools which you can download for free from the PADI Pros’ Site by visiting Toolbox > Marketing.

3rd Marketing Referrals

If you have people looking to complete their course away from your centre then the digital product is the way forward. As I mentioned above, digital comes with the PIC and all knowledge reviews, quizzes and exams can be complete their within their manual. This not only takes care of a chunk of the paperwork but means you can focus on a quality and higher level of service which should hopefully bring the student back to you following their holiday.

4th Targeted continuing education courses

As I write this winter is on the way so with courses like Equipment Specialist Touch and eLearning – EANx will mean that you can run courses on the coldest of months, dry!

As always I write this column with the hope that I will spark some questions, your Regional Managers can do a lot to help you, but without engaging with them then we do not know what you would like to work on. Digital Products is one route to help, but there is countless others. Get in touch today.

The Importance of a CRM system for a small business

There are many things that make your business great and off the top of your head you would most likely list; the service you provide, the products you stock and perhaps most importantly your knowledge and expertise. But… what about your customers? Have you overlooked them?
Student Divers

Your customers are more than likely the lifeblood of your business (unless you’re wealthy enough not to need them!!!). They are probably involved with every area of your business. They are someone to train and mentor, join in on diving trips and holidays and buys equipment as well. Customers factor heavily in your business sustainability. I know from personal experience that they are also the life and soul of a dive centre and some of them even seem to live there (you know who they are…).

As a Small to Medium sized Business (SMBs) and as you start up you might know everyone by name, what their favourite dive location is and what trips or equipment they are looking to buy.

But can you remember the extras?

  • When is their Birthday?
  • That regulator they brought, when is it due a service?
  • What was the next course they were interested in?

This is where having some form of system to keep track of things pays off. It could be a trusty diary or spreadsheet, perhaps you have enough PC skills to build a comprehensive data base. However, there is also EVE, which is made for divers by divers. The variety of things it can do for your business is considerable:

  • EVE tracks your students
  • is a point of sale system (sales software)
  • organises your course and trip schedules
  • takes care of your inventory (tells you what you’ve got and even when it’s time to order more)
  • runs your rental (monitoring when it’s time to repair or service equipment)
  • runs your service departments (creating reminders for repeat customers)
  • optional extras included a website and online shop which is linked back to your database.

But coming back to the start it is, at its heart a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). When you link it with other systems like MailChimp and the comprehensive reactive templates from PADI, it becomes what it is designed to be – an additional member of your team (Electronic Virtual Employee – EVE). Once you have the auto agent up and running it will automatically send daily emails including everything from a simple birthday message or servicing reminder to course completion thanks and then lead then in to their next giant stride, enquiry follow ups etc. etc. You can also drill down into the data to do one off campaigns such as Master Scuba Diver (a great one to do now, because PADI has an MSD promo running with deals for you and free MSD application for your divers!)

Auto Email Template for Enriched Air

You can try EVE out for a free for a trail period, download your entire store training history from PADI and once you have imported it in you can let EVE help you to keep in touch with your Customers. Your PADI Regional Manager can help you with training on getting it all set up and running.

The latest Enriched Air Diver email template has now been uploaded to the PADI Islands Library

Please get in touch with your Regional Manager if you need help.




PADI DSD Pool Party UK addition

The first UK PADI Discover Scuba Diving Pool Party

Red and Blue Get your PADI balloons
Get Your PADI

After the unprecedented success of the very first PADI DSD Pool party hosted by CY Dive in Pafos, Cyprus, it was time to bring it to a domestic market. The whole event was organised and hosted by Norwich’s very own ChristalSeas Scuba Ltd on the 16th of June.

The team there already conduct a very well polished DSD so it was exciting to get their feed back on our new concept on how to increase the conversions of people who would like to “try diving” to people who “Do Diving”.

PADI’s goal is simple, to give PADI Centre’s an extra tool to grow their own diving community with new and enthusiastic individuals who will hopefully find the same life en-richness that only the underwater world can provide. These new divers will in-turn spread that message to friends and family and hopefully grow the number of people interested in learning to dive for everyone.

What do you need to host the PADI DSD Pool Party?

Mirror Disco Ball
Mirror Disco Ball’s are optional extras
  • PADI Pool Party Marketing Material
  • Discover Scuba Diving Participants
  • Pool
  • Enthusiastic Staff Members
  • Fun
  • Food & Drinks
  • Time after the dive
  • and in this instance the PADI Regional Manager – Matt Clements

Chris and Polly at ChistalSeas Scuba Ltd. came up with a diverse group of Participants and outstanding instructors who were all then handed over to PADI’s regional Manager for the North UK and Malta, Matt Clements. By sharing our passion of our own first Discover Scuba Diving experiences and then the PADI Open Water Diver Course set the scene for lots of fun in the pool.

After all the in-water activities, training and fun we then regrouped for some snacks and more experience sharing. The feed back was great and everyone from the group had their own buzz and reasons for trying a dive. Having an additional team of positive Instructors and Dive Masters on hand combined with an open shop full of equipment the evenings experience led to questions about how, who and when could they start. Having both the new PADI Digital Products and a trusty Open Water Ultimate CrewPak on hand meant the new students could really appreciate the quality of their training materials along with the fantastic instructional team.

I look forward to catching up with the new divers that we made last night and hopefully being their buddy one day soon. Thank you to all of the team at ChistalSeas Scuba Ltd. and I look forward to helping at the next one in the South at Andark