Final Report, 24 April 2012
FIBO says farewell to Essen with “historic high” Record visitor number of 65,800 exceeds all expectations
It was the FIBO of great emotions: of radiant smiles, results and business at a record high, but also of considerable sadness. It was a time for saying goodbye but also for celebrating. From next year onwards FIBO, which had been a guest in Essen since 1991, will be held in Cologne. The reason is that demand for space continues to rise unbroken.
This was again evident at this year’s FIBO which took place in the completely booked-out Essen Exhibition Centre reaching new records. With 65,800 visitors (previous year: 58,100) organiser Reed Exhibitions again recorded a healthy plus of 13.2 percent. A total of 612 exhibitors from 35 countries (previous year: 581 - up 5.3 percent) showcased the latest trends, products and training and therapy types from the fitness, wellness and health market. With these figures, FIBO exceeded even the high expectations expressed before the show.
“21 years ago we came to Essen as an offbeat fitness and bodybuilding event, today we are leaving as the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness and health: that is a development we also owe to the extraordinarily good cooperation and partnership with the entire Messe Essen team“, said Reed CEO Hans-Joachim Erbel, expressing regret at the move which he described as inevitable. In Essen, meeting FIBO’s space requirements, which are currently increasing as well as set to rise further in the long term, would not have been possible.
Since 2005, FIBO has seen a steep upward development: with exhibitor numbers increasing by 70 percent, visitor numbers by 60 percent and booked stand area by 40 percent. As a first step, FIBO will start out in 2013 with an additional 15,000 m² to increase its stand area.
More trade visitors – more international participation – strong domestic demand
“More trade visitors, a noticeable increase in international participation and an encouragingly strong domestic market – these were the reasons for yet another increase in the number of studio operators and visitors from the health sector“, said FIBO Director Olaf Tomscheit with visible satisfaction. 65 percent of visitors to FIBO are trade visitors, almost one in three of whom come from abroad (previous year: 30%).
FIBO’s mainstay consists of the fitness studios which recorded a marked growth in business both nationally and internationally. In addition to fitness studio operators, FIBO also attracts a growing number of trade visitors from the health professions. More than 100 of the total of 612 companies are meanwhile represented at FIBO with certified products or services for various subsectors of the health market. FIBOmed and the FIBOmed series of seminars which was organised for the first time met with a correspondingly strong response.
One in three trade visitors are meanwhile interested in training equipment and equipment for practices in the physiotherapy and medicine segment. Volker Dellinger, Head of Sales Germany with proxomed, confirms this: “Physicians, clinics and health-oriented fitness studios: we were very successful at FIBO in reaching our target group. Visitors came with concrete investment projects, and we did good business.”
This statement corresponds to the figures recorded at FIBO by the independent trade show market research bureau Wissler & Partner. They found that, very similar to the previous year, 61 percent of companies polled in a representative survey expect the demand for fitness and health services to rise strongly or at least slightly (previous year: 60%). Willingness to invest in new equipment or training equipment is correspondingly high. Almost every second company came with concrete investment projects and already placed orders at FIBO.
But business was also good for those exhibitors who target fitness fans directly. Every second private visitor did some shopping at FIBO, one in three spent more than 100 Euro.