Written by Megan Denny
For many people, the holidays are equal parts fun and stressful. In one survey, Harvard University reports 62 percent of respondents felt “very stressed” or “somewhat stressed” during the holidays; only 10 percent reported no stress. Financial demands, interpersonal family issues and maintaining an exercise regimen were the top three causes of holiday worries.
Diving is a great way for people to relax with friends and stay active any time of year, but here are a few ways your dive business can help customers have fun and feel less stressed during the holidays.
Make Your Dive Center a Refuge from Holiday Insanity
Crowds, family, politics, family talking about politics – there are countless reasons your customers need a break from the holiday grind. Here are a few ways to make that happen:
- Schedule a weekend fun dive followed by a potluck or picnic.
- Host a pool event – photos with scuba Santa or underwater tree decorating.
- Throw a customer appreciation party with awards for most-improved diver, best photographer, fish-whisperer, etc.
- An evening PADI Seal Team® event can offer parents a welcome break. While your staff conducts AquaMissions, the grownups can browse your store or just enjoy a night off.
- Offer a PADI Seal Team day camp to take advantage of school holidays.
Invite Customers to Participate in a Good Cause
Some people find it hard to say “no” to holiday obligations, but might welcome the chance to excuse themselves to go have a little fun if it’s for a good cause. Why not turn your weekend fun dive into a food or toy drive? Or, at a customer appreciation party, host a raffle with proceeds benefiting Project AWARE or a local charity.
Help Divers with Their Holiday Shopping
Some customers may not think of their local dive center as a go-to destination for holiday shopping, but with the right mix of products and promotion, you can help divers complete a significant chunk of their holiday shopping. Stay top of mind by promoting your favorite gift ideas for men, women, kids and nondivers frequently on social media and in your eNewsletters.
Fun fact: Roughly half of holiday shoppers buy something for themselves. The New York Post reports “self-gifting” is at a 20-year high, and a 2015 study found Millennials are 40 percent more likely than Gen Xers or Boomers to self-gift.
Appeal to your customer’s desire to reward themselves:
- Offer a voucher toward a future purchase (i.e. spend $500 US in 2017, get a $50 US gift card for 2018).
- Use buy-one get-one deals (BOGO) such as “Buy an Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver course, get 50 percent off any specialty diver course.”
- Invite them to book a relaxing dive holiday in 2018.
Help Lapsed Divers Prepare for Their Next Adventures
PADI ReActivate® enables divers to conveniently refresh their diving knowledge and skills. Promote ReActivate on your website, social media and/or use targeted Google Search ads to attract lapsed divers who may be nervous about an upcoming dive trip.
When Life Gives You Fruitcake – Use It as Ballast
The holidays are also the season of eating, so it’s no surprise one-third of people worldwide make a new year’s resolution to lose weight. Invite customers to burn holiday calories by going for a dive or starting a continuing education course. In cooler climates PADI Rescue Diver, Digital Underwater Photographer and Dry Suit Diver can all be started in the pool and completed when open water conditions allow. As a reminder, even Open Water Divers can join in on Rescue Diver pool sessions.
Scuba diving and hanging out with other divers is a great way to escape from the pressures of everyday life. Invite divers to add some weightlessness and underwater Zen into their holiday schedule at a shop-sponsored fun dive, pool event or get-together. They’ll feel more relaxed, and your business will benefit.