FIBO, The Leading International Trade Show for Fitness, Wellness and Health
An indoor climbing station is exhibited at international fitness trade show FIBO. More outdoor sports are moving indoors at luxury gyms, according to the expo’s director.
Once considered something of a niche hobby, gym-based fitness training has steadily risen in popularity over the past few decades, reflecting increasing concerns over health and well-being and a desire for more flexibility than team sports can provide. How are these changing attitudes towards fitness reflected in consumers’ expectations, particularly in the high-end segment?
According to Ralph Scholz – Event Director at FIBO, the international trade fair in Cologne dedicated to fitness, wellness and health – we can expect to see more individuality and accessibility in the fitness market of the future.
Working out anytime, anywhere: In a society where time is often seen as the ultimate luxury, an increasing number of fitness buffs want to work out on their own schedule, Scholz explains.
“Fitness training, as opposed to some team sports, can be performed in an extremely flexible way – 7 days a week, often 24 hours a day,” he adds.
Whether the goal is fat loss, a boost in muscle mass or improved flexibility, gym customers are interested in quantifying their performance to ensure optimal results in minimal time. As a result, luxury in the fitness world is largely based on accessory services that facilitate or enhance the experience or results of the physical activity. In the near future, Scholz predicts, “the focus will shift toward services, which includes integrating apps into [fitness] systems.”
The FIBO spokesperson also predicts that the boundaries between indoor and outdoor sports will become blurred. “We expect the trend toward outdoor fitness devices to gain steam, while classic outdoor sports will shift to the indoors,” he notes, citing the sport of climbing as an example. Once, fans of the sport had to head to the mountains; now they can enjoy the sport in indoor climbing parks or on the climbing walls found in many large gyms.
“At last year’s FIBO,” says Scholz, “a climbing wall was presented that moves like a treadmill and requires a height of only four meters, which means it can be incorporated into any regular gym.”
Personal trainers more relevant than ever: Applications (mobile and otherwise) already offer some of the same services available in the past only through a personal trainer, such as customized workout plans that evolve as your performance improves.
Nonetheless, Scholz expects personal trainers to play an even more important role in the sports and fitness sector in the future, citing a demand from amateur fitness enthusiasts for individual support and, perhaps more importantly, motivation. In light of the growing variety of activities offered in fitness centers, he notes that “it’s possible – and probably even necessary – for personal trainers to develop into fitness guides. Choosing from a great number of options, they create the right workout mix for trainees and then support them based on that plan.”
The future of fitness: In the fitness and wellness sector just as in the rest of our society, technology is continuously reshaping the market and opening up new possibilities. And since luxury is defined in part by exclusivity, the latest never-before-seen devices and services are bound to attract the attention of the affluent.
“Thanks to FIBO, we know that every year there are innovations with the potential of completely changing the perspective of the market. Virtual training, fitness tracking, devices with Wi-Fi and LAN connectivity, and cloud services are some of those innovations. Web-based and customized training, individual training plan management and analysis – retrievable anywhere, anytime – are hot topics in the sector right now. Progress in this area keeps moving forward all the time. A peak has definitely not been reached yet in this intrinsically innovation-driven industry,” Scholz said.