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09 Oct 2020
Ralph Scholz announces new European B2B trade show – FitnessConnected
By Tom Walker
Ralph Scholz announces new European B2B trade show – FitnessConnected
The new FitnessConnected event s set to take place in November 2021
Photo: Shutterstock.com/Lebedev Roman Olegovich
A new fitness industry event is looking to challenge the likes of FIBO with a trade show targeting the European fitness market at the end of next year.

Set to take place in Munich, from 18 to 20 November 2021, FitnessConnected will be a pure B2B event and will look to bring together all the elements of physical activity – from sports and fitness to health care and the care sector – across both the public and private sectors.

The event is being driven by Ralph Scholz, chair of German fitness trade body, Deutscher Industrieverband für Fitness und Gesundheit (DIFG) and former CEO of Mirai, McFit's "mega club" concept (• To read an interview with Scholz, in which he explains the Mirai concept, click here for HCM July 2018). Scholz is also a former event director of trade show FIBO.

"FitnessConnected will be more than just a 'new trade fair'," Scholz said.

"It's a sales and marketing oriented eco-system, which has set itself the task of positioning the fitness industry as health- and socially-relevant, helping innovations to break through more quickly and opening up new target markets.

"At the same time, FitnessConnected is an innovative platform that creates the interfaces to the sports segment, the health system, the municipal sector and the care sector and develops cross-divisional solutions."

The primary geographical markets the event will target include Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Scandinavia and Southern Europe.

Scholz adds that the cross-divisional concept will address new buyer target groups for the first time.

"As a pure B2B trade fair, FitnessConnected redefines the self-image of the fitness industry, its opportunities and tasks," he said.

FitnessConnected also looks to utilise its links to the ISPO network, with additional "touchpoints" at both ISPO Munich 2021, which takes place from January 31 to February 3, 2021, and OutDoor by ISPO, the international sports and outdoor industry event which is held in Munich from June 20 to 23, 2021.

"Exhibitors who participate in two of the ISPO events or even in all three trade fairs benefit from significant combination discounts", Scholz said.

The event sees Cologne Messe pitted against Munich Messa and ISPO going head to head with FIBO and with timings of all industry events cricial for 2021 as the uncertaintly around the pandemic make scheduling challenging.

In terms of tactics, it's likely the choice of end 2021 for launch has been chosen in the hope the pandemic will be under control by this time, while competitor events will be weakened by the current business disruption.

Scholz originally envisioned the Mirai as a year-round industry exhibition, so the move to launch FitnessConnected is thought to be an evolution of this concept and a bid to tap in to this market.




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