Interview with Christian Short from Indoor 45

Simon Heap Rugged Interactive
Trends for Games & Activities in Trampoline Parks by Simon Heap
28th March 2018
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Interview with Christian Short from Indoor 45

This is the first of a series of interviews with trampoline park owners from around the world. I’d like to thank Christian Short from Indoor 45 for agreeing to take part and for sharing his thoughts on the market. We hope these interviews will give you a different perspective on running a park as well as ideas that you can potentially use for your own park.

Here is what Christian had to say:

Can you give me a brief overview of how you came to own a trampoline park? What did you do before before Indoor 45 and what led you to owning/running a trampoline park? 

I was a professional rugby player before I became a Trampoline Park owner. In 2014 a friend of mine was at a Trampoline Park in Australia and she posted a photo on Facebook. The next day I contacted all the trampoline manufacturers around the world and started to look at the viability to open one in France  I then visited Jump Zone in Dublin and other parks in the UK.  The toughest part was finding a suitable building and location to house the park.

What is the market for Trampoline Parks like in France today? Is it growing and are there any opportunities? 

The first trampoline park opened in France in Bourgoin Jallieu in 2014. Indoor 45 was the fourth park to open in January 2016, however, it was the first park to be made in France by Urban Koncept. To my knowledge there are 69 Parks open in France with a further 15-20 parks due to open by the end of the year.

Designing a trampoline park is a critical part of the process of creating and running a successful business, what advice would you give to someone opening or re-designing a park today?  

It is indeed. The location and the building are really important. It is very difficult taking an old building and putting the building into conformity to receive the general public.

The reception area and access to the trampoline platform are really important. Having a good flow in and out of the park is really important. You need to think about the the flow after someone buys an entrance into the park. Leaving the reception area then going to the lockers, then going to the briefing zone before entering the park. This is really key, making the transition easy whether you have 1 or 100+ people in the park.

The bar/restaurant area is really important in creating a zone for the parents to view the park without having the noise and a place for the parents to relax while the kids are having fun. Get this right and the parents will come back.

What about making changes to an existing park? What would you recommend for improving an area that is not working well with customers? What have you done in the past for example?

We have recently done this. We added a Parkour to our main court. This was done because the customers were not spending a lot of time on the main court and spending more time at the foam pit and Olympic trampoline. This has given a new dynamic to the park. Changing the park is difficult unless you have free space. It is really important when designing your park to optimise the layout. Your building will dictate your layout. Sometime less is more.

Which elements (games for example) in your park are working well right now and why? 

The Parkour area and Olympic trampoline are very popular. The parkour/free running has become very popular in Lyon (France). It gives people a safe environment to practice. We get a lot of skiers, wakeboarders and BMX riders using the Olympic trampoline to practice the movement in a controlled safe environment. The Olympic trampoline is the only trampoline of it kind available to the general public outside a gymnasium and trampoline club.

What about your merchandising? What are you offering to customers and what is working right now to help you earn additional revenue? 

We have our customer socks and party packs. We are still in the process of rethinking our merchandising to fit into the French culture.

What other ways (other than entrance fee) are you successfully using to generate revenue?

Clubs during the school holiday, team building events & christmas parties.

What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? Why do customers come to Indoor 45? 

It is a multi-activity centre with 3 football pitches, 20 climbing walls and 2200m2 of trampolines. It offers a environment where all the family can have fun ( from age 5+).

What elements of marketing your park are proving the most successful? Are you using any tactics in particular that are working well?

Local radio, Facebook and Instagram are the most successful. Our birthday parties are a big marketing tool, we give each party attendee a party pack, this party pack then gets into all the schools. Word of mouth with a visual aid has been a very positive investment.

I hope you enjoyed reading Christian’s responses. Running a business is certainly a challenge and sometimes a few minor changes can make a big difference. Do you have any comments on the information Christian has shared? Do you have any insights from your own experience of running/managing a park? I would love to hear your feedback. Christian mentioned party packs and we supply branded versions to parks around the world. Get in touch if you would like to have a chat about the party packs we offer.

My name is David Woodward and I am part of the European and US trampoline park division at Samurai Trampoline Products. At Samurai we specialise in trampoline grip socksparty packscustom clothingkey accessories and retail products. We are the #1 global supplier of branded merchandising products for trampoline parks. Please contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.