Trend #4: Online education
As professionals place a higher value on these three issues, industry education will take a more important role. Innovative delivery methods will also make education more accessible. In the last decade, many courses and curricula have been delivered on the Internet. As younger professionals enter the field and the pool and spa industry becomes more computer-savvy, online training will be an even more popular choice.
Features such as interactive exercises, narration, video demonstrations, quizzes and photos have made online learning more effective. Online training students typically learn faster and retain information for a longer period of time than they would in a traditional classroom setting. However, online learning is ideal when combined with instructor interactions, whether in a classroom or via e-mail, telephone or video conferencing. The online portion of the training allows busy professionals to set their own pace, while the instructor time allows the student to reinforce what he or she has learned, have questions addressed and participate in any hands-on skills training.
By taking advantage of the education opportunities the industry has to offer, pool and spa professionals can not only improve themselves, but also better educate and assist their clients.
Industry members who prosper tomorrow will make it a priority to understand and communicate how water environments improve their potential customers’ health and family, whether it involves protecting clients from injury, promoting aquatic health benefits, offering more energy-efficient technologies or educating themselves about the issues that matter to the consumer.
In short, those who focus on what is really important to customers today will emerge as the industry leaders of tomorrow.
Thomas M. Lachocki, PhD, is chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF). He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Antoniou, PhD, serves as NSPF’s director of educational programs. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.