Exercise and unwind in the Campus park: The BUGA [Federal horticultural show] Heilbronn has come up with innovative sports facilities under the oldest trees in town, created based on the unusual combination of a gradation tower and calisthenics facilities.
Top figures for FSB
The international leader - from 7 to 10 November this is how FSB, the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities presented itself. The 25th event convinced due to its very good attendance from Germany and particularly from abroad as well as with its excellent visitor quality. "The trade fair is the trend, contact and business forum for sports facilities, swimming pools and playground planning! The number of visitors, level of internationality and visitor quality clearly underline this leading position," explained Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, after four eventful trade fair days. aquanale - the International Trade Fair for Sauna.Pool.Ambience was staged in conjunction with FSB. Once again around 26.600 visitors convinced themselves of the innovative power of the 634 exhibiting companies from 45 countries.
The exhibitors especially praised the high quality of the visitors and the service offers of Koelnmesse, which contributed towards them achieving their trade fair goals. According to an initial visitor survey, 82 percent of the visitors were satisfied with FSB, over 95 percent would recommend the event to a colleague.
In his opening speech at the 25th IAKS Congress, Dr. Kannewischer presented the worldwide trends for the future of sports and leisure facilities that have been identified by IAKS. These include the increasing significance of the multifunctionality of places of exercise for lifestyle activities, a stronger focus on universal design suitable for the disabled in line with the ageing society and the obligation towards sustainable construction for the achievement of climate protection goals. "We won't encourage inactive people to exercise more using classic sports offers, but instead via "gentle" starter offers. The sports and leisure infrastructure has to tread new paths," demanded Dr. Kannewischer.
In conjunction with its long-standing partner Stadt und Raum Fairs and Media GmbH, FSB 2017 presented "People and spaces on the path to tomorrow": this cooperation presents the planerForum as well as workshops, themes for the congress and a special event focused on current topics. In the course of FSB, Koelnmesse and Stadt und Raum Fairs & Media GmbH agreed that in future the trade fair brand Stadt und Raum will be managed under the aegis of Koelnmesse. "With this step we are strengthening the competence of FSB," commented Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Office of Koelnmesse. Together with Rolf von der Horst, who will continue to support us in an advisory capacity, we will push FSB's strategic and content-related further development of the themes amenity areas and exercise to the benefit of the exhibitors, amenity area planners and trade visitors."
The SPORTNETZWERK.FSB, the cooperation agreement between Koelnmesse and Sportstättenrechner, met with an excellent response. The themes the infrastructure of stadiums and arenas were presented on exhibition space spanning 800 m². These also include innovations from the section safety and admission control, a theme that was additionally discussed in the scope of a separate safety conference.
The Federal Association of Manufacturers of Playground Devices and Leisure Facilities (hereafter referred to as BSFH) and the international trade magazine Playground@Landscape had dealt with the design of school yards. Hence, the fair stand of BSFH was designed as a school yard and turned out to be the meeting place of the playground and leisure industry during the entire duration of the trade show. It was P@L which hosted the seminar on "School Yard Design" which even attracted visitors from Austria who specially travelled to Cologne to attend the show.
For the exhibiting members of BSFH, the participation in the Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities has certainly been worthwhile. Above all, the international attendance was very good. Thus, we were able to establish many new international contacts. Unfortunately, the number of decision-makers of German municipalities has not increased at all.
However, the BSFH topic "The School Yard as a Movement Space" was very popular among the visitors. It was the seminar programme on this issue which created huge interest and has thus been frequently visited, says Gerold Gubitz, Managing Director of BSFH.
Claus Spiegelbauer (Kraiburg Relastec GmbH & Co. KG):
“Our first impression was very good. Many customers and stakeholders from all over the world have come to the show. Unfortunately, the exhibition date overlapped with the building fair BATIMAT, which took place in Paris from 6 to 10 November 2017. In general, it would be better to schedule the FSB trade fair before or after this exhibition to give the visitors and other interested parties an opportunity to visit both shows without time interruption. As we were exhibiting in Hall 10.2 together with our sports colleagues, the overall response and the number of visitors as well as the quality of the discussions were very good. But this was mainly owed to the very well visited location in Hall 10.2.
We were able to talk to many established customers, but also met some new interested parties. Although most of them were "just" distributors and resellers. However, we only met very few municipal representatives, planners or architects and would like to see more local representatives, planners or architects in Cologne at the next FSB Show. At least by now, FSB with its focus on sports and pools was not considered to be the most famous show for the local representatives and playground planners. There should be more marketing activity addressing the municipal bodies and other relevant public target groups. A further barrier for the employees in municipal services is the fact that in order to be able to attend the show, they have to take leave, which, in turn is not really attractive when taking into account the current trade fair offer. It must, however, be critically noted that a shorter duration of three days would be quite sufficient. And: FSB should only accept manufacturers and providers which meet the requirements of the respective EU Directives".
Friedemann Sölln (Polytan GmbH):
"For Polytan, FSB 2017 has been a very successful show with many national and international visitors. We observed an increasing demand for high quality sports surfaces for both outdoor and indoor areas. Particularly the new Polytan products for artificial turf and raceway systems which represent a sustainable solution for high quality sports surfaces attracted the attention of our visitors."
David Köhler (Berliner Seilfabrik GmbH & Co.)
“After the quiet beginning of the show, I believe that on an overall basis, it was worthwhile to participate in this year's FSB. Above all, we established some new international contacts. Many of the national visitors we met were already well- known customers or stakeholders. Besides, it is always nice to talk to core customers or to strengthen the existing contacts. Most of the national visitors came directly from the region. The number of cross-regional visitors has declined noticeably. FSB should intensify its investment in its nationwide representation. In any case, we were able to present several market novelties, such as the DNA Tower at the North Entrance as well as some new playing points, for instance the Windrider at the exhibition stand and, of course, Tritopia, our main attraction. Nevertheless, apart from the great attention, the participation in this fair entails great effort and high expenditure. Now, we need to examine whether the number of order placements offers a true reflection of the great effort we made.
However, the number of international visitors appears to be increasing.
One point of criticism we have is that the Cologne Trade Fair should pay more attention to the product portfolio of the Chinese manufacturers, because we noticed that there were some exhibitors who violated the international patent law.
Furthermore, workshops and symposiums on interesting topics should be held within the same Hall and not in some external backyards.
To ensure its future success, FSB should focus on high quality providers and manufacturers of playground devices. And in order to keep them committed and interested, it will be necessary to do without manufacturers as those who offer product copies or deficient quality. This casts a negative light on the entire sector and will lead to visitor numbers going down even more."
Jotto von Gierke (Lappset Spiel-, Park-, Freizeitsysteme GmbH):
FSB 2017 was just perfect for Lappset to show and celebrate the latest addition to our Halo product family, called Cubic. An above-average number of representatives from international subsidiaries, distributors and cooperation partners spared neither expense nor effort to come to Cologne to take a look at the convincing product range of Lappset. In addition, many German municipal representatives or playground planners came to inform themselves about the playground innovations of Lappset. The very long journey for instance from Australia or the USA was worth the effort, because all visitors were equally impressed by the vertical space and cost saving playing concept called Cubic. Both admiring the Cubic live in shape and colour as well as looking at the playing features in and outside our Cubic during the Virtual Reality Tour have caused enthusiasm and great interest."
Bernd Lohmüller (Bloacs Bernd Lohmüller):
"Bloacs was present during the entire FSB trade show 2017 together with our planning partners pumptrack.de On an overall basis, we can draw a positive conclusion because we had some interesting discussions and established some profitable new contacts. What is certain is that this show mostly attracts visitors from Europe and further abroad and no local visitors because at our stand we spoke English most of the time instead of German. We as small manufacturers from Southern Germany would prefer to meet more decision-makers from German and other closer European municipalities. We think, the future of FSB will still be lying in the international market, because on an overall basis, FSB is an interface for European and other international manufacturers, especially from Asia."
Tobias Müller (Polytan GmbH):
We can look back at four successful days at the trade show in Cologne. This was owed to the high quality of visitor contacts and their specific inquiries and increased interest in high quality sports flooring. The focus of the increasingly international audience was mainly on our new products of artificial turf and raceway systems which mainly convince by their concept of sustainability and green technology. In addition, the live presentation of the data collection system "Polytan SmarTracks" by world class sprinters Tatjana Pinto and Amelie Sophie Lederer as well as the presentation of the new artificial turf caring robot "TurfRob" aroused great interest among the audience. Both product presentations took place at the recently introduced Networking Arena of SPORTNETZWERK.FSB which turned out to be a perfect additional magnet for visitors. A new edition of this show area including an artificial turf play area and a 30-metre synthetic running track as well as exhibition halls positioned much closer would fulfil our wishes for the next FSB trade fair in 2019. We were very satisfied with the continually increasing internationality of the FSB Show.
Marc Oelker (SIK-Holzgestaltungs GmbH):
„For our company, the FSB Trade Fair 2017 was very successful. The number of useful contacts was enormous and, once again, quite surprising to us. In comparison to previous trade fairs, during this year’s show we achieved an above-average number of positive results. Some of our partner companies who attended the show have come to the same conclusion. However, we felt that only very few visitors were from Germany which is incomprehensible as Germany still remains the most important market, and certainly not just for our company. We believe that the participation of the municipal decision-makers should again be intensified to enhance the active exchange with the companies of our industry. But maybe there is no need to do so if the sales activities of the companies develop optimally throughout the whole year and the customers are being well advised. Maybe this is the reason why the leading German manufacturers don’t take part in the show…. Who knows….”
Mario Hampel (ESF Emsland Spiel- und Freizeitgeräte GmbH & Co. KG)
„The FSB Show still remains a good platform where we can meet our international partners and also new potential customers from abroad. We also had the opportunity to meet many of our regional core customers. We showed them some of our new products which have been well received. We could not see any German audience from far away. Obviously, the attractiveness of the show at a national level has further decreased. As it has been the case in previous years, we herewith confirm that a shorter duration of three days would have been quite enough.”
Camilla Grebe (Spogg Sport-Güter GmbH)
„FSB has been relatively satisfactory for us; our expectations with regard to the exhibition were not very high. We have reached our target group from abroad whereas the cities and municipalities or rather the relevant decision-makers were not strongly represented. As the number of exhibitors continually decreases, the number of visitors also declines. In my opinion, the duration of four days of the show is too long. This was no benefit at all. In the digital age there is not necessarily a balance between product presentations, customer service and successful new contacts. It becomes more and more difficult to maintain the attractiveness of the show and / or to increase it. Maybe a cost reduction on the part of FSB Cologne would have a positive impact.”
Niels Pöppel (BSW GmbH):
„Even in times of increasing digitalisation, this year’s FSB has once again demonstrated that international meetings of our industry at regular intervals are still of utmost importance. The atmosphere at our fair stand was consistently positive which was really impressive. We have established excellent international contacts from which we expect good economic results in the following year. Hence, the upward trend of our Regupol sports and fall protection floors is clearly emerging and might even be accelerated.
In addition to that, for us the FSB trade fair entails four important factors of success:
Kölnmesse and the federal association IAKS really know their trade and have ensured that competent and decision-making experts from all over the world attended the show.
Our company has a strong reputation at an international level and is renowned for its excellent service and products of high quality. Design matters. We have once again upgraded the architectural quality and design of our fair stand by including elements of contemporary art and architecture.
Hence, an additional magnet for visitors who were also interested in BSW had been created.
The Walking Dinner which was organised in cooperation with Pulastic on the Rhine Terraces on the occasion of 50-years (!) of cooperation between both companies, also attracted 220 visitors.
In a long-term view, we hope to see more visitors from the investor sector, construction companies, PPP-providers and renowned architects, which benefits us all, especially those companies who look for good quality. At the end, it is them whose participation is relevant to both FSB and its exhibitors.
Johannes Maier (Eurotramp GmbH):
„For us this year’s FSB was truly worth it. Above all, the international visitor numbers were excellent. We have been able to establish many new contacts. Nevertheless, we missed the national municipal decision-makers.
Furthermore, I would like to mention the excellent cooperation with and service from the Koelmesse team. This is really unique. We will certainly take part next time in 2019.”
Katrin Pogan (Öcocolor GmbH & Co.KG):
We as a solid German company find this show focuses too much on the international section. In our point of view, the German municipal representatives were missing. Nevertheless, this has already been noted several times by our industry. On the other hand, the quality of customers who found their way to the exhibition halls, was very good. It must be noted, however, that the topic “Schoolyards as a Movement Space” which was represented by the BSFH at their fair stand and was accompanied by a well-attended seminar hosted by Playground@Landscape should be strengthened and also extended for the next FSB Show in 2019.
The next FSB Trade Fair will take place in Cologne from 5 to 8 November 2019.
For any further information, please visit www.fsb-cologne.de
FSB 2017 facts and figures:
634 (537) companies from 45 (43) countries took part in this year’s FSB Trade Fair
at a gross exhibition surface of 65,000 sqm (52,900 sqm). 164 (152) exhibitors came from Germany, 470 (415) from abroad, hence the foreign attendance was 74 (73) per cent. Approximately 26,600 (26,600) trade visitors from 114 (117) countries attended the trade fair double aquanale and FSB, hence the foreign country share is approximately 62 (58) per cent. *
*All figures have been calculated in accordance with the guidelines of the Society for Voluntary Control of Trade Fair and Exhibition Statistics (FKM) and are subject to audit by a certified auditor (www.fkm.de).
Photo: Koelnmesse, Thomas Müller