Over 130 participants from nine European countries at 16th IAKS Management Conference on Artificial Ice Rinks

Attracting international speakers and participants, the 16th IAKS Management Conference on Artificial Ice Rinks took place in the EnergieVerbund Arena in Dresden from 10 to 12 May 2016

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Over 130 participants from 9 European countries came to this gathering of the European artificial ice rink industry in Saxony’s capital city. Simultaneous interpreting into English was available for the first time. With three ice rinks and a triple-court ball games hall, the EnergieVerbund Arena ranks among the biggest sports facilities in Saxony.

During the three-day conference, numerous renowned and experienced speakers supplied information for decision-makers on the design and operation of ice rinks. Jessica Korber of the International Paralympic Committee reported on the sport of sledge ice hockey and the associated structural requirements at ice rinks.

Manu Varho from the Sport Institute of Finland, Peter Lautenschlager, Donau Arena Regensburg, and chairman Klaus Meinel, IAKS Secretary General, shared their knowledge with participants during the international panel discussion on “Trends in ice sports, challenges for operators”.

In bright sunshine on the evening of the first day of the conference, participants were given an interesting guided tour of Dresden’s world-famous Old Town, before getting together in the “Italienisches Dörfchen” restaurent. Mayor Dr Peter Lames took the opportunity to welcome the guests personally.


The second day of the event started with the General Meeting of the Association of German Ice Makers. After this, Hall Manager Steffen Baronick explained the operating and marketing strategy as well as the use of social media at the EnergieVerbund Arena in Dresden. Participants then had the chance to inspect this unusual sports facility in small groups.

Dieter Matz, chairman of VDEM (Association of German Ice Makers), reported on the thoroughly positive experience with the certified training for Examined Technicians for Ice Sports Facilities introduced in 2013. What will be the fifth course is starting at the Chamber of Crafts in Cologne on 8 May 2017.

The new Industrial Safety Ordinance / TRAS 110 was the subject of Matthias Just, Managing Director of GfKK.

“New ice hockey boards – flexible ice hockey boards?” was the question posed and answered by Pius Frey, owner of Frey + Partner – which gave rise to a good deal of discussion.

Torsten Onasch of OSRAM and Ingo Pauly of LIP-Technik explained the current state of technology regarding LED lighting in ice halls and clearly highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of different lighting technologies.

A highlight of the conference was undoubtedly the presentation of the 2016 DEL 2 Event Games with the subsequent tour of the DDV Stadium in Dresden. René Rudorisch, Managing Director of ESBG Eishockeyspielbetriebsgesellschaft mbH, and Eva Wagner of Eislöwen Dresden reported on this year’s winter derby in the football stadium.

On the third and last day of the event, Uwe Deyle of the eponymous firm of architects in Stuttgart explained how to achieve energy efficiency in ice halls to participants.

Modernising playing surfaces with special concrete was the subject of Ernst-Hartwig Steege. The firm of experts STEEGE & BETON based in Bergheim specialises in expert opinions on concrete and concrete refurbishment.

Thomas Mölle of AIM München Vertriebs GmbH spoke about lithium batteries for ice making machines and about new HF (high-frequency) charging technology and its effect on battery technology and profitability.

The management conference culminated in a look ahead to the first winter sports hall in Oman. Alex Lokhorst of Unlimited Snow gave a graphic presentation of this project scheduled for completion in 2017.

In an accompanying product exhibition, a total 17 companies from the sector presented themselves and their products.

The IAKS wishes to thank everyone involved for a successful conference and looks forward to seeing everyone hopefully again next year at the 20th IAKS Ice Maker Training Session. It is taking place in the Continental Arena in Regensburg from 25 to 27 April 2017.