My trips in November & December

My trips in November & December 900 600 Hans Muench

SIBEC Europe Malta 5.-8.11.

This is the mother of all business speed dating events. The organizer, Questex, holds 15 such events around the globe, in the fitness, spa and hotel sectors.

Hugo Braam and Thomas Woods of Virtuagym with Anastasia Yusina, IHRSA Board member and owner of Orange Fitness, Moscow

Lo Acosta (Costa Rica living in Montenegro) and Annie Faltman of Sweden

SIBEC Handbook

80 operators (buyers) and approx. As many suppliers took part in approx. 25 meetings @20 minutes over two days. I flew back via Vienna to meet with Magister Ernst Minar, the owner of Austria’s leading premium brand, John Harris Fitness (12 locations).


Davis Cup Final week (tennis), Madrid (Spain):

Canada reached the final round robin stage of the new format. On short notice I joined the Canadian contingent to cheer on the Canucks, who beat Italy and USA, then Australia and Russia to reach their first final, which they lost to Spain. Before the matches started I held meetings with club operators, particulartly Khinn Center and Gravity 98.

Center Court deciding doubles match between Spain and Russia

Forus Club in front of Davis Cup Venue Caja Magica

The deciding doubles match vs. Italy


Fitfair, Utrecht, November 22-23:

Before the two day event at the Jahrbeurs I visited my client Virtuagym in Amsterdam. Fitfair, in its second year, has attracted professionals and students with their successful seminar and trade show concept.

Busy Virtuagym booth near the entrance to the trade show

For the first time, there are more boutiques in a European country than traditional fitness clubs

Member Journey slide from Fitfair presentation

OneFit booth, with Marketing Manager Sabine Bartelse – van Zeijl

Sabine Bartelse – van Zeijl presenting at FitFair

Virtuagym CEO Hugo Braam presented at FitFair

Visited the newly opened Fit For Free club in Amsterdam before flying back home


Berlin – Bochum, Germany:

I visted the new offices of client Urban Sports Club in Berlin, holding meetings with marketing, sales and partner teams, then headed to Bochum for a half day seminar with the leadership team of the Oase, where my career in Europe in the fitness industry began 1985-87.

At the Urban Sports Club front destk with Sabrina Fuchs and Laura Horländer

View of Alexander Platz from bridge over the Spree river on a clear morning

Urban Sports Club new head office

Marketing Workshop at Urban Sports Headquarters with representatives from several countries


Virtuagym Goes Köln Seminar 29.11.

After the successful Fitnation event in Amsterdam in October, this will be the model for events in other German cities, France and Spain, I held the closing keynote on the topic of member retention and lifetime value of clients.

Chang of Inbody presenting

Vincent Bradley of Fitwell with Christian Horstenkamp of Oase Bochum

With event sponsors Chang-Hun Jo of Inbody and Pascal Braun of Face Force


Business meets pleasure December 3-8:

Combining a couple days in the mountains (Viktorsberg, Austria and Oberstorf, Germany in between three days of meetings in Munich, including dinner, tennis and bowling with my kids around lunch with Milon’s outdoing CEO Udo Münster, club visits (the new Body & Soul, UN1T, Hardys, Prime Time Fitness).

Launch of Peloton in Germany at Sport Schuster, Marienplatz

Munich Christmas Market Dec. 2019

with Ole Paech at Urban Sports Club Munich office

View from our cabin near Oberstorf

Sunrise in Vorarlberg

Spectacular walk in the alps

Ski Jump in Oberstorf


Urban Sports Club Christmas Party Berlin December 13th:

with over 400 staff attending, I spent a couple days getting to know the various teams and hearing updates of this hyper-growth company now in over 10 countries in Europe.


Ayurveda in Sri Lanka:

My 7th visit to this island of wonderful people and landscape, returning to Thaulle Resort via Colombo, Kandy and Ella. This form of detox involving treatments, healthy food, daily yoga and medicine has helped me keep my mind and body relaxed and sharp over the past years.

Botanical Garden in Kandy

Buddha overlooking Kandy

Typical curry meal

Working out in front of the pool

Wishing all my friends and readers a Happy Holiday season, and look forward to seeing and hearing from you in the New Year, which already has January trips and meetings scheduled in Köln, Amsterdam, Munich and Istanbul.