Bigger and more international: FIBO a continued success

Submitted by J. Mikhail on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:57

FIBO – the acronym stands for the current fitness boom of the entire industry and its trade show, with the world’s largest trade show for fitness, wellness and health continuing its success trajectory and setting new records: more exhibitors, more internationality and, once again, more than 143,000 visitors.

A total of 1,133 exhibitors (prior year: 1,019 exhibitors, a plus of 11.1 per cent) presented current fitness and health industry trends and innovations on a floor space of 160,000 m². With 143,000 visitors, including 83.500 trade visitors, FIBO was sold out completely on Saturday and continued to perform at the record level set in the previous two years.

Accelerated growth

“Last year we thought that more fitness and more FIBO was hardly possible. But now we can see that, yes, it is. The increase in the number of exhibitors actually further accelerated, from a plus of 6 per cent to 11 per cent now. In particular, the international reach and relevance increased yet again”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO of organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland. Altogether, 645 of the 1,133 exhibitors came from outside Germany this time – more than ever before in the 33-year history of FIBO, which made its debut in 1985.

Far ahead in the ranking of nations were countries that are among the worldwide pacemakers of the fitness market – Germany (488 exhibitors), the US (68), the UK (68), Italy (43), the Netherlands (41), Spain (34), Poland (47) and China (92).

International trade visitors from 121 countries

The same picture is reflected on the trade visitor side, where the world’s largest industry show has also boosted its reach. Whether they came from South Africa, the US or Brazil, from Japan, Thailand or even Australia, or, of course, from Europe – visitors from five continents and a total of 121 nations turned FIBO into the United Nations of Fitness, Wellness & Health. All told, that’s nearly a third of the trade visitors that came to Cologne this year.

“The significance of FIBO as the world’s most important industry event is going up year after year and is reverberating in ever-greater international circles. The line-up of nations present in Cologne is impressive”, says FIBO director Silke Frank.

Underscoring this point was the 5th European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), which has developed into the Davos of the industry, an economic forum that brings together the global decision-makers of the fitness industry, including the CEOs of the world’s market-leading manufacturers of fitness equipment and major international studio operators. Despite increased capacity, the Executive Event hosted by the European EuropeActive association was completely sold out with 400 conference participants.

Europe-wide industry sales of €26.6 billion

The attendees displayed an optimistic outlook on the future, even though they often see the price pressure faced by studio operators with a critical eye. The overall market situation continues to develop in a positive direction. With industry sales of €26.6 billion (+1.9 per cent over the prior year), Europe has now passed the US (€24.9 billion) as the world’s largest fitness market. Nearly 60 million exercisers in Europe are members of a fitness studio, 3.9 per cent more than last year. These are the findings of the “European Health & Fitness Market Report 2018”, which is traditionally presented by EuropeActive and Deloitte at the EHFF at the start of FIBO.

Germany largest European market

The number of gym members in Germany rose again. A total of 10.61 million people (prior year: 10.08 million) hold a membership in one of the nearly 9,000 fitness studios. In other words, one in eight Germans belong to a gym. By 2025, according to Deloitte forecasts, the number of members training in gyms is expected to increase to 14 million – 17 per cent of the total population.

FIBO goes global: FIBO USA to premiere in December

In December, FIBO will “Go West” with the premiere of FIBO USA in Orlando. The move indicates that Reed Exhibitions are expanding their global activities. “With FIBO USA, we’ll be right at the heart of one of the world’s most important regions for the fitness industry, providing international companies with an essential anchoring point in the US market”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel. FIBO USA will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from 6 to 8 December, further bolstering FIBO’s position as a strategic partner for the industry worldwide. FIBO China has been staged with growing success since 2014. The first FIBO FITNESS BUSINESS SUMMIT SOUTH AFRICA in Johannesburg was added last year. Other concrete locations are currently being considered, according to Hans-Joachim Erbel.

The next FIBO will take place at the Exhibition Centre Cologne from 4 to 7 April 2019.

Find up-to-date downloadable images and additional information at

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.

Exhibitor Testimonials

“For Precor, FIBO 2018 was one of the most successful trade shows in recent years. The new elegant look & feel of our corporate image and product portfolio was well received by existing and new customers alike. Also captivating was the continuing trend towards digitalisation and networked fitness with the open operating system Preva. Alongside key partners like eGym and RunTV, we’re delivering innovative and intriguing fitness solutions for all types of facilities this year.”
Martin Borchers, Business Manager Germany, Precor/Amer Sports Deutschland GmbH

“FIBO 2018 was a complete success for us. In addition to the expansion of our Q equipment series, the cooperation with Sony as a partner in our Connected Training System, and the comprehensive range of software and services for our partners, our focus at this year’s FIBO was on our consulting concept milon BOOST. milon BOOST provides studio operators of fitness and health facilities with an individual concept that bundles milon circuit training experiences from almost 20 years and the growth potential of the digital Connected Training System, boosting the success of facility operators. Our central goal now and in future is to optimally support and inspire customers and make them successful. We already look forward to FIBO 2019!”
Florian Schmidt, Head of Marketing, milon industries GmbH

“We had a significantly higher number of contacts at the stand. The number of new contacts interested in our new products increased again, as well. FIBO’s efforts in the area of physiotherapy are paying off. We think it’s developing into the central venue in North Rhine-Westphalia to directly approach therapists. FIBO was the ideal place for our Europe debut of the second generation of our anti-gravity treadmill, because it’s the only place where we can reach the entire range of different target audiences in sports, fitness and health.”
Olaf Tomscheit, Head of Strategic Marketing, proxomed Medizintechnik GmbH

"The most important fair of the year was a complete success for Transatlantic Fitness. Our new stand layout containing our Action Stand and our Consultant Lounge paid off perfectly for both new and existing customers. The focus of FIBO 2018 was our new 3ZONE, a holistic gym in gym and/or studio solution, peppered with specially designed all-round support based on our 360° business philosophy (hardware, software, implementation). In addition, there also an ultimate run on our newly introduced Hypervolt vibration massager from Hyperice. FIBO has proven to us that we have extended our portfolio by the absolutely right products and that we present ourselves on the market as THE FUNCTIONAL TRAINING EXPERT. We are looking forward to FIBO 2019."
Jennifer Klein, Head of Marketing, Transatlantic Fitness

“For us as a provider of body composition analysis, FIBO has been the most important platform to grow on and continue to do so. Our achievements from recent years are reflected at FIBO. We especially noticed the larger share of interested visitors from abroad.” 
Chang-Hun Jo, Managing Director, InBody

“FIBO went great for us. We think it’s right to go into the fitness direction more. We reached a larger audience thanks to the realignment of the trade show, and that’s exactly the direction the market is currently moving, too. We had a diverse crowd at our stand, which was excellent. We especially noticed that more fitness-oriented women stopped by this year than in previous years. This shows that the new FIBO concept works and is well received.”
Manuela Mahlich, Marketing Manager, WEIDER Germany

"FIBO was a complete success for PUMA. The joint exhibition stand with Intersport Voswinkel provided consumers with a great product and brand experience on over 700 square metres and was very well attended. On Sunday more than 400 fitness enthusiasts completed a sweaty training at the PUMA Convention at the FIBO Academy with our brand ambassadors Pamela Reif, Nikeata Thompson, Anne Kissner, Fernanda Brandao and Ivana Santa Cruz. In addition, our brand ambassadors were at our stand for a meet & greet with visitors throughout the fair. Another highlight of FIBO was the announcement of our strategic partnership with HYROX, an innovative concept of a competition combining classic endurance sports with functional strength training and highly intensive interval training for the first time. The registration for the nine-part event series was launched at FIBO on 12 April and the first HYROX World Championships will take place during FIBO 2019. One more reason for PUMA to look forward to the next year’s FIBO."
Matthias Bäumer, Area General Manager PUMA DACH

“As first-time exhibitors, we had been excited to see what was in store for us and what visitors would expect of our brand and our athletes; we ended up pleasantly surprised. Our meet & greets, especially the one with Tammy Hembrow, were very well received. As a brand that’s known by its social media appearances, we thought it was important to see how direct contacts would work out. That’s why you could summarise the trade show as ‘Social Media meets Real Life’. We’re highly satisfied with the outcome. Our stand was full every day. We had excellent discussions, especially with trade visitors. I’m sure that new partnerships were created here.”
Selina Schennach, Head of Sales & Events, WOMEN’S BEST

"Sales at FIBO exceeded our expectations. We were very satisfied with the fair and we are looking forward to the positive feedback about our Skechers Sport collection".
Daniela Cavaliere, Marketing Coordinator SKECHERS USA Deutschland GmbH

“FIBO once again lived up to its reputation as our industry’s absolute No. 1 trade show. There’s no other place where you can continuously and reliably reach such a high-quality international trade audience. The four show days were a huge success for us. Our feeling: digitalisation has arrived in the fitness and health sector; our customers really embrace the new ways of offering tailored programmes and the best individual support.”
Philipp Roesch-Schlanderer, Managing Director, eGym

“We made our first appearance at FIBO, and our bottom line is that we’re ultra-happy. On the one hand, we wanted to get in contact with trainers and gym operators, which we accomplished very well. We had excellent talks and were met with a lot of interest. Of course we also wanted to meet our end customer, which was just as overwhelming. In B2B and B2C alike, our expectations were exceeded. We saw that our product fits with FIBO, and we’re already checking how we might expand this in future.”
Arne Plifke, Marketing Director, Elsdorfer Molkerei – MeinQ

“FIBO in Cologne was the cradle of the German wellness movement in 1990, because the decision to form the DWV, the German Wellness Association, was made right here at the trade show 28 years ago. This year, our goal was to enhance our contact with the fitness industry and present our new trend of slow jogging. The interest of trade visitors, and even more so that of the private visitors on the weekend, was huge. What’s more, there was tremendous interest from the media, far exceeding our expectations. In short: FIBO 2018 was an immense success for us.”
Lutz Hertel, Managing Partner, DWV (German Wellness Association)

“We presented three new linseed dough products here, all of them healthy, simple and delicious – low carb, high protein and 100 per cent organic. Visitors were able to try samples right at our stand. We received tons of positive feedback, in particular from end customers in the sports segment, but we also established important contacts in the B2B segment.”
Caspar Götz v. Olenhusen, Head of Marketing, Lizza GmbH

“A fantastic trade show with an excellent mood and atmosphere – and another huge success for us. We were thrilled to welcome visitors from around the world at our stand. We noticed that tanning is a topic that’s also gaining in importance for the fitness industry in general. Studio operators aren’t just more interested, they also have more knowledge and ask specifically for new technology such as the hybrid technology that combines UV light with a skin-care beauty light.”
Karsten Matuschka, Head of Marketing, Ergoline

Visitor Testimonials

“By now, FIBO is the world’s largest fitness trade show. And if you work as a professional, spending at least a day at FIBO to see what’s up in the industry is simply par for the course.”
Volker Schlüter, Sporting Mühlheim a. d. Ruhr

“FIBO has a high priority on my schedule. I’m here for two days to network with studio operator friends and, of course, to take in innovations and trends.”
Yannik Hoenig, Sportwelt Rosbach

“FIBO is an important event for us to know what’s going on and what’s coming.”
Achim Weiss, Pro Vitess Leonberg

“FIBO is the most important industry event of the entire year. You see new things, new faces and, of course, familiar faces. Plus, FIBO is extremely important for keeping up with the market at all times.”
Maren Lehnard, Gymnasion Rastatt

“I come to FIBO every year to network, to meet suppliers and gym colleagues, and to see what’s new.”
Martin Seiler, maxx Gesundheitszentrum