Another week, another international fitness convention.
Last week Sue and Nicki headed off to FIBO to catch up with clients and media and find out what’s new in the world of fitness. Here are the highlights from their 24 hours in Cologne…
Networking began early with dozens of people from the UK fitness industry on the 7am flight from Gatwick. We’re still trying to work out how Sophie McKimm from LIW managed to look so amazing that early in the morning!
Having queued with massive crowds waiting for the show to open, we first headed to the ‘Power Hall’. The bodybuilder industry is clearly alive and well in Germany – the huge hall was packed with exhibitors selling supplements and some of the bodies on display were truly extraordinary.
Then it was off to the Functional Hall where we were greeted by the energy of the Escape stand – and a personal welcome from the master of Escape ceremonies – Mr Steve Barrett.
The crowds had gathered around the large Escape stand and there was lots of interest in the new products being demonstrated.
One of our favourite new products on display was the Slack Nut – a German product not yet being distributed in the UK yet (but now doubt that will change after so many people saw it at FIBO!)
The TRX stand was really busy and though we didn’t get to see Pete Holman in action, it was lovely to catch up with Matt Gleed – now head of sales and education in the UK.
Without doubt the busiest stand of the entire show was Life Fitness – hardly surprising as they had FIVE new products on display (and some fabulous coffee and chocolate too!)
Our favourite was the new FlexStrider which we both loved playing on (although Sue’s looking a little serious in this shot!)
Other halls visited included Passion where the huge active stage hosted very loud performances from the likes of Bokwa, Zumba and Piloxing.
(We even managed to squeeze in a little retail therapy too.)
After 7 hours walking the show we were very happy to head back for some early drinks at the lovely Hyatt hotel with clients Rich Millard (Places for People Leisure) and Nigel Wallace (Lifetime Training).
The arrival of Mr Incredible, aka Professional Bodybuilder Andy Haman, made for a very entertaining hour as these pictures show!
With such excitement, there wasn’t even time for Sue’s planned ‘nap’ before we headed off to the ukactive reception and dinner – where over 90 guests had taken over a lovely restaurant in central Cologne.
Nicki finished the evening by heading to the Matrix Party where Jon Johnston was on stage as resident DJ!
All in all it was a very productive 24 hours in Germany and although the show comes a bit too ‘hot on the heels’ of IHRSA for many, it was a great opportunity to see new kit for those of us that hadn’t made the trip to California last month.
Despite the issues many UK delegates faced with industrial action from Lufthansa pilots which affected lots of flights, it’s certainly possible to have a very worthwhile (if slightly exhausting) trip in just one day.
It was good to see ukactive’s increased presence at the event and the evening dinner was a huge success. FIBO’s recent move to Cologne, with the big airy Convention Halls, also made it a more enjoyable show to visit and we’re pretty sure that it will continue to grow in the years ahead. It’s definitely back in our diary for 2015.