My Travels in March

My Travels in March 900 600 Hans Muench


On the first leg of my 19 day travel odyssey this month, I visited the brand store of my new client Friendscallmejim, giving me a first hand impression of how the concept excites children (and their parents) as two classes were being held during my time there. A strategy meeting in their offices with the senior staff focused on leveraging the FIBO (FCMJ are nominated for the FIBO Innovation Award).


Rijksmuseum Amsterdam a short walk from the friendscallmejim office and brand store


The Virtuagym offices (floors 18-20 of the Mondrian Tower) were the focus of day two, where the focus of the 10 meetings with various staff lie in preparations for the Meet the Top, IHRSA and FIBO events as well as partnerships development.


Meet the Top – my 14th MTT, I supported the efforts of my client Urban Sports Club and Virtuagym, and held my „Knigge“ seminar for first timer attendees. I had interaction with approx. 40% of the approx. 500 attendees, and on the way to the event hotel even managed a stop at the Rafal Nadal Academy in Manacor.

Meet the Top: Raimund Hortmann from USC

Meet The Top: Virtuagym meeting

IHRSA San Diego – I beat my 2018 record, seeing over 260 attendees over the five days. Highlights included IHRSA Board chairman’s reception in the Presidential Suite of the Marriott, Augie’s Bash, the early morning workout on the trade show floor and the various evening networking events such as the Canadian and International Receptions and the Active Living party at the Hard Rock Hotel. Was happy to participate as panelist in a Russian discussion group, awarding some Swiss chocolate to Encore’s Yana Llutkova.

IHRSA Wednesday opening session

Meeting the legendary Johnny G at IHRSA Early Morning Workout

Hugo Braam with NAC’s Kate Golden at the Virtuagym booth

John McCarthy and Hans at the Gaslight district

Meeting Eleiko team members Kerri Obrien and Rikard Blomberg

With Yana Llutkova who won Swiss chocolate

Augie Nieto

Mo Hagan, the winner of the Canadian Fitness Leader award with Chris Smith and Trisha Sarker

Combining business with pleasure – on my way to and from San Diego I stopped a night each way in Toronto to see my 92 year old mother and two of my brothers who live there.

With my mother in Toronto

Eckdaten (DSSV, Köln) – on the morning of my return from San Diego I attended the annual industry data survey of the German Sportstudio Association who reported an increase in clubs and revenue, though a slight decrease in income per member due to the strength of the HVLC (high volume low cost) sector.

Eckdaten panel: Birgit Schwarze speaking

Saarbrücken – lecturing in the MBA Program of the German University for Health and Prevention, Saarbrücken in the marketing module, in english, with colleague Sarah Kodel gave me an opportunity to share my experience and encourage the students to push beyond their own barriers in a fast-paced, case study format.
On my way to Köln I stopped at a beautiful new facility (Diezarena), whose MD Christophe Schwarz I met in San Diego the week before.

MBA students presenting in Marketing module

Christophe Schwarz with Hans at Diezarena during my visit on 22.03

Get Up Boutique Congress, Mirai (Oberhausen) – the first-ever event in Germany focused on micro clubs featured presentations by Marc Rohde and Henrik Gockel and attracted over 125 attendees and 18 sponsors. I  helped with introductions for Urban Sports Club staff Aline Quack and Julia Stein at the home of McFit’s newest facility (The Mirai), a 55.000 square meter mega concept scheduled to be opened next year.

Marco Rohde presenting

Udo Münster at Get Up boutique congress Oberhausen with organiser Max Barth

Looking ahead: the FIBO in early April has four of my clients (friendscallmejim, Urban Sports Club, Motosumo and Virtuagym) exhibiting, so I will be easily exceeding my 10.000 step per day goal. The week after FIBO I head to Munich then to Irvine, California for the first US boutique convention and Expo. ( April 12-14.

Köln Kranbauten where I stay during FIBO