Just under 30,000 visitors have signed up for the digital FIBO debut kicking off as an online marketplace and knowledge hub this year. With the European Health & Fitness Forum, FIBO@business and FIBO@home this the Leading International Trade Fair for Fitness, Wellness and Health digitally united fitness professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world from 30 September to 3 October. The formats offered high-calibre content from top-notch representatives from the sectors along with live TV, networking, trends, workouts and innovations. Including the subsequent FIBO Shopping Week running from 4 to 11 October, FIBO staged a total of four digital events, all of them tailored to the different needs of the target group.
“A digital FIBO? Yes, that works!” says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO of FIBO organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland, and adds: “We have seen it at the FIBO TV studio and at the FIBO@business platform and we have experienced it hands-on across social media.” Over 4,500 participants, a quarter of them from abroad, have used the ranges offered by FIBO@business so far, gathering information on innovations, trends and best practice in the industry. FIBO showed that even virtual exhibition stands, online meetings and video chats provide new sales opportunities and the possibility to generate leads. At FIBO@home, which targeted public-interest visitors, 25,000 spectators followed the live programme. “This has been a successful premiere of the digital FIBO,” Erbel summed up.
Live from the FIBO TV studio
The live lectures of FIBO@business alone were watched for in excess of 1,000 hours. Together with its exhibitors and partners FIBO delivered to the Web, both live and on-demand, an exciting, informative and high-calibre programme revolving around the fitness sector. Proving a special highlight of FIBO@business were the live talks from the FIBO TV studio. Here numerous famous figures from the industry got together to exchange ideas on current issues. The EHFF organised by the European association EuropeActive also broadcast from the TV studio this year, bringing together the CEOs of global leaders in training equipment production and multi-national club operators.
“There was a very special atmosphere and real joy at being reunited again on the part of all parties involved, great viewer numbers and feedback across all channels,” delights Silke Frank, Event Director of FIBO and adds: “Despite the extraordinary situation we have succeeded, jointly with our partners, in making a great event happen. We are proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time and view great potential for the future here.” FIBO@business focused on the themes that have moved the fitness sector this year. The content and innovations that were in particularly high demand ranged from market analyses, health-oriented topics, corporate health management, customer loyalty schemes and work-out methods to digitalisation themes such as Connected to Gamified Fitness. Proving particularly successful were the sessions “Digital Fitness Offerings can Supplement but not Substitute”, “Current Legislation in the Fitness Sector”, “Digital Training in Health Establishments” and the “bodyLIFE expert talk ‘Functional Training’".
The ranges offered at FIBO@business were complemented by the Matchmaking programme that brought together exhibitors and visitors in video meetings. “FIBO@business has evidenced how important new leads, direct exchange and maintaining contacts with customers are for the fitness industry just now. Nevertheless personal contacts and tactile product experiences remain indispensable to building long-term, trust-based business relations. We are therefore doing our utmost to provide the fitness industry with its marketplace in Cologne again by holding FIBO next year,” Hans-Joachim Erbel concluded.
The approximately 100 sessions from the lecture programme and the exhibitor profiles including contact functionality will still be available on the FIBO@business platform until 16 October. Free registration is still possible at shop.fibo.com until 13 October.
Resounding success of FIBO@home
For all those pursuing fitness without a business purpose FIBO@home on 3 October was the first “port of call”. In a one-of-kind project FIBO was held on Instagram for public-interest visitors. In cooperation with sought-after influencers, bodybuilders and experts FIBO broadcast a diverse programme from a Cologne loft-style studio. To the tune of 25,000 spectators watched the workouts, panel discussions, interviews and cooking sessions live and interacted with their stars. At FIBO@home the themes of fitness, bodybuilding, healthy nutrition, beauty and lifestyle were centrestage. Until 11 October FIBO Shopping Week will still be available, brimming with deals revolving around fashion and nutrition on Instagram and Facebook.
The forthcoming FIBO will be held at Cologne Exhibition Centre from 8 to 11 April 2021.
“For me it was my first live appearance on TV. I think or rather hope viewers really liked it. This format could probably also be continued in future, even if we can physically meet again, so as to continue marketing attractive themes.” Andreas Mayer, Managing Director TECHNOGYM GERMANY
“It was a first time experience and it was great. We started with the European Health and Fitness Forum with FIBO and Europe Active, which was a whole day of TV. FIBO TV is very important in bringing new perspectives and some optimism to the industry. It helps us thinking about the next steps. For example: Take this crisis to invest in the business, buy new equipment, do some new things in the interior design, rethink your overall business strategy – this is the time of reflection! But this industry will grow. Let's take this crisis as a big opportunity to really grow again our sector, reinvest in our business and go forward in expanding our market and getting more people more active more often in our industry.” Herman Rutgers, FIBO Ambassador, EuropeActive Board Member
“It was extremely pleasant here at the studio. I met lots of incredibly nice people and I also found the panel highly interesting. I did not know any panellist personally before but then realised everyone is basically working on the same things, even if the products turn out all different. We have all very quickly got used to the digital, tele and distance formats. To my mind, realisation of the event has been super.” Sven Wietbrock, JK-International
“I was so happy to be part of FIBO@business. Of course, it was a new format but it was nice to be able to show the industry that we are here to stay. That we want to continue communicating. We want to network. We want to exchange ideas. What I really liked at the FIBO TV studio was the professional setting prepared for this. Even so, I do hope we will at least have a hybrid format next time. I think we can ‘carry over’ many components from this year. But I do want to meet people again on site.” Benjamin Roth, CEO Urban Sports Club
"Since in the current situation it is impossible to think of real trade fairs with a large audience, one simply has to look for other solutions. To make the experience of an online fair was in any case quite exciting. In many things you had to completely rethink. But it turned out that there are some things that need to be solved in the future. The technical requirements are certainly the smallest hurdles. Because already at the premiere of FIBO@business, the technical implementation worked almost perfectly. It will be much more difficult to adapt to the classic user behaviour on the web or to motivate them to break new grounds. Sven Kriegel, Managing Director excio GmbH
“I have seen a number of familiar faces and had very fruitful discussions. The networking and information sharing are very valuable and help everyone at the moment.” Christophe Collinet, Chief Commercial Officer LifeFit Group
”The sports industry has grown enormously and will continue developing at a fast pace over the coming years, too. This means that requirements will be rising not only for sports as the core product but also for marketing, sponsoring and events. This is why FIBO@business is a great platform for joining the worlds of sports and marketing. FIBO TV proved a really powerful format offering visitors to the trade show and/or spectators attractive discussions. Thanks to the roundtable nature of the talks at the studio the exchange was so much livelier than a webinar. I have also received plenty of positive feedback from my network. If personal exchange is currently not possible then this format is definitely the best way to convey content and offer an immersive trade show experience.” Sören Braun, Manager Sales & Campaign Control, 1. FC Köln
“FIBO@Business is an accomplished format and has come to grips with the current situation outstandingly well and in an exemplary fashion. This platform provides a perfect backdrop for uncomplicated exchange between the trade audience and exhibitors. Well thought out in visual, technical and content terms. The chance to access professional content through FIBO@Business at any time and from any place enhances the format that FIBO has had so far!” Dr. med. Markus Klingenberg, Head Physician Orthopaedics/Accident Surgery, Sports Medicine, group practice at the Beta Klinik
"FIBO@business was a good start for me. We had some interesting conversations and meetings and were able to generate one or two leads. Of course, there is still room for improvement and we, as well as FIBO, have a number of to-do's on the cards for the next FIBO@business. Whether digital or hopefully soon in real life again, we are already looking forward to the next edition of FIBO. Mirko Holzmüller, Marketing & Sales MEA Manager, AlzChem Trostberg GmbH