What’s new? What remains? FIBO 2018 to show major cardio & strength trends
Networked exercise areas, equipment with extra features, boutique concepts and entertainment: from 12 to 15 April, the exhibitors at FIBO 2018 in Cologne will reveal new ways to motivate members. Whether it’s the individual use of media during training or open interfaces for comprehensive customer support, the major equipment providers are putting a clear emphasis on smart solutions for gyms. Entertainment is a big priority. And high-intensity interval training (HIIT), functional training and boutique concepts continue to be important themes in the fitness market.
As a trend show and road map for the industry, FIBO will show studio operators which investments are worth making. The focus isn’t just on premieres but also on evaluating what’s already there. Which concepts have succeeded in the market? What are the benefits of, for example, digitalisation or boutique concepts? Answers will come from the exhibitors at FIBO 2018. Among them will be such key industry players as Amer Sports UK, Core Health + Fitness, eGym, gym80 International, Johnson Health Tech., Keiser, Kernten Sport, Life Fitness Europe, milon industries, MoveToLive, TECHNOGYM SPA and True Fitness Technology.
Fitness getting increasingly digital
The fitness industry is on the cusp of a digital disruption – many experts agree on that. What this means for studio operators: they should act now. More and more, fitness fans take digital applications for granted and expect them. This development can actually benefit gyms. Digital solutions reach customers everywhere, supporting their workouts. Deploying playful elements, they boost the fun factor, motivate and create loyalty to the club. And they facilitate business organisation, which frees up time for studio staff to spend on individual customer support.
Douglas Strom, sales director Germany/Austria/Switzerland at Life Fitness, looks ahead to the upcoming FIBO: “Our focus is on networked and cloud-based fitness training.” Among other things, Life Fitness will present the latest version of the Discover SE3 HD console for modern endurance training. Using Bluetooth or NFC, it can be connected to the LFconnect app by Life Fitness or other fitness apps on mobile phones or tablets to record the workout. Also increasing member motivation is a comprehensive range of media offerings, the Lifescape programme with the most beautiful running routes and RunSocial, which allows runners to go on virtual courses together in real time.
Johnson Health Tech., too, is betting primarily on digital solutions this year to create “a smart, connected workout area, which we consolidate under the ‘Connected Solutions’ umbrella”, says business development director Jürgen Aschauer. In addition to cardio applications, visitors can look forward to the premiere of a new console for intelligent weight training. “Connected Solutions” facilitates comprehensive member support by a trainer who can prescribe customised workouts to each member by using an app. “Thanks to such smart training support, members will train more efficiently and see results much faster. Moreover, they are documented ‘in black and white’ through links with other fitness apps. Personal support and measurable results are tremendous motivators”, says Jürgen Aschauer.
Core Health & Fitness will showcase their OpenHub technology at FIBO, an open interface for the tailored use of media in the workout area. Members can work with their personal apps to download and save their training results.
Equipment that motivates
Numerous strength and cardio devices presented at FIBO serve to deliver an extra shot of motivation and an extra boost of efficiency during training. Johnson Health Tech., for instance, will bring the S-Force Performance Trainer to the trade show, a new product aimed at propelling exercisers to peak performance levels. The device can work both as a standalone solution in the cardio area or as a highlight in HIIT, group fitness and athletic training zones.
Core Health & Fitness, together with the Schwinn brand, will present two new power bikes with reliable watt readouts that make it easy for each member to access his or her personal performance. “This is pure motivation”, says Martin Hirsch, sales director Germany/Austria.
SportsArt is taking performance measurement to another level with the new ECO-POWR line. “For us Movement is energy”, says Luca Fini, SportsArt’s EMEA marketing manager. Some 74 per cent of the energy generated while exercising is fed back into the power grid. Generating electricity instead of just counting calories – an enormous factor in motivation. “Members feel they’re part of something larger, part of a project that protects the environment in the name of sustainability”, adds Fini.
High intensity and functional training
Functional training is a fixture among the choices offered by gyms. Numerous boutique and gym-in-gym concepts will be on display at the trade show. Johnson Health Tech., for example, have developed a complete functional training concept that makes it possible to bring the boutique studio atmosphere into any fitness club. “As an extension of our MX4 training, this area includes special light, sound and product elements”, says Jürgen Aschauer.
Core Health & Fitness is again betting on high-intensity interval training. “HIIT training is so highly regarded by members that one could almost get the feeling members motivate studio owners to enlarge their HIIT zones”, says Martin Hirsch. “That’s why high intensity once again is one of our ‘home games’ at this FIBO.”
Member retention through entertainment
Entertainment through media use on the equipment, the trainer acting as the entertainer himself, or working out to loud music and soft lighting like in a club – for many exercisers, entertainment is a welcome motivation booster. The key players in the market underscore this notion, and they’re adjusting their offerings to meet the demand.
“Entertainment concepts can be used to tie athletes to the equipment”, says Douglas Strom. “During a tough unit, many exercisers are simply glad about the distraction or the professional guidance they get. Soon it won’t be enough for most of them to just play their music on mobile phone headsets.” Jürgen Aschauer agrees: “By now you have personalised content or social networks like one’s own Netflix account, Facebook and YouTube subscriptions members can conveniently access via numerous Matrix consoles using RFID wristbands or personal X-ID codes.” Johnson Health Tech. creates additional incentives through virtual training content such as Virtual Active and exclusive workout programmes such as the HIIT workout Sprint 8. Martin Hirsch stresses that there are still huge development and thus growth opportunities in the market: “Comparing the US and Germany, entertainment concepts still play a subordinate role here. We at Core are focussed on being able to offer highly customisable entertainment solutions. Our ‘open’ training console enables studio operators and members to decide for themselves how to satisfy the need for entertainment.”
It’s the world’s largest international trade show for fitness, wellness and health: the industry’s key players come together at FIBO in Cologne. This is where innovations are launched. This is where international trends are set. This is where the industry comes to invest. Some 1,019 companies from 49 nations participated in 2017, meeting more than 150,000 trade and private visitors from around the globe. In 2018, FIBO will take place at the Exhibition Centre Cologne from 12 to 15 April. Kicking off the trade show on 11 April 2018 will be the 5th European Health & Fitness Forum, a meeting of about 400 leading representatives of the European fitness sector.
Press Release [doc l 290 kb]
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