FSB, the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities, came to a close on 25 October 2013 with an all-round positive result and an extremely good atmosphere. A total of 622 companies from 44 countries presented the complete range of innovations, products and services for amenity areas, sports and pool facilities on 67,000 m² of gross exhibition space. FSB 2013 thus recorded a significant increase in occupied space and internationality, while also posting a larger number of visitors than FSB 2011. FSB, which was held for the first time in conjunction with aquanale, the International Trade Fair for Sauna, Pool, Ambience, attracted some 25,000 trade visitors from 115 countries. “Our concept for staging FSB and aquanale on the same days proved to be successful, and we received a lot of positive feedback from the sector,” said Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse. “The very good result, combined with top-quality visitors, impressively underscores the reputation of FSB as the leading international trade fair for amenity areas, sports and pool facilities.” This success was in large part due to the long-standing commitment of IAKS, IOC and IPC within the context of FSB. FSB’s presentation of its swimming pool segment, which was located in Hall 10.1 and conducted jointly with aquanale for the first time, was also very well received. “FSB and aquanale together are the world’s biggest marketplace for the swimming pool sector,” said Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, President of the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS).
FSB brought together in Cologne all of the market leaders from Germany and abroad. These companies presented the complete range of innovations, products and services for amenity areas, sports and pool facilities. The exhibitors specifically praised FSB’s strong international appeal. “This year’s FSB demonstrated once again just how important it is for us,” said Albrecht Rieger, Director of Marketing at Berleburger Schaumstoff Werke GmbH. “We meet new trade visitors from every continent every time we come here. FSB provides the ideal framework for this and is also viewed internationally as the most important fair for the sector. Those who don’t exhibit here definitely can’t be considered global players.” Polytan Regional Sales Director Michael Schröder also had praise for the large number of visitors from abroad. “We were very satisfied with FSB 2013,” he said. “Our company’s business is very international, so we certainly benefited greatly from the large number of international trade visitors. FSB fulfilled its role for us as a business platform, and the general atmosphere at the fair was also good.” FSB 2013 recorded a particularly noticeable increase in visitors from the UK, Russia, France and the Netherlands. The exhibitors were also very pleased with the high level of visitor quality. Their assessment was confirmed by the initial results of the visitor survey, which found that nearly 90 per cent of this year's trade visitors are involved in making purchasing decisions either directly or in an advisory capacity.
Highly satisfied trade visitors
The visitors also had high praise for the event. Nearly 80 per cent of them said they were satisfied with their visit. A total of 83 per cent reported that they had succeeded in achieving their goals at FSB in Cologne. Moreover, the fair’s broad portfolio of products ensured that 82 per cent of the visitors rated the product range as either good or very good.
More powerful synergies in the swimming pool segment
The FSB/aquanale swimming pool presentation, which was held jointly in Hall 10.1 for the first time this year, was popular with exhibitors and visitors. The joint presentation means that all aspects of the public and private swimming pool sectors are now represented in Cologne at one platform and in clearly defined theme worlds. “FSB and aquanale are the highlight for the private and public swimming pool sectors every two years,” said Dieter C. Rangol, Managing Director of the Federal Association for Swimming Pools & Wellness.
The 5th Cologne Swimming Pool and Wellness Forum served as the link between the private and public swimming pool sectors. The forum’s more than 300 participants spent the four trade fair days discussing current sector topics such as technology, energy efficiency, Web 2.0 and hotel swimming pools. Swimming pool architecture was especially highlighted at the PlanerFORUM for pool construction. It was part of the forum, which was jointly organized and staged by the IAKS and the Federal Association for Swimming Pools & Wellness.
A central theme at FSB: synthetic turf
The synthetic turf sector was fully represented in Cologne in October 2013 and, fittingly, Hall 11.3 was basically turned into an artificial turf hall during FSB. Exhibitors here included the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO) and its members, as well as FIFA. Along with the manufacturers’ displays, the Forum on Synthetic Turf and Outdoor Sports and Leisure Facilities once again featured a related supporting programme for trade visitors this year.
Well-frequented specialist events and lots of sports in the halls
Numerous specialist events for various target groups rounded out the FSB programme. STADTundRAUM, an FSB partner, provided a special focus on the theme of urban and amenity area planning. The STADTundRAUM thematic area also was presented for the first time in Hall 2.2. The area was laid out in an extraordinary manner, and special topics and workshops were thematically integrated into the stand concept. The trend topics at this year’s FSB were Urban Gardening and Outdoor Fitness. Several events were also held during FSB 2013. These included the presentation of the SPIELRAUM Award 2013 (German Playground Award) and the Inspired by History special show, which was staged jointly with the European Waterpark Association. As always, trade fair activities were accompanied by lots of sports, including football and basketball games, ice skating and an outdoor fitness course.
FSB 2013 in figures:
FSB 2013 was attended by 622 (2011: 630) companies from 44 (45) countries on a gross exhibition space of 67,000 m² (62,000). Of these participants, 224 (212) companies were from Germany, while 398 (418) came from abroad. A total of 64 per cent of the exhibitors were from abroad. The trade fair duo FSB and aquanale was attended by approximately 25,000 (24,000) trade fair visitors from 115 countries. The proportion of visitors from abroad was 56 per cent.*
* All figures have been calculated in accordance with the guidelines of the Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics (FKM) and are subject to an audit by a certified auditor (www.fkm.de).
Additional exhibitor comments on FSB 2013:
Dr. Klaus Batz, Managing Director of the European Waterpark Association (EWA):
“The trade fair, which we have been connected with through many years of cooperation, was definitely worth participating in. We established many new contacts here. Trade fairs are always a key meeting place for international associations such as the EWA. The combination of aquanale and FSB in the swimming pool segment is particularly attractive to our members, because approximately 90 per cent of them attend both trade fairs in Cologne.”
STADTundRAUM Managing Director Rolf von der Horst:
This year as well, we had good discussions between specialist planners, trade visitors and exhibitors. The PlanerFORUM attracted a lot of people. Moreover, the expansion of the Amenity Areas and Playgrounds section to cover two halls resulted in very successful hall designs and a comfortable setup among exhibitors and visitors. The highly international nature of the trade fair was also a big plus.”
Ulrich Scheffler, Managing Director of Lappset:
“We were pleased by the course of the fair. It started out a little quietly, but the pace really picked up on the second and third days. There was a very large number of international visitors, and people were very interested in the products on display. Visitors also really liked the special areas here in Hall 2.2.”
Horst Huber, Managing Director of Hinke Schwimmbad:
“The trade fair visit is outstanding and the visitors come from all over the world. You won’t find anything of this scope at other trade fairs.”
Karl Meyer, Chief Sales Officer at CONICA:
“The first day of FSB was sluggish, but our stand began receiving a lot of visitors on Wednesday. The fair once again succeeded this year as a platform for maintaining contacts. We were able to welcome many of our customers. The atmosphere in the trade fair halls was generally good, and we had a positive overall impression of this year’s event.”
The next FSB will take place from 27 to 30 October 2015 in Cologne.