You were recently appointed the head of FIBO. Tell us about your road to that position.
Having worked in the global trade show sector for Reed Exhibitions Germany for over 17 years, I’ve been able to gain experience in virtually all areas of the industry. Before joining the FIBO team, I served as the event director of PSI, Europe’s largest promotional products trade show, held annually in Düsseldorf. The role involved a variety of tasks, including coordinating the show’s global initiatives. That international experience has been immensely helpful in my new position with FIBO. Enhancing our global visitor marketing strategy and international network are key priorities for the company at present, so this makes my experience even more beneficial.
What attracted you to your current role and what does it involve?
As the world’s biggest trade fair for fitness, wellness and health, FIBO influences the lives of millions of people who are interested in healthy living. It introduces the latest innovations of the industry into the global market; addresses the current issues of fitness and wellness professionals, offering them advanced training in pivotal topics and thus enhancing the professional quality in gyms; and last but not least, it helps consumers discover the best fitness and health solutions for them.
It’s an amazing trade show, which the FIBO team will be developing even further. As we in the fitness sector know, life stagnates without movement, meaning that even a hugely successful trade show like FIBO has to evolve on a regular basis.
FIBO 2018 promises a change from the usual format. What can we expect?
We’ve implemented a different brand strategy to attract new show visitors, particularly from the global group fitness, nutrition, health and retail sectors. It involves taking a more holistic approach to our fitness content. Studio operators, trainers and instructors all face the same challenges today – they have to keep up with technologies, scientific and medical insights, and the increasing demands of consumers – which means that they all come to the show with similar questions. That’s why we’re organising FIBO 2018 to be categorised according to the issues the industry cares about.
Another change to FIBO 2018 is the improved Academy concept. This year we’ll be offering the increasing number of trainers and presenters expected to attend a multi-faceted three days of advanced theoretical training, hands-on masterclasses with top presenters, and enhanced networking opportunities. We’re also further developing FIBO as a platform for professionals and consumers interested in creating a healthy lifestyle, and that means we’re placing more emphasis on medical training and healthy nutrition.
What do you find most exciting about being in the fitness industry at this moment in time?
The industry is becoming more diversified, personalised and more social, and as such, manufacturers, club operators and trainers alike are all developing more creative ways to enhance the fun and community spirit gained by working out at the gym. I love how companies are getting bold about integrating even smarter digital solutions into their products and services.
As customers look for increasingly customised workouts to meet their individual training goals, it’s likely that even more specialised and diversified fitness equipment will take centre stage.
I strongly believe the fitness industry is at the beginning of an increasingly innovative period and it’s exciting to be at the heart of that as part of the FIBO team.
What are the greatest opportunities for our sector?
As more people of all ages are adopting a healthy lifestyle, there’s great potential for the fitness and health sector to attract new customers for its services. We’re also seeing a clear trend towards individual, specialised fitness concepts that allow gyms to offer services, such as at-home, outdoor and medical training, and to begin to establish themselves as competence centres for all fitness segments – including digital fitness solutions.
These are excellent opportunities, but as we all know, retention is the key to success. That means gym owners and operators will need to remain focussed on developing and implementing convincing retention programmes.