Today the PADI IDC in Phuket kicked off, but it was also time for the PADI Member Forum 2015 in Phuket! My first member Forum on Phuket. It's always a seminar I look forward to, since it gives you a good idea what is cooking and brewing for this year, from PADI's perspective, with new courses, programs and materials being discussed.
Andy Auer, the PADI Regional manager for Thailand West coast was the presenter, with some help from PADI examiner Rob Scammell.
Straight from the start of the presentation; PADI is ambitious and would like to double the amount of yearly worldwide certifications from around one million to two million in a few years.
Some facts delivered to us; the PADI website has around 570.000 visitors per month, just slightly topping my blog counts!
The new PADI app has been downloaded 490.000 times. An impressive number but more is possible and will certainly come.
PADI spends yearly about 7 million US Dollars on promotional activities. Since no numbers on their turnover or profit are given, it's hard to place this figure in perspective.
On new products, PADI is focusing on the Touch (trademarked name!) products. These include among other;
- the new open water course as a touch product for iPads or Androids. A super cool product, which allows you to study and read up on the PADI Open Water course whilst travelling, for instance.
- A ReActivate program, which gets non active divers into diving again by conducting skills in confined water, geared towards the confidence level of the person that is being ReActivated (wonder if the name of the program has been taken from a Schwarzenegger movie; I come to reactivate you. Spoken in a light Austrian accent).
- the eRDPml as a touch product, which includes the Touch RDP
- The Equipment specialty touch
There was also the re-occuring Training standards part, where you could win t-shirts by answering standards related questions correctly. This was however during a technical breakdown of the presentation materials, which caused a few funny moments when the questions were read out verbally.
Last but not least, Project AWARE was covered and discussed as well and it's always good to see how much the AWARE people and causes get done!
From left to right; myself, Andy Auer (PADI regional Manager) and Rob Scammell (PADI Examiner)
Thanks to Andy and Rob and see you next year again for the 2016 PADI Member Forum