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28 Jul 2021

FitnessConnected and IHRSA confirm event will go ahead in November 2021
BY Liz Terry



Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show FitnessConnected will go ahead this year as a face-to-face event. The news follows the postponement of FIBO to April 2022 earlier this week.

The launch event will be held at the Trade Fair Center in Munich, from November 17-19.

Scholz says he expects to welcome around 10,000 people to FitnessConnected, which will be held alongside the new IHRSA SMART Summit.

This summit replaces the IHRSA European Congress – originally scheduled to take place in Berlin in 2020.

IHRSA has indicated the Congress will resume in 2022.

Scholz said FitnessConnected will allocate additional space to ensure social distancing is maintained during the summit but will revert to a standard trade show floorplan for the tradeshow, managing the COVID-security with one-way systems and social distancing.

All catering is included in the ticket price and will be delivered in controlled areas, removing the need for exhibitors to have to deliver booth-based COVID security for their hospitality.

People will be allowed in if they can prove they have recovered from COVID recently, have been double vaxxed or have tested negative. A space for free on-site COVID testing is planned.

Visitors will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times, while parties and shows have been suspended for 2021 to enable the safe delivery of the business event.

Over 80 exhibitors are confirmed for the trade show, including Life Fitness, Matrix, Milon and Egym. Scholz says his target is to sign up 100 exhibitors for this year in total.

He expects a strong turnout from German, Swiss and Austrian visitors and is targeting further visitor marketing at north-east and southern Europe.

"Trips have been organised to the IHRSA event by national associations from across Europe," he said, "so it's important at this point that we let people know that the event is going ahead."

Scholz also confirmed that an Investor and Real Estate Summit, focusing on the expansion of the health and fitness market will run alongside the trade show, delivered in partnership with consulting group, One Hospitality.

FitnessConnected is part of the ISPO-Network, and is headed by Scholz, who was event director of FIBO from 2013 to 2017.



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