FIBO is back and the fitness industry is back in motion again. With this new departure the focus is looking ahead. FIBO has made it clear how big the potential for fitness, wellness and above all health really is.
Spectacular, energetic, forward-looking: FIBO 2023 showcases the health of tomorrow
FIBO is and will always be the hotspot for innovations, transformation and live moments to remember in the fitness and health sectors. This year, 867 exhibitors dedicated themselves to the trade show’s vision of promoting a strong and healthy society. Presenting the latest equipment and workouts, diagnostic tools and therapies, expert lectures and join-in offers, these exhibitors made their contribution to promoting healthy living over four days, thereby reaching out to 106,146 visitors on site alone.
“FIBO 2023 proved a sensational success highlighting its pioneering role for the industry as a whole. We succeeded in linking new target groups with each other and flagging up future-proof business potential,” delights Benedikt Binder-Krieglstein, CEO at RX Austria & Germany, who adds: “In this process FIBO not only drives developments in sports and fitness today, but also supports the sector in the field of health prevention – with an extensive line-up of side events as well as with cross-media content”.
Health moves us
Be it by hosting the European Health & Fitness Forum by EuropeActive as a kick-off event, the premiere of the World Active Summit and the FIBO Congress, held by the German University for Prevention and Health Management (DHfPG) and BSA Akademie (BSA): the side events at FIBO 2023 impressively demonstrated just how versatile the synergies between fitness and health really are and the potential they hold. After all, almost 44 % of fitness and health facilities currently position themselves in the health segment, according to a current industry survey conducted by the Employers’ Association of German Fitness and Health Facilities (DSSV).
“FIBO 2023 far exceeded our expectations. This is a view also echoed by some exhibitors who posted record sales. All this confirms to us that our now broadened understanding of health in all its facets – like nutrition and regeneration, wellness and exercise, mental and physical fitness – goes down well when presented like this. And not just among trade visitors,” underlines FIBO Event Director Silke Frank. “We have shown how each and every one of us can live and breathe health. Forming an integral part of this are young start-ups and progressive companies alongside the big industry players who with their innovations from the areas of digitalisation and high-tech as well as nutrition can make a big difference worldwide.”
For all the products and services on offer, promoting broad-based awareness and education remains key. As Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse, sport scientist and Health Ambassador at FIBO puts it at the press confererence: “We need training, we need prevention. Which is why we have to embed the issue of health in education as early as possible so that young people, in particular, know how to maintain a high quality of life even later in life.”
Gaming & Activity Area opens up new target group
One way of reaching out to young people is through gaming. Gamer LeFloid stresses how important physical compensation is and what the market offers: there are games that can only be completed in connection with fitness workouts and devices that combine rowing with gaming. Even Germany’s AOK sickness fund has realised the potential gaming holds for health – using a Gaming Cube at its stand to introduce the community to e-sportspeople of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Sabine Deutscher, board member at AOK Rheinland/Hamburg explains during the press conference why gaming is so important to the AOK: “We also want to reach out to young people and this only works if we customise our message to be in tune with their everyday life.”
Low-threshold prevention tools for everyone
“Taking a preventive approach to our own health is now starting to be the norm,” observes Christian Howaldt, CEO of in Me Diagnostics GmbH. Applications previously reserved for top athletes are now available to the public at large. This also includes the blood test by ‘in Me’, which records organ, hormones and metabolic parameters as well as minerals and trace element levels in no time and displays them in a user-friendly format. “At FIBO, health already plays a relevant role and should be developed further in terms of prevention. With its combination of experts and fitness enthusiasts, FIBO is an important building block and 2023 has been an incredible success for us.”
It is precisely this increasing interest that people take in their own health which has made FIBO so key for the protein offered by Orthomol, says Kira Popp of Orthomol event management. “Micro-nutrients or highly targeted, special nutrient mixes catering to special demands are now also gaining ground in recreational and popular sports.”
Growing synergy of physio & fitness
Body awareness is gaining importance over body building, says Nihan Izgec, Sales Manager Health & Wellness at Novacare GmbH. She explains that physiotherapy is now also offered at gyms and that sickness funds play a fundamental role in this: “The extended services paid for by sickness funds are a key topic: You can offer Pilates courses with equipment and gyms can have this reimbursed as physiotherapy-based training.” To Novacare, which occupied twice the size with its stand in 2023, FIBO is the most relevant trade show when it comes to brand awareness and managing existing customer relations.
Fitness for body and mind
There is more to healthy living than just physical fitness. Skillcourt CEO Marcel Grünewald confirms that FIBO also echoes a future trend here: “Mental health is THE industry topic. Even though exercise from the chin downwards still drives the industry today, everybody now also understands the brain needs training, too. After all, this is where every movement starts. At FIBO, we have met a great audience who we deliver the necessary building blocks to with our Braintest. FIBO is the most relevant trade show for both our brand presentation and for sales.”
This view is also confirmed by Johnny Gorter, Sales Director of Gharieni Group GmbH: “We’ve noticed that demand for spa options is now growing and becoming more targeted in the fitness field. We also saw our mental health products receiving greater attention. The focus is no longer ‘only’ on the body. Mental health and mental vitality are becoming increasingly important.” With its new Meeting Point Spa & Wellness, FIBO plays a pivotal role for the spa and wellness sector. “We are targeting new markets. In concrete terms, we attract many gyms, which in the past were not so much our clientele. And we also met many interested visitors from the weight training sector showing interest in our ranges.”
At the weekend FIBO saw long queues for selfies and autographs, beaming faces and joint works-outs. Jacob Tilly, General Manager Europe at HYROX, also got carried away by the positive mood: “As a mass event HYROX offers a unique experience for everyone, regardless of their age or fitness level. Professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts can improve their skills in various fitness disciplines and compete with others. The cooperation with FIBO, the world-leading trade show for fitness, wellness and health, is a perfect match for HYROX. The event was a resounding success and generated many new touchpoints for us with our growing community.”
Fitness blogger Sophia Thiel explained how FIBO also creates special memories for influencers and athletes: “FIBO forms an integral part of my past. I already had so many cool experiences here when I attended in 2015, 2016 and 2018, in my early days. For influencers there are, in fact, only very few opportunities to meet your community hands-on. And when you see the faces here, embrace your fans, with music everywhere it’s just totally awesome.”
The next FIBO will be held from 11 to 14 April 2024.