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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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People profile: Dalton Han, POPiN

POPiN: FOUNDER

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 2
Han created POPiN to make premium gyms more accessible
Han created POPiN to make premium gyms more accessible
We want to help gym operators to leverage their space and maximise their earning potential

What exactly is POPiN?
The POPiN mobile app, which launched in September 2017, gives customers access to premium membership-only fitness clubs at a time of their choice while asking them to pay only for the time spent working out – right down to the minute. The current app is a beta version, but it allows consumers to use premium facilities without worrying about expensive membership fees.

How and where can people use it?
At present, users have a choice of 13 New York gyms and health clubs that they can visit, including the CompleteBody Chelsea, Midtown East and Financial District gyms, Body Elite and Tribeca Health and Fitness. All you have to do is go to your preferred club and scan the code at the front desk to start your visit. Scan the code again on leaving the club and you’ll only be charged for the length of your visit.

How did you decide on the cost-per-minute charged at each club?
It’s a discussion that takes place when we sign up a new club. The cost of a day pass, monthly membership fee, club location and amenities are all taken into consideration.

For example, users can currently pay just 16 cents per minute – that’s less than 10 dollars per hour – at CompleteBody’s Financial District club, which provides access to the gym floor and facilities, including a juice bar, steam room, rock climbing wall and physical therapy services.

How did you come up with the idea?
Before developing POPiN, I worked as a consultant and I had a nomadic work lifestyle that made it difficult for me to commit to a specific gym. I also travelled frequently, which meant that I was often away from home for too long to justify a gym membership. However, I still wanted to have a consistent fitness routine.

I felt certain that others had to be experiencing the same problem. When I started to look at how to solve the problem, I discovered that many gyms also had an unmet need: they were struggling to retain members and their facilities were often underutilised. I also found that it was becoming difficult for smaller gyms to keep up with the large chains. POPiN was developed to solve these problems while creating an additional source of revenue.

Who is your target audience and how has POPiN been received by them?
Around 78 per cent of our users are aged 25 to 35 years old, which is ideal as Millennials are our target audience. It’s a pretty even split between male and female users. At present, we’re finding that POPiN is popular with fitness professionals and serious exercise enthusiasts; however, we think this may change as more people become aware of our product and the number of clubs we work with grows.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. As a new business, our biggest challenge has been raising awareness, but whenever we tell people about POPiN, they instantly see the benefit – which is great!

Tell us about your professional background
My background is in tech. I worked as an instructor and consultant for companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, and EMC for more than 15 years. Prior to founding POPiN, I ran an IT consulting company. I’m fortunate to be combining my personal passion for fitness with my professional passion for tech.

What is your ultimate goal with POPiN?
We want to make getting fit as easy as possible. Just as anyone can walk into any coffee shop and buy a drink, we want fitness enthusiasts to be able to be able to buy their workout from any fitness facility at any time. We also want to help gym operators to leverage their space and maximise their earning potential.

We’re working to bring the sharing economy – which better reflects the buying behaviour of Millennials – to gyms and health clubs. We think it’s time for gyms to join the modern economic trends that have shaped, and continue to shape, how we all work, travel and eat.

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