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Social Diving Update 2021

Pair of jellyfish underwater.

Social Diving Update 2021

As of today, the world has lived with the Coronavirus for one and a half years.
Last year around this time, I posted a short article looking at the outlook and my predictions of the near future.

Let’s examine the state of Social Diving, as well as the diving industry in general, and what I think the future of Social Diving looks like.

Oh…spoiler alert: Diving is back everyone. 😁

Courses and diving are back!

Before I begin with my update, here is the most important announcement:

Starting today, we can finally return to doing diving courses, as well as fun diving events!

Yayy!!!

We dive every weekend and whenever you want during the week.

If you started your course with us last year, make sure to let us know so we can finally get you certified!

Alright, after this announcement, let’s get back to the 2021 update.

The impact of the Coronavirus on scuba diving

The coronavirus epidemic has impacted the scuba diving industry heavily and not in a good way.

Dive schools, resorts, liveaboard operators, and travel agencies alike were either shut down for long periods of time or simply were not able to provide services due to various restrictions.

Of course, this was more than necessary in order to get the situation under control, however, the uncertainty of when customers could return, as well as lack of funds and income put many out of business.

In Munich (Germany) alone, three major dive schools closed down in the past few months. Among them our friends at Fluid (website down now), one of the most renowned dive shops in the city.

Another dive school owner sold their shop at the end of last year, and while it continues to operate, it has since become more of a hobby for a group of friends who bought it than a serious business.

Keep in mind, Munich is a wealthy city, not at all dependent on tourism for the most part.

If we look at areas of the world that rely on tourists to fuel their economy, it looks a lot worse.

Signs at dive shop
Many dive shops had to close in the last two years.

Many dive shops had to close in the last two years.

Countries like Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, and others have seen a big impact on both their economy, as well as the number of operators in the country.

As the dust is settling, so to speak, we have to wait and see how they will fare.

How has Social Diving been affected?

Social Diving has been greatly impacted by the epidemic, just like everyone else in our industry.

Courses & diving events

During Corona, we had to stop all courses, fun diving, and in-person meetups and events.

This is neither a surprise nor big news, as many of you know.

Children scuba diving course in pool.
Diving courses are back now.

We were able to conduct courses until November last year (2020), however, have not been able to continue up until…basically today. (more on that below 😃)

Travel & Social Diving trips

Furthermore, all diving trips have been canceled until further notice and I am not sure when they will return.

I can hear some of you say “but Julius, the restrictions have been lifted in [insert your particular destination here]“, however, as a business owner I cannot take the risk such trips pose.

Changing regulations, sudden travel bans, and uncertain visa formalities are just a few points that speak against Social Diving offering diving trips abroad right now.

Scuba divers swimming through reef fish.
Although this would be great right now…it has to wait a little longer.

Most importantly, I want to guarantee the safety and well-being of all my clients, Social Divers, and friends.

While Germany looks very good in terms of infections and opening up the economy again, the same cannot be said for every part of the world.

I am sure we can soon return to diving in Europe at some great destinations (mountain lakes in Austria, wreck diving in Croatia, cave diving in France and Hungary…) though, but further trips are out of the question, at least for now.

Financials

Yes, these times were pretty tough for Social Diving.

While the government offers corona relief packages, they do not really do much for a business such as this one.

Not only are these packages way too small to provide more than the most basic financial relief, but the very nature of Social Diving is not optimal for it.

As a diving adventure provider, without a brick and mortar store, the fixed costs are not incredibly large apart from servers, software, maintenance, and labor.

Since the majority of cost arises from the service and diving events we provide to our divers, we do not qualify for many programs.

Nevertheless, we made it somehow and are still here for you. 🤩

What has changed at Social Diving?

There is so much going on, I had to cut it short.

These are just the most important parts…but I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Trademark approval

Something cool right at the start.

With the help of one of our loyal members, Social Diving is now officially trademarked and will therefore change to Social Diving®.

Social Diving trademark approval.
The official trademark registration for Social Diving®.

I am super happy about this and can’t wait to adjust all of the brand assets accordingly. 😁

New Social Diving locations

I am happy to announce that Social Diving will expand its services to other locations apart from Social Diving® Munich.

Starting today, Social Diving® Frankfurt will serve as a way to offer scuba diving adventures to international divers in the Frankfurt area, as well as other parts of Germany. 🥳

In the future, it will be possible for Social Diving clients and members to do their courses at both locations, as well as transfer between them.

Yes, this is a work in progress and some aspects still have to be figured out. But give it some time, and it will be a great addition to the current offerings.

I am currently working on establishing a third Social Diving location in another country…it’ll be cool. Just wait and see.

Departure

With one happy and one sad eye, it is that one of Social Diving’s favorites has departed back to his home country and will not be part of our regular Munich events.

Our trusty PADI “le grande” Divemaster Thibault has relocated to France for work reasons.

He has been a great team member and I wish you all the best for the future!

I am sure we will see him again on Social Diving trips and who knows, maybe he will one day agree to start a Social Diving franchise in France. 😉😉

Pricing changes

I believe that Social Diving offers the best personal support and quality that can be delivered in scuba diving.

The “old” way of different fixed prices is not sustainable in the long run.
This does not mean that everything is more expensive now.

It means that instead of individual, fixed prices for courses, guiding, training, etc. we have switched to a per use/per day system.

In essence, you pay based on a day rate no matter what you like to do.

I don’t think it should make a difference whether you book a guiding with us, a dive course, or a refresher session.

Whatever we do, you will get 100% personal support from any Social Diving staff member and myself.

Therefore, it is all going to be charged based on the same rate.

Sounds confusing? It isn’t.

You can find a detailed explanation on the diving prices page.

Website rework

Those of you who have been with me and Social Diving for long enough know that I like to review the design of the website every year.

Sometimes there are just small adjustments, other times it is a major rework.
You will probably notice some changes here and there, and even some unfinished sites in between.

Although not yet finished, I can promise you it will be super cool.

Major changes are coming to the travel department, which will see a complete change in design, as well as functionality, offerings, and more.

We also have a new courses page to make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate, as well as single course pages, to give you the optimal layout to check out new diving courses.

You might also spot a change of the header that now features a way to connect to…

My Social Diving Member Area

It is finally here! A member area separate from the main page.

This is really cool and I am sure you will love it!

All (online) courses, forums, documents, private member announcements, priority support, and more can now be found under my.social-diving.com.

This is how it looks like right now:

My Social Diving member area
The new dashboard for logged-in members at My Social Diving. It’s so cool!

Best part? If you log into either site, you will automatically be signed up to the other one, as well.

This will be great because A) it allows you direct access to both your billing and your member account and B) it means you won’t see certain features like newsletter pop-ups (don’t blame me for them) and others when you are signed in.

It is not finished yet, however, you can look around and try it out right now, if you like.

If you were signed up before, your login credentials should still work.

Oh…and before I forget…

There is one more cool part of the My Social Diving area that I would like to share with you.

Social Diving® Club memberships

Woohooo they are back!

Social Diving® Club memberships are coming back offering you some really cool benefits such as discounted rental equipment, featured articles, exclusive member trips and events and so much more…

I’m sooooo excited!!! 🤩

Social Diving Club coming soon page
Almost there.

Still working on the details but stay tuned! It will be well worth it for anyone looking for diving adventures and an active scuba diving community.

Conclusion

This wraps up my 2021 update for Social Diving.

I hope you found it interesting, exciting, humorous, or at least mildly amusing.

I can’t wait to see everyone back in and out of the water and am excited to share further improvements, changes, and news about Social Diving, our development, and really anything scuba diving in general.

Join the email list to get regular diving tips, tricks, insights, and news straight to your inbox!

Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃

Cheers

Julius

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