IAKS Congress a think tank for the worldwide sport and leisure industry
To mark its 40th anniversary the IAKS Congress from 28th to 30th October 2009 once again lived up to its reputation as the worldwide think tank for the sport and leisure industry. Around 550 guests and delegations from more than 40 countries seized the opportunity to inform themselves about the latest trends. In addition to guests from Russia, Poland and the Ukraine, among others the event also welcomed participants from the USA and Canada, Chile, Brazil and Venezuela as well as from Israel, Gambia, Malaysia and New Zealand. IAKS President Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner summed up the key features of the event: “Networking was the core element of this year's Congress. Be it on themes such as barrier-free facilities, demographic change, application of technology, major sporting events or stadium infrastructures – once again this year the IAKS Congress offered excellent possibilities for the exchange of information between experts and decision-makers from all over the world.”
That was also confirmed by the presence and active involvement of many top-ranking representatives from leading international institutions such as for example Dr. Thomas Bach, Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee, Professor Walther Tröger, Chairman of the IOC “Sport for All” Commission, Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, and Dr. Michael Vesper, Director General of the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB).
IOC/IAKS Award 2009 and IPC/IAKS Distinction
PM Award 2009 10 29On the evening of the first day of the fair exemplary sports and leisure facilities already in use were presented with the IOC/IAKS Award 2009 and IPC/IAKS Distinction. The delighted winner of the competition was China with two gold, two silver and a bronze medal as well as two IPC/IAKS Distinctions. In this connection the Olympic Stadium in Beijing known as the “bird's nest” not only won the gold medal in the stadiums category but also the IPC/IAKS Distinction for barrier-free facilities. All 28 prize-winning entries for the IOC/IAKS Award for exemplary sports and leisure facilities along with the 10 IPC/IAKS Distinctions for barrier-free sports facilities were presented in a special show on the IAKS trade fair stand.
Top results for FSB 2009
After three days, FSB, International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities, closed in Cologne on Friday, 30th October 2009 as a very successful event. With 573 exhibiting companies from 41 countries and gross exhibition space of 62,000 square metres, the event set a new record to mark its 40th anniversary. In the process, it registered an increase in exhibitors of 16 percent and growth in exhibition space of 24 percent compared to the previous fair. Held in combination with aquanale, International Trade Fair for Sauna, Pool, Ambience, FSB attracted a total of around 24,000 visitors. 61 percent of suppliers and 53 percent of visitors came to Cologne from abroad. “The clear increase in the number of exhibitors and exhibition space, the very good visitor figures, the strong internationality and not least the high visitor quality clearly underline the position of FSB as the leading international trade fair for the amenity areas, sports and pool facilities sectors”, said Oliver P. Kuhrt, Executive Vice-President Koelnmesse.
The outstanding response also delighted the organizers of the 21st IAKS Congress, within the framework of which global trends in sports facility construction were discussed and exceptional projects presented. The highlight was the presentation of the IOC/IAKS Award and the IPC/IAKS Distinction. Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, President of the IAKS, summed up the event: “The IAKS Congress and associated specialist conferences at this year’s FSB attracted a total of around 1,350 participants from over 40 countries. As a result, once again this year the leading role of FSB and the IAKS Congress as business, contact and communication platforms for the international sports facility and leisure industry was impressively confirmed.”
3rd Cologne Swimming Pool and Wellness Forum
In terms of contents both events were also linked by the 3rd Cologne Swimming Pool and Wellness Forum. As a recognized trend and contact exchange for the swimming pool, sauna and wellness industry, the event was very well frequented and registered a record number of visitors. “We welcomed over 300 participants, among others from Italy, France, Romania, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary and even Malaysia”, said Dieter C. Rangol, Executive Director, Federal Association of Swimming Pools and Wellness (Bundesverband Schwimmbad und Wellness - bsw), summing up the event. “That shows that in just a few years, thanks to highly topical themes and top-ranking experts, we have succeeded in creating a forum of international significance.” The forum, which was organized by the bsw, IAKS and BSB (Federal Association for Sauna Construction, Infra-red and Steam Baths / (Bundesfachverband Saunabau, Infrarot- und Dampfbad) in collaboration with Koelnmesse, this year focussed the key themes “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability” and “Safety and Technology”. A third complex concerned itself with the special theme “40 Years of Stainless Steel Pools”. In particular the explanations on the new European safety norm EN 15288 met with great interest, as the participants had the opportunity to discuss the standard, which defines new safety requirements for the planning and operation of public-access swimming pools, with its creators.
World's largest synthetic turf exhibition
In the sports facility section the theme of synthetic turf played a key role, because the world's largest synthetic turf exhibition was held within FSB. “We are very satisfied with business at the fair”, said Albert Prisse, Secretary-General of the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO). “We not only had a very large number, but also very interesting international contacts. In particular the concept of the ESTO members’ joint, spacious presentation in Hall 11.3 clearly proved itself.” The premiere of the Synthetic Turf Forum organized by ESTO and the IAKS was a complete success: In 19 sessions and the IAKS special conference entitled “Municipalities and Sport”, sector experts from FIFA, the Synthetic Turf Council, the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) along with representatives from the sector’s leading players presented and discussed the requirements, latest trends and best-Practice examples covering all aspects of the synthetic turf theme in front of an audience of around 500 visitors.