The Professional Yachting Association (PYA) has announced its programme of seminars at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show – a key educational element of the show for crew every year. This year, however, there is one key difference: the headline seminar, the PYA Sea Changes Forum, will have a ticket price for anyone wishing to attend, who is not a member of the PYA.
PYA members wishing to attend its headline seminar, the Sea Changes Forum, on Thursday 29 September at 4pm, won’t have to pay a penny. Non-PYA members are required to buy a €25 ticket should they wish to attend both parts of the seminars – the first part focusing on regulatory updates; the second part on avoiding disaster at sea – or €15 to attend either the first or second part of the seminar. For all other PYA seminars or workshops throughout the show, entry is free regardless of whether or not the crewmember is a member of the PYA.
“Entry [for the headline seminar] is free for all PYA members. This is so as to offer a perk to members, as it is not fair for non-members to get the same benefit,” explains Carey Secrett, marketing and development manager at the PYA.
An obvious concern is the fickle nature of plans during Monaco Yacht Show, particularly for crew. Will crewmembers whose show schedule is so often last minute, and can change with a single radio message, commit to paying for something which they will, most likely, only know relatively late on whether or not they will be able to attend?
Will crewmembers whose show schedule is so often last minute, and can change with a single radio message, commit to paying for something which they will, most likely, only know relatively late on whether or not they will be able to attend?
“If you’re trying to attract people to the benefits of your organisation, to retain them over the years of their career, and offer headline seminars at an event as prestigious as the Monaco Yacht Show, I would have thought it would be more attractive with an open door policy,” says one superyacht captain. However, this captain, who has been in the industry for 19 years, and is not a member of the PYA, can also see that while an open-door policy might be best to attract new members, charging a fee might be best to retain and please existing ones. “It’s not a lot of money. By charging a nominal fee like €15 or €25, you are adding a certain level of pedigree to the event,” he continues. “You’re making people commit and people feel a sense of pride in being part of the association.”
There is also the question of whether crew should have to pay to receive regulatory updates, a complaint from crew we can foreshadow. It is worth remembering that the PYA is one of many bodies to offer regulatory information. Crew are able to get this direct from flag states and, where applicable, from management, not to mention the summaries that will immediately follow this event. So in the interest of defending the PYA against any crew who will argue this is unfair, it’s worth remember that the PYA is an association for crew, not against them.
Click here to register and for a full list of all PYA events at the Monaco Yacht Show.
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