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Co-located events on top form again

Final report for aquanale and FSB 2023

Successful trade fairs highlighted sustainability

After four days, the co-located events aquanale and FSB drew to a successful close on Friday, 27 October 2023. The two leading International Trade Fairs for Swimming Pools and Wellness and for Public Space, Sports and Leisure Facilities attracted an audience of around 25,000 trade visitors from 123 countries to Cologne. In total, 824 exhibitors from 45 countries presented pioneering products, technologies and concepts from 24 to 27 October. The trade fairs’ clear focus on sustainability caught the spirit of the times. The next editions of aquanale and FSB will be hosted in Cologne from 28 to 31 October 2025.

The excellent atmosphere in the trade fair halls was clear evidence of the tremendous response to the events, which was also reflected in the impressive figures. After a successful relaunch under challenging circumstances in 2021, this year, the trade fairs returned to the level of the strong results achieved in 2019. The co-located events attracted a total of 824 participating exhibitors from 45 countries.

We’re delighted that aquanale and FSB are able to build on the successes we achieved before the pandemic. Both trade fairs have impressively consolidated their leading positions as international industry platforms. At the same time, we’re proud to keep on driving the future development of these sectors forward as a crucial market partner. Issues such as sustainability, energy efficiency and resource conservation are a bigger concern for industry participants than ever before and need to be discussed as a matter of urgency. aquanale and FSB have a responsibility to provide a forum for this dialogue, and the co-located events have fulfilled this mission completely.

Oliver Frese
Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH

Trade fair duo returns to its pre-corona levels

Compared to the previous edition, the co-located events once again reported significant growth in their visitor numbers. Taking estimates for the last day of the trade fairs into account, around 25,000 visitors from 123 countries attended aquanale and FSB. This represents a rise in visitor numbers of 56 per cent compared to 2021, putting them on a par with the results achieved in 2019. Both events also strengthened the international profile of their trade audience, with visitors from outside Germany accounting for approximately 60 per cent. Alongside Germany, the countries with the highest numbers of visitors were the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

aquanale forges new paths in the construction of swimming pool and wellness facilities

As it marked its 20th edition, aquanale once again attracted almost the entire line-up of the German and international market leaders. Around 272 exhibitors from 31 countries presented new products and designs for constructing modern, sustainable and innovative swimming pool and wellness facilities. From energy efficiency and water management to digitalisation and the shortage of skilled workers, the trade fair responded to the latest topics and trends, and impressed visitors with a diverse event programme.

The event’s partners from the industry and the retail sector were also very satisfied with the trade fair. Dietmar Rogg, President of the German Federal Association for Swimming Pools and Wellness (bsw), which serves as aquanale’s conceptual sponsor, emphasised this in his verdict on the trade fair: “Once again, aquanale was a complete success. This edition is yet further proof that, every two years, Cologne becomes the place to be for the industry and a forum with international appeal. It is the only event where the full spectrum of our capabilities as an industry is presented in a unique exhibition. We’re already looking forward to supporting aquanale again in 2025 with our expertise,” said Rogg.

Central to the programme was the 10th International Swimming Pool and Wellness Forum, at which issues such as sustainability, the new EU energy standard and the shortage of skilled workers were discussed. As part of the forum, aquanale’s partner country Switzerland also shared interesting insights into how it is tackling current challenges. The highlight of the first day of the trade fair was the presentation of the 2023 EUSA Awards. In cooperation with industry partner Sauna from Finland, visitors were able to learn about saunas and enjoy a first-hand introduction through workshops, tours and live sauna experiences.

FSB shines a light on sustainability in various ways

With 552 exhibitors from 42 countries, FSB offered a comprehensive overview of products from the public spaces, playground equipment, outdoor fitness, sports equipment, sports flooring and stadium infrastructure segments. This year’s edition took a holistic view of the issue of sustainability and shone a light on the topic from every angle – environmental, economic and social.

As in previous years, FSB 2023 set the course for a sustainable and successful future for the industry. The quality of the conversations and discussions was again at the usual high level. This dialogue between countries and continents makes the event the place to be for all decision makers in the international sports and leisure facilities industry.

Dr Stefan Kannewischer
President of the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS)

The IAKS Congress once again lived up to its reputation as the most important international forum for the planning, construction, financing and management of sports and leisure facilities. Around 500 people attended this 28th edition to learn about the latest trends and innovations. This year, the congress has adopted “Building resilient communities through sports and leisure facilities” as its motto. Further highlights of the wide-ranging event and congress programme included the 2nd German Sports Facilities Day, the plannerFORUM and SPORTNETZWERK.FSB. The IOC IPC IAKS Architecture Prizes were also awarded once again. On day three, the final event of the trade fair was the NEW LIFE Climate School Day, where participants came together to discuss climate protection and schools.

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The next FSB will take place from 28. to 31.10.2025

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