21 Sep 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2015 issue 2

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The world’s largest fitness trade show continues on its growth course. We look ahead to this year’s event, which takes place in Cologne, Germany, on 9–12 April

A key event in the German fitness calendar for decades, FIBO is now attracting more and more international attention
Exhibitors come from over 35 nations
The latest products will be on show
The show’s focus is on innovations and trends
FIBO 2014 attracted over 115,000 visitors

“FIBO – the annual global health and fitness event in Cologne, Germany – is a key event for all serious players in our sector. As the place where decision-makers convene to discuss the latest innovations, trends and unearth new thinking, it’s a valuable experience for operators in the UK and beyond,” said ukactive’s David Stalker recently.

Each year, the key players in the global fitness sector meet at FIBO – a show where everything revolves around innovations, trends and investments; where the future development of the industry is front and centre. The show offers a comprehensive overview of everything the fitness sector has to offer, and a chance for delegates to make valuable business contacts.

At FIBO 2014, 697 exhibitors from 38 nations presented new products. With 115,700 visitors, the event was sold out. Preparations for FIBO 2015 – which takes place in Cologne on 9–12 April – are already in full swing, with evidence that this year’s event will be larger still. Ninety per cent of the exhibition space had already been booked by early January, and the show is due to grow by another 3,000sq m compared to 2014.

Among the exhibitors already confirmed for FIBO 2015 are leading international players such as Johnson Health Tech, Technogym, Life Fitness, MoveToLive, Amer Sports/Precor and gym 80, who will all occupy extensive areas in Halls 6 and 7 of the Cologne Exhibition Centre.

International attendance
FIBO, which in Germany has been the industry’s most important annual meeting place for many decades, is now gaining relevance for international gym operators too. Some 900 visitors from the UK travelled to FIBO last year, and over recent years a quarter of total visitors have hailed from abroad.

Rene Moos, CEO of Healthcity/BasicFit based in the Netherlands, is among them: “FIBO, the global annual fitness event, is marked in my calendar every year. It’s a great way for us to see the latest innovations and it gives me great ideas for our European business.

“In addition, the FIBO pre-event – the European Health & Fitness Forum, the congress kicking off the trade fair – is a not-to-be-missed information and networking opportunity.”

Peter Innemee, CEO of Sportcity/ FitforFree – which operates in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland – also realises the importance of a global industry meeting place. “FIBO is not only the largest trade show in the world – it’s also the best event for networking and meeting fitness colleagues from around the globe,” he says.

Mike Apple, international VP for Hard Candy Fitness Europe, is also planning a visit to this year’s show: “FIBO is getting bigger and better than ever, so I’ll be back in Cologne in April 2015. Besides, the European Health & Fitness Forum on 8 April is an absolute must-attend event at the start of the trade show.”

Fitness, wellness & health
Once again, the trade show will be subdivided by theme into segments, with three clearly defined pillars structuring the products and services presented to visitors: FIBO Expert, FIBO Passion and FIBO POWER.

FIBO Expert is mainly for professional visitors, who will be able to locate information in a targeted manner depending on their specialist focus.

The FIBO Expert exhibitors will showcase innovations in the fields of training equipment, medical, corporate fitness, wellness and beauty, sports nutrition, interiors, services, group fitness, functional training, and trading. The largest area will once again be occupied by companies offering fitness training equipment, who will be mostly located in Hall 6 and Hall 7.

Focus on health
Hall 7 will again take over the function of central ‘Healthcare Hall’. It will be home to FIBO MED, which targets trade visitors from the healthcare sector – physicians, physiotherapists, hospitals, health insurance providers and health-orientated fitness studios.

Companies such as Ergo-fit, five-Konzept, fle.xx, LMT, Ludwig Artzt, Schnell Trainingsgeräte and proxomed will return in 2015 to show products and services for the healthcare market. Key players in the fitness industry will be joined by first-time healthcare exhibitors at FIBO 2015, and Hall 7 – the Healthcare Hall – is already sold out.

“We’ve done a lot to make this change noticeable at FIBO,” emphasises FIBO director Ralph Scholz. Because FIBO’s enhanced alignment with the health agenda isn’t only important for the healthcare sector – it also points the way to the future for traditional gym operators, as Frank Böhme, owner of Just Fit with roughly 20 health clubs in Germany, explains: “An orientation towards health is becoming more and more important. Exchanging views with my colleagues during the trade fair is a must for me and my second company, BGM mit Interfit.”

Anette Dureck, MD of Oase GmbH Health & Sports Club in Bochum, shares that view: “FIBO MED more clearly positions our sector within the healthcare segment. Since market participants and offerings are becoming more and more differentiated, having a healthcare-orientated focus helps us distinguish ourselves from the competition.”

New: corporate fitness
In 2015, the topic of corporate fitness will be given even more attention at FIBO, with a bespoke section of the trade show taking place in Hall 8.

Corporate fitness is steadily gaining in importance as part of health promotion in the workplace. This section of the show is designed for exhibitors such as company sports clubs, industrial health management consultants, digital health coaches, companies with products and services in the fields of ergonomics, nutrition or training, team building and incentives, health and fitness associations, as well as health insurance providers.

Wellness & beauty
Also in Hall 8, the focus within the wellness and beauty section will be on themes such as tanning, sauna and steam, relaxation, device-based applications and medical wellness, equipment, bodycare products, training and CPD.

FIBO ticket sales
FIBO tickets are on sale now – please visit www.fibo.de/tickets. The number of FIBO tickets sold to private visitors will be limited, but this limit does not apply to trade visitors.

Want to attend FIBO?
Venue: Cologne Exhibition Centre
Dates: 9–12 April 2015
Web: www.fibo.de
Tickets: www.fibo.de/tickets

EHFF 2015

The second annual European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) will focus on the key topics of motivation and behaviour modification

Taking place for the second year and already a must-attend event following its sold-out premiere in 2014, the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) will once again welcome representatives from the fitness sector, and the fields of science and politics.

The congress will take place in Cologne on 8 April 2015, the day before FIBO, and is organised jointly by European industry association EuropeActive and FIBO. On tap will be high-calibre speakers and debates on fitness sector developments.

Some 400 participants are expected to attend – global actors and institutions representing operators and manufacturers, plus EU politicians, the media and the scientific community – all sharing the goal of encouraging more people to get moving. But how? That’s the key question for EHFF 2015, with motivation and behaviour modification in regard to physical activity and fitness the guiding theme of the congress.
The aim is to generate long-term excitement about fitness among gym members while reaching even more target groups. In addition, a session on the latest EuropeActive/Deloitte European Health & Fitness Market Report 2014 will reveal the results of its comprehensive annual survey of the European fitness market.

First speakers confirmed
The European Health & Fitness Forum 2015 will offer an impressive line-up of speakers providing new and valuable insights into industry developments.

Presenters will include Bob Duffy, managing director of Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute and the global director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute in more than 25 countries. Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute – a leading UK-based market research company – supports politicians and decision-makers through well-researched analyses of a range of societally relevant topics, including in the healthcare field.
Meanwhile professor Ap Dijksterhuis’ lecture – ‘The smart unconscious and how it relates to physical activity’ – will focus on unconscious processes. Dijksterhuis is a professor of social psychology at Radboud University Nijmegen in Holland and believes that, even when decisions appear rational, they’re nevertheless guided by needs and goals of which one is, for the most part, unaware.

Focus on dialogue
The EHFF programme consists of brief 20-minute talks by experts in their field, with the goal of encouraging an open exchange with the audience. The day will come to a close with an evening event at the Kölner Rheinterrassen restaurant, providing all participants with a chance to network in a casual setting with leading figures in the fitness industry.

Tickets now available
Last year’s European Health & Fitness Forum was sold out. Those wanting to secure their tickets for the 2015 event should visit EuropeActive’s website at www.ehfa.eu or email thesecretariat@ehfa.eu. Forum tickets include FIBO admission for two days as well as the EHFF evening networking event.


As last year, the EHFF programme will finish with an evening event at a city restaurant for networking in a relaxed setting

Originally published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 2

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