Trade Shows, Forums, and Squirrels, Oh My!!!

As you probably are aware, for a Scuba Instructor there are many aspects to being part of the dive industry. Along with my Dive Shop Manager and PADI Course Director duties, I attend a number of events each year, which update, educate, inspire, and allow hobnobbing with other dive professionals. In a given year I will attend a trade show, forum, seminar, update, or take a class to increase my professional knowledge and improve my Instructor skills. No matter what your profession, it’s important to keep up with new innovations and to keep learning!

This January, Rachel, Don, Sara, and I were fortunate to attend the first PADI Business College which was held at PADI Americas Headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. After working all day in the dive shop, Sara and I took the red-eye flight out of Maui and headed for LAX. Rachel and Don met us at the airport with a private shuttle that delivered us to PADI HQ. After a quick side-trip to drop our backpacks off at our beautiful accommodations, we jumped right into the two-day event.

The first order of business was to “Avoid Squirrels”! You know when you are walking your dog and everything is going along smoothly when out of nowhere pops up a squirrel and the dog yanks you away from your intended path! We loved this metaphor for avoiding distractions and everyone attending had a lot of fun with this idea. Very quickly it became obvious when a squirrel had shown up…for instance, the President of PADI personally serving each of us a beverage during the last presentation!

Yes, we learned a lot – they worked us over!

We learned a great deal about Social Networking, Customer Service, refining our 5 Star Training Techniques and much more. It was especially wonderful to have our newest Instructor, Sara, with us as she gave us a fresh and fun perspective on everything.

We returned to Maui tired and spent after being stuffed full of knowledge, but at the same time reinvigorated, ready to jump in and experiment with the innovative ideas we had just learned!

My next big PADI event will be when I audit the Course Director Training Course in the Dominican Republic later this year. Because it has been seven years since I attended my original Course Director training, I am taking this opportunity to refresh my instruction and evaluation skills for teaching future Instructors.

I enjoy increasing my education and being newly inspired, but mostly I love the chance to meet old friends again! I look forward to socializing and networking with my peers and the top leaders of the PADI organization once again. I will let you know how it goes after June! And hey, if you’ve been thinking about going pro, give me a call at the shop. I’m always happy to tell you what it entails and start you on the path!

Aloha, Teri