19 Sep 2018 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2014 issue 3

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FIBO 2014

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We take a look ahead to FIBO 2014 – the world’s largest fitness trade fair for fitness, wellness and health – which takes place in Cologne, Germany, next month

One of the FIBO halls will showcase the latest in functional training kit
The show floor, spread over numerous halls, will showcase new product launches and demos to over 100,000 visitors

Last year’s move to a new location in Cologne saw the birth of an even grander scale FIBO: an exhibitor increase of 10 per cent, a floor space expansion of 20 per cent and a visitor boost of over 30 per cent delivered an event far beyond what anyone had projected or planned for. Instead of the expected 80,000 visitors, more than 100,000 attended FIBO 2013.

This year’s FIBO, taking place on 3–6 April in Cologne, will be ready for similar visitor numbers. FIBO director Ralph Scholz says: “We’ll offer our trade visitors a much clearer structure at the trade fair, and this year we’ll address gym owners in an even more targeted way through ‘FIBO Expert’ in Halls 6–9.”

Exercise is medicine
When physicians and physical therapists used to run into traditional gym operators, both sides were worlds apart. But times have changed, and mutual reservations have declined significantly. This coming together of the two worlds – medical and fitness – is a development that will be given even more weight at this year’s FIBO.

The theme of ‘Fitness creates health’ will be evident both across the congress and the conference programme – which are dominated by exercise medicine and therapy – and the trade fair, which this year will adopt a more issue-orientated, specialised, technical structure. “We’ve worked hard to present the fitness and health segments more strongly as an internally connected unit,” says Scholz.

The second FIBOmed Congress, taking place on 4–5 April, is a prime example, with its theme of ‘Exercise is the medicine of the 21st century’. This year’s Congress follows on from the success of the inaugural event last year – an interdisciplinary convention organised by the Springer Medizin internet portal and the publisher Ärzte Zeitung Verlags-GmbH, and sponsored by the German Sport University Cologne and the German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention (DGSP).

Similar ‘exercise is medicine’ themes will be picked up on Physio Day on 5 April, and at the workshop on Health Management at the Workplace on 3 April. The focus of Physio Day – jointly organised by Thieme Medical Publishers and advanced training provider FiHH Das Fortbildungsinstitut – will be on health-orientated sports physical therapy. The workshop on Health Management at the Workplace will be organised by the German Association for Health Management at the Workplace (BGM).

Integrated health & fitness
FIBO’s reinforced orientation toward health topics continues at the trade fair, with Hall 7 set to focus on health topics. Along with FIBOmed, this Hall will be positioned right at the intersection of fitness and health. Here, visitors will see targeted, certified products designed specifically for the healthcare market. These will be complemented by special exhibition areas – the ‘Active Office’ and a ‘Measuring Devices and Diagnostics’ zone – as well as a 200sq m show entitled ‘The physical therapy office of the future’.

Functional training
Interest in functional training and group fitness continues unabated at gyms – reason enough for FIBO to further expand this area of the show for 2014. In Hall 9a, exhibitors will showcase new products for this free-moving, three-dimensional style of training, including brands such as Transatlantic Fitness, Les Mills and Escape Fitness.

The FIBO Functional Forum, featuring IFAA and Perform Better – also located in Hall 9a – is a new addition presenting the functional training trend through expert lectures and both theoretical and practical training sessions.

This new forum is already generating high levels of interest among gym operators, as Partrick Arntzen of City Fitness says: “We still consider functional training and boxing to be major trends. We’re excited to find out what kinds of innovations we’ll see in this area at FIBO this year.”

Stephan Schulan of Jumpers Fitness echoes this sentiment: “FIBO gives me a concentrated overview of the most important innovations in fitness equipment, including functional training.” And Timo Becker from the body + soul Group adds: “I’d like to find out more about trends like cyber fitness, and functional and athletic training, and even fee-based small-group activities.”

FIBO Innovation Award
As every year, a key focus across all areas of FIBO will be to draw attention to the latest, most innovative product developments on show from around 700 international exhibitors. Some of these products will be in the limelight on the Friday of FIBO, as the winners of the FIBO Innovation Award. For the first time, awards will cover five categories: Training Equipment for Fitness, Rehabilitation and Prevention; Health Promotion; Interior & Design; Training Concepts; and Wellness & Beauty.

Inaugural FIBO-EHFA Congress

On Wednesday 2 April – the day before the trade fair opens its doors – FIBO and the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA) will jointly host a brand new summit for the European fitness industry.

The inaugural European Health & Fitness Forum – entitled Europe Active 2025 – will look at how fit and healthy Europe will be in the year 2025. How can exercise be encouraged? What will be the role of new technologies within the fitness sector, and what can the health system and policymakers bring to the table?

One of the items on the agenda will be the presentation of the ‘Plan for Growth / Europe Active 2025’ study, which describes the demographic, health-related and economic trends across Europe and looks at the role of fitness for the population. The goal is to raise the number of gym members from around 44 million currently to 80 million by 2025.

Key findings of the new EHFA / Deloitte study – the European Fitness Market 2014 report – will also be presented, as will the results of a practical study conducted among 2,600 participants in the UK, entitled ‘The scientific proof that exercise works in practice’.

Other topics of discussion will include the positive economic effects of regular physical activity, with special attention given to the issues of fitness training for the 50-plus age group, as well as for overweight and adipose children and adolescents.

Participation at the Congress requires a separate registration – see www.fibo.de/ehff

FIBO – facts & figures
Dates: 3–6 April 2014

Venue: Exhibition Centre Cologne, Germany

Opening times: 9.00am–6.00pm daily

For more information or to register for tickets for the trade show, visit www.fibo.de

To buy tickets for the European Health & Fitness Forum, visit www.fibo.de/ehff

Originally published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3

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