Written by Megan Denny
Many people become divers because they’re curious about the underwater world. But often it’s the friendships and camaraderie that keep people diving, taking trips and furthering their dive education.
The social aspects of scuba are also key to growing and maintaining a successful dive business – divers sharing their passion for scuba with family and friends is what fuels our industry. Scuba marketing trends come and go, but there’s always been one constant: word of mouth. Divers invite friends, who make new friends and they all go diving.
Successful dive centers continually bring customers together through diving and nondiving activities. If you aren’t yet running events where divers and nondivers can mingle, choose an idea from the list below.
Family and Friends Discover Scuba® Diving Event
Host a friends and family Discover Scuba Diving (DSD®) event. International Friendship Day (Sunday, 30 July) would be a perfect time, but you can hold events like this anytime. Promote the event by emailing past student divers a free Discover Scuba Diving voucher, or creating a social media post for your event and inviting followers to tag or share with friends.
Consider offering an incentive for divers to refer friends to get certified. Some popular offers include a $25 US gift card, free rental gear, or a free t-shirt.
Here are some additional ideas to jump-start your dive center’s social calendar.
- Host a weekly or monthly fun dive followed by a picnic, BBQ or pizza party where kids and spouses are invited.
- Challenge new divemasters to bring in two friends to do a DSD. The divemaster gains assisting experience and you may get two new divers.
- If you have easy pool access, start a birthday party program for children or adults. Grown ups can have a private DSD experience for their friends, and kids can enjoy Bubblemaker®.
- Start a women’s dive group with regular fun dives, DSDs, ReActivate® sessions, or a ladies’ weekend getaway.
- Each month (or quarter) celebrate all divers who earned a certification.
- Invite VIP customers to a thank-you party and give them a pair of free DSD vouchers to share with friends.
- Schedule a PADI Pro Night.
- Host a travel night and ensure your most gregarious travelers attend.
- Try a Dive Against Debris® event during the weekend, or at night during a full moon.
- Celebrate the dive center’s birthday and staff milestones.
- Start a year-end awards tradition (most accomplished, best sunburn, coolest critter photo, etc.).
- Throw a shark-themed or Shark Week party.
Friends with Health Benefits
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.”
Help your customers strengthen their social bonds and find new dive buddies at shop-sponsored diving and nondiving events. When divers have friends to dive with, they dive more and that’s also good for the health of your business.