PADI Attractions at 2017 DEMA Show


Excitement builds as the 2017 DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida, USA approaches. For the PADI®  family, the fun begins with the ever-popular PADI Social and continues throughout the show with a slate of top-flight training seminars and programs.

“PADI’s presence at the DEMA Show is dedicated to giving PADI Members the tools they need to propel their continued success. It’s a one-stop-shop for exploring their interest areas, discovering exciting new programs and then getting the training they need to implement them,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “This year, we’re introducing the PADI Adaptive Techniques specialty programs, rolling out multiple digital product updates and covering upcoming changes to the PADI Instructor Development Course. We also have a few wonderful surprises in store for members at the PADI Social.”

PADI Social

Kick-off your personal DEMA Show experience with a party! You’ll have a rollicking good time at the PADI Social, held at the Rosen Centre Hotel Ballroom on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. You can network with friends, connect with important industry contacts and hobnob with a veritable who’s who of the dive industry. You’ll also hear about some exciting new partnerships. “PADI is a global authority on diving and a powerful global force for good,” says Richardson. “In the past year, we’ve made huge strides toward forming partnerships that make our world-renowned environmental stewardship more tangible than ever. The PADI Social is the best place to get all the details and find out how you can be the first to bring these programs to your corner of the planet.”

PADI Business Academy/Rosen Centre Hotel Programs

For the first time, PADI Business Academy will be offered at the DEMA Show, with a special focus on mastering online advertising. “The ability to effectively promote your business online is essential in today’s world and when you’re paying for online advertising, it’s vital that you get it right,” says Richardson. “Learn about marketing and business support tools, and consultation that can help you gain a clear advantage over the competition. Get the inside story about advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Google in a hands-on, practice-based setting – one that is focused specifically on what works in the dive industry based on research and the real-world experience of fellow PADI Members.”

PADI Business Academy will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Other PADI programs to be held at the Rosen include the Course Director Update (which includes the PADI Frequent Trainer Award Ceremony recognizing Platinum Course Directors), EFR® Instructor Trainer course and EVE seminars.

PADI Adaptive Teaching Specialty Orientation

This half-day program introduces the new PADI Adaptive Teaching Specialty program to PADI Instructors and Course Directors. Learn techniques for teaching and supervising divers of varying abilities and physical challenges. Completion of this orientation results in certification as a PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Instructor (or Instructor Trainer if you’re a PADI Course Director), once additional experience is documented. The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program qualifies you to teach two courses: PADI Adaptive Teaching Techniques Specialty course to dive leaders, and the PADI Adaptive Support Diver Specialty course to divers.

PADI FreediverTM Program

Want to get in the water? Hop over to the Orlando YMCA where you can dive into your Basic Freediver rating in just a few hours by attending PADI Basic Freediver Course. This half-day event covers the knowledge development and confined water portions of the PADI Freediver course, and successful completion results in certification as a PADI Basic Freediver.  At a later date, you can complete the two remaining open water sessions to become certified as a PADI Freediver. You don’t need special freediving equipment to participate – just bring your regular fins, mask and snorkel. PADI Freediver TouchTM is included with your paid registration.

Programs at the Orange County Convention Center

Here are a just few highlights of this year’s PADI Miniseminars at the conventional center:

  • Managing Your Online Presence – Learn how to embrace and even leverage reviews on Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp and My PADI ClubTM to grow your business.
  • Tips to Increase Diver Conversions – Learn how to strategically link courses to increase continuing education certifications.
  • New Trends in Social Media – Learn how you can use virtual reality, 360 videos, Facebook Live, Facebook eCommerce and Instagram to increase exposure and drive traffic to your business.
  • Shark and Ray Tourism: Building a Better Future for Sharks and Rays – Shark- and ray- related tourism is on the rise. Join Project AWARE® for this interactive workshop and discover how you take advantage of shark and ray tourism opportunities while putting best practices at the heart of your business.

The learning opportunities don’t end here – additional miniseminars focus on everything from Chinese tourism to customer service and risk management. The IDC Staff Instructor Update also takes place at the convention center. Special technical diving seminars will also be held in the Tec Resource Center. Look for more information on the PADI Pros’ Site regarding the full roster of PADI courses, programs and miniseminars at 2017 DEMA Show, and then act quickly to sign up for your favorites while seats are still available.

Hurry and Reserve Your Room Today!
It’s not too late to reserve your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel, although rooms are filling up fast. The hotel is just steps away from the South Hall of the Orange County Convention Center and your room comes with complimentary parking, internet hookup and access to the hotel’s fitness center. You’ll also be at the center of action because some of PADI’s most important programs and the PADI Social will take place in the Rosen Centre Hotel. To secure the special room rate of $189 US per night (plus tax and resort fee), please contact the PADI Travel Network at 800 729 7234 ext. 2539 (US and Canada) or email




Dive Barbecues – An Essential Ingredient


Blog article by John Kinsella

I was listening to an interview on the radio this morning. A “relationship expert” was making a good case for online dating. People are busy these days, she said, the traditional ways of meeting people aren’t working, and, in the USA at least, starting a relationship online is the new norm. But, and it’s a big one, the friendly relationship expert pointed out that for the new online relationship to actually work for real, the trick is to meet, in person, soon.

It made me think about something that has come up a lot, both recently and consistently over the years, in the dive business: Starting relationships with new customers online may be the new norm, but time and again, successful dive businesses and dive professionals manage to turn the conversation to the social end of things. When I’m trying to find out why a particular business does a great job of attracting the Millennials, I’m told that hosting barbecues at a local shore diving site is an important factor. When I want to uncover the secret to making women a bigger proportion of the business, I’m told that one vital thing is to make the dive resort an easy place to hang out with the family. And so on.


And then last weekend I found myself at the annual divers’ party. It’s a simple formula: A few tables reserved at a central hostelry, some finger food, and making everyone feel welcome. Everyone on the mailing list, old and new, is invited. There were people there with two decades of dive experience mingling and chatting with people who finished open water course two weeks ago. Everywhere I looked there were small animated and ever changing groups: Ray was holding court on his new rebreather. He started talking about this at least a year ago and recently bit the bullet. Brian was buzzing about a recent dive trip to the Arctic, you could actually see the enthusiasm infect those around him (though a few did regard him with a look often reserved for those who have lost their minds). Willie was talking about an underwater film shoot he’s working on, and I think he managed to sign up another batch of victims for his latest experiment on the night: “Just hold your breath, look natural, smile, and I’ll have Jimmy here tie this rope to your waist and jerk you underwater violently on cue.”

There’s no denying people enjoy a good night out in the company of friends. Perhaps it’s even more important than ever these digital, social media dominated, days to take a look at the real social part of your business. Anyone up for a barbecue?

PADI AmbassaDiver Susan R. Eaton: Explorer, Geologist, Extreme Snorkeler

In the lead-up to PADI Women’s Dive Day, coming up on 16 July, 2016, we’re featuring the world’s most interesting and accomplished women in our “Women in Diving” blog series. This time, we caught up with Susan R. Eaton, scientist, explorer, journalist, conservationist and ‘extreme’ snorkeler.

Ten years ago, after a 32-year career in diving, Susan suffered a scuba diving trauma that landed her in a hyperbaric chamber for three days, ending her scuba diving career. Today, Susan explores the ocean in the snorkel zone, the land-sea-ice-air interface where snorkelers interact with large marine mammals. Susan is also the founder and leader of the Sedna Epic Expedition, a team of women divers, scientists, explorers, movie-makers, photographers, artists and educators recently announced as PADI AmbassaDiversTM. Team Sedna is currently preparing for an epic 3,000-kilometer snorkel relay across Canada’s Northwest Passage in the summers of 2017 and 2018 to bring global attention to the disappearing sea ice in the Arctic.

Read on to find out more about Susan, Team Sedna and how they plan to dive the five Great Lakes in 24 hours (a world’s first) for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016!Sedna-team-e1461868193662

You were an early achiever of the PADI Open Water Diver certification at a time when there were few women divers. How did that come about? What inspired you?
I obtained my PADI Open Water Diver certification in 1975 when I was 16. I was one of two women in my class. Completing that certification took a great deal of dedication on everybody’s part because our checkout dive took place over two days in Halifax Harbor… in Nova Scotia, Canada… in February…during a two-day blizzard!

As for inspiration, my dad was a recreational diver in the 1950s and 1960s, and my mom was a marine biologist – who could barely snorkel! She was a marine mammal expert, specializing in whales and seals.

I was also inspired by other female ocean scientists of the day, including deep ocean explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle and ichthyologist / shark behaviorist Dr. Eugenia Clark, who took up scuba diving in pursuit of her research. I thought, “If Jacques Cousteau is going to hire me, I need to be a diver!” I wanted to be ready!

Did you have a favorite type of diving? Such as ice diving, cave diving, etc.?
I really enjoyed all types of diving and leading dive expeditions. In fact, I co-led a dive expedition to Cocos Island back in the mid-1980s, before anyone ever heard of it! I was never a cave diver; I like looking up and seeing the water’s surface. I like deep diving too – I don’t need to see the bottom! Wreck diving was an early favorite since I grew up in Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces. Its rocky coastline is littered with shipwrecks, and diving there involves dangerous currents and cold water. Nova Scotia is also home to sunken ships dating from the 1600s all the way up through World War II. My favorite wrecks were the wooden ships from the 1800s to 1900s, although there isn’t much left of them. I would love to dive a German U-boat but I’ve never done it!

My hands-down favorite ocean activity has always been interacting with big animals. However, in most jurisdictions, it’s illegal to dive with marine mammals; instead, you snorkel with them in the snorkel zone. For me, the snorkel zone because is the most dynamic part of the ocean because it’s the place where all the air-breathing animals come to the surface.

Photo by Jill Heinerth –

And now, the snorkel zone is your home. Will you please tell us how that came to pass?
Ten years ago, I experienced a diving trauma in Belize, and I spent the better part of three days in a hyperbaric chamber… I emerged from the chamber as a non-diver.

So, after 32 years of diving, I assumed that my up-close-and-personal relationship with the ocean was over. Initially, I was quite depressed. Then, I discovered that people were snorkeling with belugas in Churchill, Manitoba. Intrigued, I traveled to Hudson Bay, to report on snorkeling with belugas for the Calgary Herald. Then, I heard about people snorkeling the rivers of Vancouver Island with hundreds of thousands of migrating salmon. I visited Campbell River, the “salmon capital of the world,” and ran the river with up to a half a million salmon. The salmon are fighting their way upstream as I was gliding downstream. When the salmon see your black wetsuit (which looks a lot like a seal), they just part around you. Next, I volunteered with the Haida Nation Fisheries program, counting and netting salmon, and snorkeling the rivers of Haida Gwaii which lies off the northern coast of British Columbia. Then, I set off to snorkel with narwhals off the northern tip of Baffin Island. Unfortunately, my fellow explorers and I became stranded when the ice we were camped on broke away from the island. After traveling 19 kilometers on an ice island, we were some 36 hours later rescued by the Canadian military!

In short, I’m happy exploring my new home in the snorkel zone, the dynamic land-sea-ice-air interface where the exhalations of snorkelers co-mingle with those of narwhals, belugas, leopard seals and humpbacks.

In 2015, you were named one of Canada’s top 100 modern-day explorers by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. How did you become an “explorer”?
When I first got involved in ‘extreme’ snorkeling, I googled ‘Antarctica and snorkeling’ and discovered the Ocean Geographic Society’s Elysium Epic Expedition comprised of scientists, movie makers and photographers were going to the Bottom of the World to study ocean change. I joined the science team as the ship’s geophysicist – which was not as easy as it sounds. When I discovered the expedition, the vessel was departing in just three short months. I got in touch with the contact person in Amsterdam and told her, “I need to be on this trip.” She said it was by invitation only, and who are you, anyway? I told her, “I’m an ‘extreme’ snorkeler.” I also told her that 100 years ago, Ernest Shackleton’s scientific team had been led by a geologist and that there had also been a geophysicist in the team – wouldn’t it be great if, 100 years later, the geoscientist was a woman? Well, I made it onto the Elysium Epic team. Since 2010, I’ve participated in three Antarctic expeditions and three expeditions to the Arctic.


Now, you are devoting a great deal of time to your homegrown project, the Sedna Epic Expedition? What was the inspiration for Sedna?
In 2010, I heard a news report about a sailboat had traversed the Northwest Passage, which was only possible because it hadn’t been a heavy ice year. While this crossing was impressive, I knew that quite a few ships had traversed the Northwest Passage before. I had a Eureka moment, “What if you could swim the Northwest Passage? Snorkeling this waterway would be a very elegant metaphor for disappearing sea ice. And, you’d be able to study the Northwest Passage like no one had before if you were immersed in the water.”

For three years, I researched and planned how a team of divers and snorkelers would go about snorkeling the Northwest Passage. In September 2013, I launched the all-female Sedna Epic Expedition at the Canadian Chapter of the Explorers Club. I named the expedition after Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the ocean and the mother of all marine mammals. The Sedna Epic Expedition’s goal is to bring attention to disappearing sea ice and to deliver ocean educational outreach to Inuit and Inuvialuit communities situated along the Northwest Passage. Team Sedna’s sea women will serve as role models for indigenous girls and young women in the Arctic, inspiring them to think big, and to follow their dreams.

During the summers of 2017 and 2018, Team Sedna will launch a 3,000-kilometer snorkel relay across the Northwest Passage. Team Sedna is comprised of women from around the world – including indigenous women – and includes snorkelers, divers, scientists, moviemakers, photographers, educators, and artists. The mother ship will become Team Sedna’s TV station /floating classroom. Team Sedna’s ocean education outreach program also includes underwater robots equipped with cameras that kids can fly from the piers. During the summer of 2016, Team Sedna will travel to Iqaluit, Nunavut, a small Inuit community situated on Baffin Island. The sea women will run their innovative ocean outreach program, using aquariums and robots. And, assisted by two PADI Divemasters, we’ll mentor 12 indigenous girls, leading them on snorkel safaris and teaching them about the oceans around them. We call the program “bringing the ocean to sea level”.

Will Team Sedna participate in Women’s Dive Day this year?
Yes! We’re planning to dive all five Great Lakes in 24 hours, which is a world’s first! We’re partnering with PADI Dive Center Great Lakes Divers in Alpena, Michigan, and dive shop owner Stephanie Gandulla, who is also a Maritime Archeologist and Media and Outreach Coordinator at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary for NOAA. Stephanie is also a member of Team Sedna. According to Stephanie, “In addition to Team Sedna’s sea women, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of space for PADI divers to participate. In fact, we already have four signed up – and they run the gamut of dive experience from newly-minted PADI Open Water Divers through experts.”

To participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day, register your own event on the PADI Pros’ Site.

PADI Americas Hosts Final Business Academy of 2016


PADI Business Academy at PADI Americas Regional Headquarters
1-2 June 2016 in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Join PADI staff and members for the final Business Academy of 2016 located at PADI Americas Regional Headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. PADI Business Academy is an interactive, two-day business development seminar that helps you optimize the operations of your dive business.

The 2016 curriculum features all-new seminars and workshops including Attracting New Customers, Delivering Modern Diver Education, Creating Advocates, Pricing and Customer Service Training. Topics cover social media best practices, digital marketing strategies, educational efficiencies, pricing tactics and staff training.

PADI Business Academy is open to all PADI Dive Centers and Resorts as well as PADI Professional Members. To sign-up for a PADI Business Academy, please download the registration form, and then contact or call 800 729 7234 (US and Canada) or +1 949 858 7234, ext.2552.

Register Now

For more information, visit the Business Academy page at the PADI Pros’ Site.

Member Forum 2016


Find the event nearest you – you won’t want to miss this!

Member Forum 2016 promises to be an exciting and informative journey through the new, cutting-edge educational tools added to the PADI digital library. The seminar features a risk management presentation along with an interactive Q&A session about PADI Standards.

You’ll also get a preview into the new PADI marketing campaigns, including: My PADI, AmbassaDiver™, Discover Scuba® Diving Days, and changes within Emergency First Response® and Project AWARE®. Find the event nearest you below. Registration is free but pre-registration is recommended. Click the link to register!

*Dates and locations are subject to change. Please note there are more Member Forums to be confirmed – continue to check the links for updates.

Location Registration Information
United States & Caribbean  Register Now
Latin America  Register Now
Canada  Register Now