28.–31.10.2025 #fsb

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Convincing performance

FSB 2019 underscores the event’s unique profile as the global industry gathering

Significant increase in visitors, even more international, "Largest artificial turf trade fair in the world", strong congress programme - on November 8, 2019, FSB 2019 ended after four days in Cologne and impressively confirmed its unique position as the global industry meeting place for open space, sports and exercise facilities with a convincing performance.

Final report FSB 2019 - visitor group
FSB has raised its already exceptionally high level considerably once again. By following a future-oriented concept and covering the latest major issues, it has succeeded in attracting even more industry experts to Cologne. It is a clear statement confirming that the event is the most internationally important communication and business platform.

Matthias Pollmann
Vice President of Koelnmesse

In a new development, FSB’s co-located event – aquanale – International Trade Fair for Sauna.Pool.Ambience. – hosted exhibitors from the public pool sector for the first time. Nearly 28,000 visitors from 128 countries saw for themselves the exceptional capacity for innovation of the 565 exhibiting companies from 43 countries.

IAKS is very satisfied

IAKS, the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities, which acts as FSB’s conceptual sponsor, was also very satisfied with the trade fair’s performance.

The huge diversity of information at the IAKS Congress and FSB Cologne make them the place to be for experts and decision makers from the international sports and leisure facilities industry.

Dr Stefan Kannewischer
President of IAKS

IAKS Congress very successful

Against this backdrop, the IAKS Congress was an immense success. Taking “Facilitating an active world” as its central theme this year, the congress focused on global trends and presented pioneering projects in the areas of sports and leisure facilities, pools, amenity areas and urban design. Over the four days of the congress, 41 international experts from nine countries presented architectural and operational solutions for athletic peak performance, health consciousness and an active lifestyle. Around 470 participants from 36 countries listened to lectures on subjects such as attractive exercise spaces, sustainability, financing models and economic benefits.

Positive conclusion of DOSB

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) also gave the event a very positive verdict. The numerous visitors at the DOSB’s trade fair stand were able to learn about a wide spectrum of issues relating to sports facilities, environmental and climate protection, and urban development. Well over 100 listeners followed an intense debate on the topical issue of microplastics at the open forum on sustainable artificial turf pitches. The members of the panel agreed that artificial turf pitches are a crucial element of the sports facilities landscape. However, greater efforts are needed on the part of all sector actors to make artificial turf systems more sustainable in future and to ensure sufficient capacity for proper recycling. At another event for industry professionals, key protagonists in the field of sports facilities planning exchanged ideas on the future of sports facilities and spaces for sports in Germany. Representatives from sports organisations, local authorities, planning departments and research formulated demands that must be put to politicians in order to ensure suitable sports opportunities for participants in sports.

FSB and aquanale record significant growth in visitor numbers

The trade fair duo of FSB and aquanale recorded a significant increase in visitor numbers (+6 per cent), with this year’s figure up to 28,000. The events also saw a significant increase in terms of the internationality of the trade visitors, with the proportion of visitors from outside Germany rising to 67 per cent (2017: 62 per cent). The trade fairs recorded especially significant rates of increase in trade fair guests from Belgium (+22 per cent), Italy (+19 per cent) and the UK (+16 per cent). A rise of 37 per cent was recorded from eastern Europe. Growth from outside Europe came in particular from Central and South America (+46 per cent) and Asia (+17 per cent).

World's largest "artificial turf trade fair"

All of the market-leading companies from Germany and abroad presented their offerings at FSB 2019. A striking feature of the event was the nearly complete presence of national and international artificial turf suppliers, who turn Cologne into the world’s largest “artificial turf trade fair”. Exhibitors especially praised the strong international interest and the quality of the visitors. This assessment is confirmed by the initial results of the visitor survey: These figures show that 87 per cent of visitors have a direct or advisory role in purchasing decisions. The visitors also had high praise for the event. Overall, around 78 per cent said that they were satisfied with their trade fair visit. Moreover, 80 per cent reported that they had achieved their objectives at FSB in Cologne. The broad portfolio of products ensured that more than 77 per cent rated the exhibition offering as good or very good.

Awarding of international architecture prizes

The IOC, the IPC and IAKS also presented their prestigious international architecture prizes once again this year. On the evening of the first day of the trade fair, exemplary sports and leisure facilities were recognised with the IOC IAKS Award 2019 and the IPC IAKS Special Prize for Barrier-free Accessibility. The IOC, the IPC and IAKS also conferred the Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals. All 25 award-winning works in this year’s IOC IPC IAKS Architecture Prizes were showcased in a special event at the IAKS trade fair stand.

Strong forum and congress programme

An excellent discussion round on the first day of the event examined the opportunities for exercise spaces in Germany with contributions from political representatives, clubs and associations, and centre operators. Although the debate proved to be highly controversial, all the participants agreed that activity tailored to the individual can only be fostered by all decision makers working together and involving all political levels in all stages as the fundamental prerequisite for the timely and sustainable development of amenity areas and exercise spaces. At the same time, discussion participants agreed that the firm presence of organised sports in clubs and associations is an essential and ultimately crucial channel for integration. Alongside Andreas Silbersack, Vice President Sport for All and Sports Development at the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), the participants in the discussion were: Dr Stefan Kannewischer, President of the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS e.V.), Beate Wagner-Hauthal, Managing Director of ParkSportInsel e.V., Uwe Lübking, Deputy in the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB), and Bernhard Schwank, Head of the Sport and Volunteering Department in the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia.

In light of the considerable numbers of exhibitors in the artificial turf segment participating in the event, FSB introduced the RECYCLING Forum for the first time. Highlighting the issue of sustainability, the forum focused on the life-cycle perspective of artificial surfaces as part of a special event. The central issue for the forum was recycling artificial surfaces (artificial turfs, fall protection, running tracks), which will pose a growing challenge for local authorities, associations and clubs in coming years.

FSB 2019 in figures

565 companies* from 43 countries took part in FSB 2019 across a gross exhibition space covering 60,600 m². These included 105 exhibitors from Germany and 460 exhibitors from abroad. Foreign exhibitors represented 81 per cent of the total. Around 28,000 trade visitors from 128 countries attended the co-located events aquanale and FSB. International visitors accounted for 67 per cent.

*Exhibitors from the public pool sector who previously appeared at FSB are now hosted by aquanale.

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