Final Report 2017
Another successful year for FIBO: More than 150,000 visitors descend on Cologne
More exhibitors, more internationality and, once again, more than 150,000 visitors: the fitness market is booming. Confirming this notion as well is FIBO, which continues its growth trajectory as the world’s largest international trade show for fitness, wellness and health. A total of 1,019 exhibitors from 49 nations (prior year: 960 exhibitors, a plus of 6.1 per cent) presented current fitness and health industry trends and innovations on an area of 160,000 m². For the second time, more than 150,000 visitors attended FIBO, including 83,000 trade visitors; more than a quarter of them travelled from outside Germany. With that, FIBO almost exactly matched last year’s historic record.
Trade visitors from 117 nations
“A precision landing as far as the total visitor count is concerned and proof of quality along with increasing international reach and relevance”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel, the CEO of organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland. In total, 614 of the 1,019 exhibitors came from abroad – a share of 60.2 per cent.
The level of internationality among trade visitors grew again, too. Whether they came from South Africa, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil or the US – FIBO visitors from 117 nations attended FIBO. Altogether, that amounted to a 27 per cent share of all trade visitors. “In the last five years, during which every indicator has nearly doubled, both FIBO and the fitness market as a whole have forged ahead into a new dimension”, says FIBO event director Ralph Scholz.
Dynamic fitness market across Europe: Total industry sales of €26.3 billion
The European Health & Fitness Market Report 2017 confirms this assessment. More than 56 million Europeans are members of a health or fitness club by now, an increase of 4.4 per cent over the prior year. Industry sales have reached €26.3 billion, a plus of 3.1 per cent. That makes Europe the world’s largest market, ahead of the US, says the market study conducted as always by Deloitte for the 4th European Health & Fitness Forum, FIBO’s kick-off event.
Germany, in turn, is number 1 in Europe with more members in absolute terms than any other country. A total of 10.08 million Germans hold a membership in one of the 8,800 fitness studios. In other words, one in eight Germans belong to a gym. The DSSV (the German Association of Sports Studios) estimates total industry sales of €5.05 billion.
Excellent economic prospects
These positive underlying conditions also shaped the mood and overall business performance at FIBO, according to a representative survey on the economy conducted during the trade show by an independent market research organisation. It found that 69 per cent of responding companies expect the market to grow strongly or to at least grow somewhat. In addition, more than 75 per cent also believe that markets will develop even more dynamically in future.
Sizeable investment plans
Investment plans were correspondingly voluminous. About 40 per cent of trade visitors came to Cologne with concrete project requests. The size of the investments is remarkable. One in three plan on spending more than €50,000; another 16 per cent have earmarked over €200,000, with 7 per cent of those looking to invest in excess of €1 million.
Media focus on FIBO
By garnering lots of media attention, FIBO was able to raise awareness for fitness and health among broad swaths of the public. Nearly 900 accredited journalists from 27 countries reported “live” from FIBO, including all German TV stations, news agencies, numerous radio stations and daily newspapers, as well as online services, vloggers and bloggers.
The next FIBO will take place at the Exhibition Centre Cologne from 12 to 15 April 2018.
Note: FIBO’s visitor, exhibitor and floor space figures are calculated and certified according to the uniform definitions published by FKM – German Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics.
Herman Rutgers, EuropeActive Board member and FIBO International Ambassador:
“This was my 23rd FIBO, and I can say without exaggeration that it was my best one so far. That’s not just my personal opinion but also that of the many visitors and exhibitors I talked to. The reasons: the quantity and quality of the trade visitors; the consistently high quality of the offered products, services and solutions; and the positive atmosphere. Our 4th European Health & Fitness Forum was a great indicator. With 400 participants, FIBO’s pre-opening event on Wednesday was sold out yet again. It was an opportunity for visitors to hear world-class experts as keynote speakers, experience a panel discussion with leading industry experts and discover four case studies of young, innovative companies with new ideas and concepts to boost customer loyalty and help us reach our goal of 80 million members by 2025. Numerous participants said the EHFF was the best industry event they’ve ever attended. Our challenge now is to further enhance the EHFF for next year.”
Sarah Schiepe, Head of Marketing, milon industries GmbH:
“We can look back at a record FIBO in 2017. We came here with our broad ‘Experience the Future’ innovation offensive: the new Q equipment series, the milonizer 3.0, the latest version of our CARE software and of course the milon ME member app. We again received confirmation that our products and our strategy of creating a networked training area in the sense of a ‘Connected Training System’ (CTS) are optimally tailored to the needs of our customers. Our central goal now and in future is to optimally support and inspire customers. We already look forward to FIBO 2018!”
Marco Jakobs, Sales Director, Commercial Johnson Health Tech. GmbH:
“We’re highly satisfied with FIBO 2017. We had more visitors come to our stand than last year, which means we were also able to establish more contacts. We received really wonderful feedback in our talks. People are thrilled to see how our company advances. That’s a big compliment for us. One can tell that fitness and health have become firmly established in society. They’re becoming more and more important. That’s reflected at FIBO, as well. Anyone who knows the show from the past can clearly see a strong professionalisation trend towards health and fitness. We feel at home here. You might say we won our home game. We already look forward to the next few years.”
Arie van Winkelhof, Managing Director, gym80:
“The fitness industry is developing at breakneck speed, the industry is booming and the market is unparalleled when it comes to momentum and innovation. As a manufacturer of premium weight training equipment with an in-house production facility in Gelsenkirchen, gym80 presented the Escalate Your Power boutique concept – both as a standalone and as a gym-in-gym solution. Acceptance has been overwhelming, which reinforces our strategy. That’s why FIBO 2017 was an important milestone for gym80 as well as confirmation of our company’s vision for Europe and the world.”
Antoni Mora, CEO, proxomed Medizintechnik GmbH:
“proxomed Medizintechnik returned to FIBO this year. We were delighted by the excellent response on the first two trade visitor days. Even on the weekend, we kept receiving great feedback for our innovative product lines. That said, we wish the trade visitor concept could be strengthening on the weekend, too. We’ll be back again next year.”
Jonas Schön, Corporate Communications, Ludwig Artzt GmbH:
“Our most notable highlight this year were the trade visitor days. From physiotherapists to fitness coaches to end consumers, the entire visitor spectrum was represented. Since our assortment is aimed at both trade and private visitors, this was just the right target audience for us. Private visitors took a particular liking to our Vintage Series, whereas trade visitors loved our new ‘Fascia meets Muscle’ training concept. Overall, the audience at our stand was very interested. Simply wonderful. We’ll be back again next year.”
Stefan Bartenschlager, Managing Director, DYNOSTICS / Sicada UG:
“For us, FIBO is the best trade show of the year. It simply was a doozy this year. This was our second time here, and we made an estimated 50 per cent more business contacts than last year. We reached 100 per cent of our target audience here, including personal trainers and studio operators. Internationality is very high, too. We saw a 50:50 ratio of national and international visitors. We already booked our stand for next year.”
Alexander Hill, Head of the Performance Sales Team, PUMA:
“FIBO 2017 brought us two unusually strong trade visitor days and two very good consumer days. We’re highly satisfied with our trade show business. It was striking how strong demand was this year for complete outfits from our collections. Visitors are very open to our brand. We saw the same at the successful debut of the PUMA Convention, which we leveraged to bring our brand ambassadors Fernanda Brandao, Anne Kissner, Pamela Reif and Nikeata Thompson from the social media world into the real one. We’ll definitely return to FIBO in 2018.”
Stefan Gruschke, Marketing Manager, Fitbit:
“We’re really very pleased. We reached significantly more people at FIBO than we had expected. We introduced the new Fitbit Alta HR heart rate and fitness wristband at the show. Our stand was very busy at all times, and we’re very happy with our trade show business. Not only will we definitely return next year, we’re actually going to expand our FIBO exhibit.”
Anke Scheinpflug, Head of BECO Aqua College:
“We’re thrilled. The feedback we received from the media and FIBO visitors for the aqua fitness programme we presented on the Pool Stage and for our offerings at the stand was truly amazing. Many visitors spontaneously decided to get in the water and participate in our courses. BECO presented the new BEboard at the trade show, and the success far exceeded our expectations. We’re already looking forward to FIBO 2018.”
Karsten Matuschka, Senior Brand Executive, JK-International GmbH:
“It was an amazing show. We had a chance to welcome our partners from around the world and reinforced our conviction that the desire for sun and light is as strong as ever. Sun and fitness simply are the perfect combination. We look forward to next year.”
Patrick Kruczkowski, CEO, IRONMAXX NUTRITION GmbH:
“We received an excellent customer response at FIBO 2017. We’re also very pleased with the positive feedback we got from visitors – especially for our new products like the Protein Pizza, the Protein Creme, the BCAA drink and our low-carb sauces. Thanks to our appearance at the trade show, we gained new international contacts and expanded our export business. We’re equally excited by the traffic generated for our stand by our athletes and our customer competitions.”
Meredith Higgins, Global Community Manager, Bolly X:
“Our first FIBO went great. Our goal had been to introduce our Bollywood-inspired dance workout to the European market. Not only did we reach a lot of instructors and fitness-studio decision-makers, we also had some good networking experiences with other exhibitors. The atmosphere at FIBO really is highly motivating. While Europeans are a bit shyer than Americans when it comes to joining in, we quickly learned how to successfully adapt our customer approach to the local market. It was an invaluable experience we would have missed had it not been for FIBO.”
Christian Bjerg, International Sales Director, LinusProNutrition:
“FIBO 2017 clearly exceeded our expectations. We gained numerous new leads from every corner of the globe and expect post-show business to be good. Our authorised German distributors, who were by our side at the stand, also considered FIBO a very important and successful trade show. Our bottom line in a single sentence: the LinusProNutrition stand at FIBO 2018 has already been booked.”