Final report: Top figures for FSB

The trade fair duo comprising of FSB and aquanale registered around 26,600 trade visitors – a high level of internationality, good visitor quality, exciting specialised congresses Pioneering, dynamic and the international leader – from 7th to 10th November this is how FSB, the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities presented itself. The 25th event convinced due to its very good attendance from Germany and particularly from abroad as well as with its excellent visitor quality. “The trade fair is the trend, contact and business forum for sports facilities, swimming pools, playground planning, amenity area and urban design! The number of visitors, level of internationality and visitor quality clearly underline this leading position,” explained Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, after four eventful trade fair days. aquanale – the International Trade Fair for Sauna.Pool.Ambience was staged in conjunction with FSB. Once again around 26.600 visitors convinced themselves of the innovative power of the 634 exhibiting companies from 45 countries.

In the scope of the award ceremony of the IOC/IAKS Award and the IPC/IAKS special prize, outstanding sports and leisure time facilities of the 21st Century were discussed and in total 22 outstanding sports facilities were awarded prizes. There were also satisfied looks on the faces of members of the IAKS, the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities, which is the industry sponsor of FSB: Dr. Stefan Kannewischer, President of the IAKS, summed up: “FSB and the IAKS congress have particularly proven that they are the most important business and communication hub and thus the idea and concept melting pot of the international sports facilities and leisure industry.” The exhibitors especially praised the high quality of the visitors and the service offers of Koelnmesse, which contributed towards them achieving their trade fair goals. According to an initial visitor survey, 82 % of the visitors were satisfied with FSB, over 95 % would recommend the event to a colleague.

In his opening speech at the 25th IAKS Congress, Stefan presented the worldwide trends for the future of sports and leisure facilities that have been identified by IAKS. These include the increasing significance of the multi-functionality of places of exercise for lifestyle activities, a stronger focus on universal design suitable for the disabled in line with the ageing society and the obligation towards sustainable construction for the achievement of climate protection goals.

“We won’t encourage inactive people to exercise more using classic sports offers, but instead via ‘gentle’ starter offers. The sports and leisure infrastructure has to tread new paths,” demanded Stefan The IAKS Congress once again did justice to its reputation as the worldwide trendsetter of the sports and leisure industry. Over 400 guests and delegations from 39 countries took advantage of the opportunity to inform themselves about the current trends at the IAKS Congress. Whether on thematically complex tasks required of municipalities to ensure that they position themselves as healthy living environments in the future or new approaches in the financing, execution and sustainable operation of sports and leisure facilities – the IAKS Congress also offered excellent opportunities for the international exchange of information between experts and decision-makers this year,” stated Klaus Meinel, General Secretary of the IAKS. On the evening of the first day of the trade fair exemplary sports and leisure facilities were distinguished with the IOC IAKS Award 2017 and the IPC IAKS special prize for barrier-free accessibility. In addition the IOC, IPC and IAKS conferred the “Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals”.

All 22 award-winning pieces of work of the IOC IPC IAKS architecture prizes were showcased in a special exhibition at IAKS’s exhibition stand. In conjunction with its long-standing partner STADT und RAUM Fairs and Media GmbH, FSB 2017 presented “People and spaces on the path to tomorrow”: this cooperation presents the planerFORUM as well as workshops, themes for the congress and a special event focused on current topics. In the course of FSB, Koelnmesse and STADT und RAUM Fairs & Media GmbH agreed that in future the trade fair brand STADT und RAUM will be managed under the aegis of Koelnmesse. “With this step we are strengthening the competence of FSB,” commented Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Office of Koelnmesse. Together with Rolf von der Horst, who will continue to support us in an advisory capacity, we will push FSB’s strategic and content-related further development of the themes amenity areas and exercise to the benefit of the exhibitors, amenity area planners and trade visitors.”

The SPORTNETZWERK.FSB, the cooperation agreement between Koelnmesse and Sportstättenrechner, met with an excellent response. The themes the infrastructure of stadiums and arenas were presented on exhibition space spanning 800 m2. These also include innovations from the section safety and admission control, a theme that was additionally discussed in the scope of a separate safety conference. The International Swimming Pool and Wellness Forum once again proved its high appeal as a trend, contact and business forum for the private and public swimming pool section. Organised by the industry sponsors of both fairs, bsw and IAKS, this year it focused on the key topics apprenticeships and continuing professional development, employee training, standardisation and safety aspects, build-operate- transfer models, thermal baths as a tool for developing tourism as well as on architecture, design and materiality.

“Particularly the public swimming pool industry has to become significantly more professional, last but not least also at management level. International experts showed interesting conceptual ideas here,” stated Stefan, President of the IAKS. The special event entitled “Materiality – Immateriality” staged by Koelnmesse in cooperation with the European Waterpark Association (EWA) was extremely popular. Examples of how public pools and sauna facilities can be transformed into real experience destinations for visitors by employing innovative materials were demonstrated. During FSB, the coveted EWA Awards were conferred once again to three leisure pools and thermal baths that are particularly innovative and quality-oriented with regards to the arrangement of their offers.

Exhibitor statements:

Friedemann Söll, Marketing Director & Product Manager, Polytan GmbH: “Polytan can look back on an extremely successful FSB 2017 with many national and international visitors. We have observed increased interest in high-quality sports surfaces for indoors and out. Polytan’s new developments in the field of artificial turf and running track systems, which offer the solutions for true sustainability and for intelligent sports surfaces attracted special attention.”

Johannes Meier, CEO of Eurotramp GmbH: “FSB 2017 was certainly worthwhile for us, particularly the visitors from abroad were excellent. Here, we were able to establish many new contacts. However, we did miss decision-makers from the domestic municipal section. I would also like to mention the outstanding cooperation and support offered by the Koelnmesse team. That is really unique. We will definitely be back in 2019.”

David Köhler, CEO, Berliner Seilfabrik GmbH & Co.:”We are very satisfied with the outcome of the trade fair. Especially the Wednesday and the Thursday were strong visitor days, with a particularly high number of international contacts. Our highlight was of course that we were able to set up our latest device Triitopia for the first time and present it to the international public. We also actually had potential customers from home and abroad – so FSB went superbly for us.”

Dr. Klaus Batz, CEO of the European Waterpark Association (EWA): “The trade fair, which we have maintained a long-standing cooperation with for years already, went superbly for us. We established many new contacts here. My personal highlight was most definitely our special event “Materiality – Immateriality”, which we organised jointly with Koelnmesse. Numerous architects and planners closely examined the exhibits presented there. We are already looking forward to the cooperation with Koelnmesse in 2019.”

Thomas Berfenfeldt, Director of International Business Division, Lappset Ltd.: “FSB 2017 was exactly the right trade fair for Lappset to present and celebrate the latest addition to our HALO product family, CUBIC. An above-average number of representatives from the international subsidiaries, distributors and cooperation partners didn’t spare any expenses or effort and travelled to Cologne to examine Lappset’s new products live. On top of that, a lot of visitors from the municipals or planning offices in Germany who also informed themselves about Lappset’s playground innovations.”

Hannes Schretter, Sales Director Germany, AST Eis- & Solartechnik GmbH: “We were primarily delighted about the high quality of the visitors. We held very good discussions with potential new customers and partners. It is, however, also always nice to meet up with existing customers, colleagues and friends at FSB. The response to my lecture at the “Ice-rinks for Germany” event of the Germany Ice Hockey Association and the subsequent exchange was personally particularly exciting for me. This all contributed towards a really good trade fair week in Cologne.”

Theren Bullock, FIBA Equipment & Venue Centre Partnership Associate: “The FIBA Equipment & Sports Facilities Centre went down excellently again at FSB 2017. In this way, we can enable our partners to exhibit their equipment in the “FIBA Village” where one always treats us with great respect. This is why our appearance at FSB is a worthwhile investment. We look forward to being on board again in 2019!”

FSB 2017 in figures: 634 (567) companies from 45 (43) countries took part in FSB 2017 on an exhibition space covering 65,000 m2 (52,900 m2). These included 164 (152) exhibitors from Germany and 470 (415) exhibitors from abroad. The share of foreign exhibitors was 74 (73) %. Around 26,600 (26,600) trade visitors from 114 (117) countries came to the trade fair duo comprising of aquanale and FSB. The share of foreign visitors was 62 (58) %.

All figures have been calculated in accordance with the guidelines of the Society for Voluntary Control of Trade Fair and Exhibition Statistics (FKM) and are subject to audit by a certified auditor ( The next FSB is scheduled to run from 5th to 8th November 2019 in Cologne. For further information visit

Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and Design: Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the LivingKitchen China/CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the network of the interior decorating industry, Koelnmesse offers direct access to relevant products, contacts, competence and events.

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The next events taking place are; Imm cologne, Cologne, 15.-21.01.2018, ZOW, Bad Salzuflen, Germany,06.02.-08.02.2018 and Feria Mueble & Madera, Bogota, Columbia, 07.03.2018-10.03.2018.
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