New My PADI Club™ – Coming in 2017

Coming in 2017, My PADI Club will be a brand-new online portal to a world of underwater exploration and discovery. With online tools and a community of divers, My PADI Club makes it easier to keep exploring and share the passion of diving.

A digital platform accessible from any device, My PADI Club lets divers of all levels:

Personalized Logbook

  • Track your progress, certifications, and share photos and videos from your dives

Custom Dive Notifications

  • Create and receive real-time dive notifications to know when and where to go diving.

Online Community Tools

  • Search dive sites and shops, track marine life you’ve encountered, and find buddies to dive with.

Trusted Ratings

  • View ratings for dive shops and dive sites to help plan your next adventure.

Savings

  • Save on equipment, gear, and continue your diving education with course credit.

To learn more, contact your PADI Regional Manager or Training Consultant.

For more information: padi.com/mypadiclub

The Hazards of Travel: Deep Vein Thrombosis

A sometimes inconvenient reality is that travel, and often long travel periods, are required to dive some of the world’s most unique and interesting locations. Whether divers are searching for clearer water or warmer weather, it’s often hard to avoid lengthy journeys. As you venture to distant locales, make sure you, and the divers with you, are aware of a travel-related health concern – Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

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What is DVT?

DVT is not directly related to diving, but the risk is significantly increased by long periods of immobility, such as those found on long flights to dive destinations. DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins, often in the legs. Symptoms include swelling and pain in the leg, ankle, or foot, as well as warmth or discoloration in the affected area. Swelling and discoloration that begins in the leg can also spread to the ankle or foot. Blood clots formed by DVT can break free and travel with the blood, potentially causing life-threatening conditions such as stroke or pulmonary embolism.

Why does DVT occur?

Most DVTs occur in individuals with pre-existing risk factors who remain motionless for long periods, such as when traveling by plane, car or train, or when bedridden. This is because immobility slows the flow of blood in the veins, increasing the risk of a blood clot forming. In addition, pressure on the calf from a poorly designed airline seat, for example, can cause damage to the walls of the veins in the leg and increase the likelihood of clot formation.

DVT is not a common condition – the prevalence for travelers on flights of eight hours or more is between 0.3 – 0.5%. However, DVT risk can be increased by age, obesity, and estrogen use. Individuals who are greatly above or below average height, and individuals with limited mobility, or who have had a recent surgery are also at a greater risk of DVT.

What can you do to mitigate your risk of DVT?

If you, anyone in your group, are at an increased risk of DVT, take preventative steps – wear compression socks, periodically walk during the flight, and exercise feet and calves. Individuals at risk for DVT should ensure that they are well-hydrated before flying, and discuss the possible benefits of anti-inflammatory medications with their healthcare provider.

If you suspect you have symptoms of DVT, seek qualified medical assistance immediately.

For more information on health and diving, visit DAN.org/Health

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Celebrating 25 Million Certifications

It’s getting close now. Really close. Anticipation is building all over the globe, as the latest news from the PADI® Certification Department is that the milestone will hit sometime this December. If you compared the situation to cooking some popcorn in an iron skillet, it would be wise to keep shaking things as a few kernels are just about to get scorched. 25mil

The excitement is sure to build even more following the announcement that as part of the celebration the lucky diver who receives the 25,000,000 certification, his/her buddy, and the certifying PADI Member will be invited on a dream dive vacation to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

You read that right. The celebratory trip includes: round-trip economy airfare and four nights’ accommodation in Cairns, Australia, a three-day/three-night live-aboard dive adventure on the Great Barrier Reef and, for the ultimate surface interval, a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest World Heritage Site. Made up of nearly 2900 individual reefs, 600 islands and 300 coral cays, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest single structure comprised of living organisms. Divers around the world revere the reef for its biodiversity and beauty, and the region is home to an amazing array of marine life including turtles, rays and even dwarf minke whales.

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That’s a seriously cool package for any diver and a great way to celebrate the fact that PADI has issued 25 million certifications over the last 50 years. Ready to pack your bags? Keep sending in those PICs, and if one of yours is the 25 millionth, you’ll be on your way…

Marketing is Everything

By John Kinsella, (CD – 13969)

When I was looking for a pithy marketing quote to grab your attention for this article, I came across an interesting piece (http://heidicohen.com/marketing-definition/) listing no fewer than 72 separate definitions of the term “marketing”. Two definitions really stood out. The first, attributed to Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path, a highly successful email marketing company, claims that when done well, marketing is the business strategy: It is the value proposition, brand positioning and image to the world. It must be largely measurable and accountable around driving business goals. When not done well, Blumberg asserts, it’s an endless checklist of advertising and promotional to-dos that can never be completed. The second definition emphatically makes the same point. Regis McKenna, writing for the Harvard Business Review, said simply, “Marketing is everything.” [My italics]

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If you agree, it makes solid business sense to prioritize your marketing efforts and get as much help as you can. Especially when that help is basically free. One of the most important benefits of PADI® Membership is marketing support, and it’s yours for the asking (or downloading). There’s a plethora of detailed information in your back issues of The Undersea Journal® and the valuable resources on the PADI Pros’ Site are at your disposal. Here’s a look at a few initiatives that should be on your strategic radar for 2017.

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The second annual PADI Women’s Dive Day saw a doubling of interest in 2016 over 2015. Events organized by PADI Members worldwide grew from 330 to more than 700 and it’s going to be a focal point again in 2017. The goal is to increase the number of women in diving and bring more families into the sport. Research indicates that women make anywhere from 80-92 percent of the vacation decisions for the family, so attracting more women to the sport will invariably bring the families. “This year, in PADI Americas alone, we had almost 400 million (media) impressions for Women’s Dive Day,” said Katie Thompson, Director of Marketing. “If you register an event on PADI.com, people will find you.” You’ll see a preview of what’s in store this month, and there’ll be marketing support assets available in the first quarter of 2017. Mark 15 July 2017, the next PADI Women’s Dive Day, on your marketing calendar now.

My PADI Club

Another arrow in your 2017 marketing quiver has to be My PADI Club. This new premium membership product has the potential to become the cornerstone of your all-important digital marketing and social media marketing strategies. Take a look at the dedicated article in this edition of the Surface Interval for early details of yet another great marketing initiative with PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Members at the center. Make a point of being an early adopter.

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New Advanced Open Water Diver Course

Along the same lines, speaking of cornerstones, the new Advanced Open Water Diver course is just that, for your entire continuing education program. Keep this front and center in your marketing strategy for 2017. Take a look at the article in the third quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal for detailed insights (and marketing tips) into just how the links between Advanced Open Water Diver and (almost) the entire suite of PADI courses can help you keep your continuing education courses full.

PADI Members have a wealth of wonderful marketing material at their fingertips; it just makes sense to make the most of it.

The 2017 PADI Price List is Now Available

 

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The 2017 PADI price list in now available on the PADI Pros’ site. The revised price list takes effect 1st January 2017. Please take a moment to review, and should you have any questions, please contact your Regional Training Consultant.

We take this opportunity to congratulate PADI Members in Europe, Middle East and Africa for their continued efforts and success within the dive industry.

Despite challenging external factors affecting the Egyptian market, overall EMEA certifications have surpassed those issued in 2015, proving the strength, desire and profitability of the dive industry.

PADI also had a record year in 2016 generating over 2 Billion impressions of the PADI brand, all designed to drive traffic to you as a PADI Member. The PADI team will continue working hard in the future to ensure that when consumers decide to dive, they seek out PADI Members first.

Thank you for all your support in 2016. We look forward to a positive and productive finish to the year and working with you again in 2017.

View the 2017 PADI Price List on the Home Page of your PADI Pros Account.

Goal Setting For PADI Members

As the New Year beckons, people around the world are making resolutions and setting goals. Unfortunately, research shows that only eight percent of these goals will be kept or met. Whether running a major dive center or resort, or simply considering taking the step from divemaster to instructor, PADI Members are only going to succeed if they’re part of that eight percent.

Here are a few ways to make sure that’s you:

check-1Start today. Running a dive business keeps you busy. There’s always something that demands your immediate attention, and the temptation is to wait until there’s a perfect uninterrupted window to sit down and carefully consider business and personal goals. Sounds nice, but think back and try to identify the last time you had such a window. I’m willing to bet it was the summer after you graduated from secondary school. The solution is to start now and keep at it – one small step at a time.

check-2Keep at it. The 92 percent who fail to meet their goals likely set them in the New Year and check their progress the following July. Setting and achieving goals requires constant attention and frequent adjustment. Drill down into daily, weekly, and monthly actions you can take to achieve your goals. It’s an ongoing, organic process.

check-3Write the goals down and share them. No lecture here about SMART goals or other technicalities; just a suggestion to make sure you’re not the only one who knows about them. Some people keep them posted on a “goals board” in the staff room, others use a digital equivalent to set regular reminders. One powerful option for PADI Members is to attend a PADI Business Academy and have their PADI Regional Manager help with this; Regional Managers have significant experience in the development and maintenance of growth opportunities within the industry, and their knowledge is a crucial business resource.

The real-world evidence that relates setting goals to business growth speaks for itself. A recent study of PADI Members in Japan found that members who set and stuck to their goals – they participated in PADI’s Goals for Growth program – saw an average increase in entry-level certifications of nearly 16 percent over than those who didn’t.

Even more impressive are the continuing education statistics, goal setters enjoyed increases of more than 26 percent in core curriculum and 20 percent in specialty certifications compared with members who didn’t participate in the program.

“We never really set goals like this in the past. We have seen the positive effects setting goals can bring, and we plan to continue,” said one member. “I made a specific Goals for Growth plan and checked it every day. It has been very helpful in making our business successful. Step by step, setting a Goals for Growth plan will help my business be successful,” said another.

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And, from an individual member perspective, sticking to your goals can be truly life changing. One hard working diver I had the pleasure of working with recently is heading off to the Caribbean as a newly minted PADI Divemaster; careful and determined goal setting helped her balance a busy career as a freelance graphic designer with her dive education, and now she’s reaping the rewards.

Make sure you’re an eight percenter in 2017; take your first step toward setting goals today.

5 PADI Pro Tips: How to Deal with Nervous Students

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The first breaths underwater are always very exciting for first-time divers, and usually the fascination for this new underwater world is much bigger than any fears. Sometimes, however, there are some new divers who are very nervous about learning to dive, and need to be treated very carefully by their PADI Instructor.

Follow these 5 tips on working with nervous divers to help alleviate their fears and encourage them to succeed in the best possible way.

#1 – Talk to your students about their fears

If you notice that one of your students is very anxious, then you should talk to them about their fears and concerns. Ask them questions to help identify what and where the problem is, and explain to them objectively, using facts and reassurance, about why there is no need to be scared.

#2 – Explain all of the exercises in detail in your briefing

As a PADI Pro you’ve already learned to describe and explain all the skills, exercises and dives which you’re performing with other divers or students.

If you have one or more anxious divers in your group, you should extend your briefings and deal with the concerns of the divers. Prepare your group and let them know what could be the challenges during the exercises or dives you’ll do together – and tell them how to deal with them in the best way.

#3 – Position anxious students correctly

If you’re doing underwater skills with students, or guiding a dive for a group of divers, then make sure that any nervous members of the group are always very close to you.

While training for skills in larger groups, any nervous divers should never sit completely at the end of the row. If possible, they should always have another diver on either side.
Make sure you begin the practice of diving skills with a more confident diver – not with someone who is already anxious. This reduces the nervousness when one sees that another diver masters the skill without any problems.

If you’re guiding a group with an anxious diver, you should offer them to dive directly behind you. Form a buddy team, and give them the safety and attention they need to build confidence underwater.

#4 – Reduce the distance between nervous divers

As a PADI Pro you’ll already know that you need to stay close to your diving students to have complete control over them. However, if you have a very nervous student in your group you should pay special attention to stay as close as possible to them in particular. This makes it possible for you to intervene at any time, and gives them a feeling of safety and security.

#5 – Give anxious students frequent commendation

After each training session, you should highlight one thing in every debriefing that all diving students have done particularly well – that’s what we call positive reinforcement.
With anxious divers in your group you can expand this positive reinforcement even more and give them extra commendation for things they have mastered. With this additional positivity and praise, you’ll push the self-confidence of anxious divers, which in turn will help to relieve their nervousness and boost their confidence in the water.

Extra Tip: Work in small groups with more time – if possible!

Where possible, work in groups of max. two divers, and plan more time for your course from the beginning – this should be helpful for anxious divers who will feel less pressured by others’ progress. In a smaller group, you can respond even more effectively to the problems and concerns of each student.


christian_huboThis article was written by guest blogger, Christian Hubo. A PADI diving instructor, Christian has enjoyed over 4,000 dives whilst travelling around the world. Above the surface, he’s hiked thousands of kilometers across the natural world. Christian is a freelance web and media designer, underwater photographer, social media and marketing consultant and freelance author. His magazine articles and blog, Feel4Nature, inspires people to follow an independent, individual and eco-conscious lifestyle.

PADI Business Academy Bristol

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PADI EMEA is proud to welcome in its EMEA office the final PADI Business Academy of the year.

During this unique event, the biggest one for 2016, the 33 attendees from dive centres all around the EMEA region will be going through a series of presentations and workshops on all the aspects of running a dive centre from website design, online strategies and pricing issues.

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This exceptional PADI Business Academy is presented in 5 languages (Spanish, French, English, Italian and German) by your PADI EMEA management team and Regional Managers.

The 2-day program will enable PADI business owners to expand their knowledge, get the latest PADI products updates and meet other from the diving industry and all the PADI staff.

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We wish all our Bristol PADI attendees a successful PADI Business Academy.

Do not miss out on your chance to join a PADI Business Academy next year! The 2017 schedule will soon be available.

For more information on this program please download the 2016 brochure here.

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Vacancy for Marketing Consultant – Social Media

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PADI EMEA Ltd require a Marketing Consultant to look after our Social Media Channels, based in the Bristol office, UK. The role will provide oversight, management and coordination of PADI social media channels and content creation. This includes establishing clear channel goals, creating and implementing a social media strategy consistent with the organization’s brand and corporate initiatives, developing a content generation strategy and posting schedule, and the ongoing analysis and reporting of channel performance. This role also works in direct cooperation with our worldwide team, inclusive of Social Media representatives and executives located in PADI Asia Pacific and PADI Americas.

We are looking for candidates with a strong marketing background, in particular experience of consumer focused marketing. A degree level marketing qualification or part qualification would also be desirable as would knowledge of the diving industry. The successful candidate also needs to have strong IT skills in particular Excel and PowerPoint and any graphics packages would be advantageous.

Essential language requirements are fluent English as essential, German or Dutch is desirable.

Benefits include a 9 day fortnight with every other Friday off, diving training, private medical cover, pension contributions, free parking and subsidised gym membership on site. There is a requirement to work out of hours for this role on a rota basis.

To apply for please send a CV and cover letter to recruitment.emea@padi.com

Giving The Gift This Holiday Season

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Experts predict holiday spending will increase 10% worldwide this year; however, an increasing amount of money is spent online. With year-end sales representing 20%+ of annual sales for many retailers, we’ve assembled a guide for PADI Retailers to maximise income during the year-end shopping season.

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Holiday Pie Charts and Other Stats to Digest

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The majority of holiday spending in the UK still takes place in brick-and-mortar retail stores; however, online sales grew to 15% in 2015 and are expected to reach 20% this year.

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Worldwide, ecommerce was the main source of spending growth during the holidays in 2015. According to VISA: there was a 7.4% increase in spending with online retailers in December 2015 versus just 0.1% for physical stores. That said, “Black Friday” continues to grow in popularity worldwide and falls on 25 November this year. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK are countries where Black Friday was especially popular in 2015 (source: Adobe).

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Shopping Begins Early in Denmark, Sweden and the UK

Last year, consumers in Denmark, Sweden and the UK began their holiday shopping in November and were attracted by discounts and promotions. Shoppers in Austria, Belgium and Germany started shopping later, and were not influenced by special sales days (source: Adobe).

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Taken together, the data suggest shoppers will buy their gifts person. But smart retailers will promote their special holiday offerings online, and start early (depending on location).

Create a List of Gift Ideas

In 2015 PADI’s blog received nearly 7,000 visits from divers Googling scuba diver gift ideas. Thousands more visits came from social media followers who clicked on our gift ideas blog post and forwarded it to their friends.

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Shoppers want to give the perfect gift, but don’t want to work too hard to find it.

Look around your store and identify what would make a great gift:

  • For someone looking to spend a small amount: €20 / £20 or less.
  • For divers with children
  • For new divers
  • For divers who love to travel
  • For divers who prefer experiences rather than things.

Write down all your ideas. Then, consider what items could be bundled together and how you might create a unique package. For example:

A tropical travel package could include items you already in stock such as: a mesh bag, lightweight dive kit, etc. But why not add a rash guard, gear marking pen, or portable luggage scale?

Another option: create a complete warm-water rental package and offer a gift voucher good for one week. Comprehensive bundles like these are easy to buy and make the gift giver look like a thoughtful genius.

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Promote Ideas and Offers Online and In-Store

Online:

  • Post the gift idea list as a blog post or webpage to attract searches.
  • Promote PADI eLearning to profit from holiday shoppers who are ready to buy now.
  • Post individual deals on social media with a link to your site to “view the complete list.”

In store:

  • Create a flyer for your store. Place it at the counter and near the front door.
  • Use colorful stickers to denote items that are a “smart gift” or “customer favourite.”
  • Ensure customers are aware of sale and special items with adjacent signs.

For example, if a free mesh bag is on offer with the purchase of a mask, fins snorkel set: post a sign adjacent to the gear bags, “Get a Free Gear Bag, Ask Us How.”

Via Email. Yes, Email.

Email remains the the #1 way consumers find out about holiday deals and bargains. The exception is the UK where email ranks #2 after online search ads.

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When promoting your holiday gift ideas and specials, remember your message will compete with hundreds of others. Be as creative as possible with your subject lines, get crazy if you have to, for example: WE’RE GIVING AWAY A PONY…who wouldn’t click on that?

Even if the pony giveaway is a drawing for a pony bottle, the user has opened your email. Mission accomplished.

Include Buy Now options

Always include an option and incentive for readers to buy now. You can’t know what “amazing” deal is up next in the customer’s inbox. If you don’t have online checkout on your website, there’s always eLearning. Customers can buy an eLearning gift pass from you for any PADI online course including Open Water, ReActivate and Scuba Tune-Up.

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Make A Holiday eCard

All you need to make a great holiday eCard is a handful of photos. Grab some from your 2016 Facebook albums, and use a popular tool like JibJab or Elf Yourself. Not into funny cards? Invite customers to submit their best topside and underwater images from 2016. Put together a shareable video slideshow with holiday music using Animoto. It’s free, easy, and the result is remarkably professional. Your customers will look forward to receiving your eCard to find out if their images made the cut. You can also use Animoto to create a custom holiday greeting. A local car dealership made a fun, shareable video with just a few images shot on a mobile device.

Your holiday eCard will stand out from the typical holiday promotional emails, but it’s still a marketing piece. Create something your customers will want to share, and you’ve got instant word of mouth advertising!

Host A Customer and Staff Appreciation Party

Sometimes a great way to sell things is by not overtly selling things. Invite your best customers and staff to an evening event with drinks and snacks. A prize drawing, awards, and an evening of sharing stories strengthen the bonds between your business and the people who make it what it is. Browse PADI Gear for staff recognition and customer appreciation gift ideas.

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Other Ideas

If you’ve already implemented all the ideas above. Kudos! Here are a few more ideas from the field that might not work for everyone, but are worth considering.

Offer delivery – some people have more money than time. Others want to avoid having boxes delivered to their home. Consider offering free delivery for purchases over a certain amount, or within a certain distance from the store.

Layaway – for customers wanting to get a little something for themselves, layaway can be a good option. Do your research before implementing this program.

Promotional credit – offer customers credit based on how much they buy. For example: spend €500 or more, receive 10% credit towards a purchase in 2017.

Further reading If you’re interested in additional holiday shopping statistics. Adobe has a holiday 2016 report with shopping statistics by country including: the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Norway.