Fitness, health and wellness industry stakeholders converged at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg this week for the FIBO Business Summit Africa, brought to South Africa for the first time by Reed Exhibitions.


The launch event, staged in partnership with EuropeActive and FIBO Deutschland, is aligned with FIBO international, the world’s leading international event for fitness, wellness and health.


Eight leading international fitness and health experts and two local experts presented over two days on the trends and topical issues around the fast-growing business of fitness, health and wellness; covering subjects such as fitness trends and opportunities for Africa, building a successful fitness business, engaging the younger generation and the future of personal training.


Among the themes to emerge at the event were the changing face of fitness, with Kristian Gotsch, Client Services Director EMEA, at sports marketing agency InsideTwoCircles, noting that the traditional fitness centre will have to undergo dramatic change. “Data gives fitness centres unique possibilities to build long-term relationships with their members,” he said.


In addition, leading industry suppliers showcased the latest equipment, products and technology; and several free workshops and demonstrations were open to the industry.


Reed Exhibitions MD Carol Weaving reports that the inaugural event hit the mark in terms of content and focus, and says plans are underway to expand the summit and expo in 2018 with an enhanced consumer component. “We are very pleased with the launch of the summit and response from delegates, exhibitors and visitors. The international speakers delivered great content that is particularly relevant to the South African market and going forward we look forward to working with the industry and growing relationships. In 2018 we will be adding a consumer element to the show with sports experiences and a dedicated trade day,” she says.


International speaker, conference advisor and EuropeActive Board member Herman Rutgers says: “I hope that this event will help in further professionalising and growing the SA fitness market. We estimate that fitness participation and membership in South Africa is approximately 3%, and this can only grow. Membership in the USA is around 18% and in Europe around 10%, giving a good indication of what the market could potentially grow to.  In addition to this, with a growing middle class and offerings at various price points, there will be big growth in the market and FIBO Africa will be an essential part of that by bringing skills to the market.” Herman Rutgers is also known as a co-author of the annual European Health & Fitness Market Report with Deloitte, and his contribution to several books on the fitness industry.


Trade delegate Fiddy Gey Van Pittius of Virgin Active described the inaugural event as a great initiative for the South African and African industry: “The subject matter was very relevant and it has been interesting to see the parallels with the European market. The content was ideal for both small and large businesses within the industry with something for everyone to learn.  We look forward to seeing it back in 2018.” 


Simphiwe Mazibuko of Ejimini Lifestyle and Wellness Centre, added: “The speakers at the summit were world class and the knowledge they imparted over the two days made the event well worth it. We have been feeling a bit negative with the current economy and we took away great information from FIBO to apply to our business. It was also very encouraging to hear that our industry is growing and the market has great potential. It was particularly interesting that the fundamentals of the industry and the challenges the European and US markets face are the same for us, especially when looking at retention.”


Speaker Johann Strauss, National Head of Operations at Virgin Active Red, commented: “It has been great to see a variety of suppliers and products at the show. The platform is ideal for looking for partnerships and brands and engagement in a growing industry.”


Origin Fitness, who were among the exhibitors at the show, said: “For an initial show we have found it a success and we feel that the organisers have done a good job in attracting the right target market. It is a great start, small and comfortable. We have had great conversations and are very happy with the foot fall.”


FIBO 2018 will be staged at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding from 27 – 30 September, 2018.

About EuropeActive


EuropeActive, formerly known as the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA), with its origins in 1996 it continues today as operates as a non-profit organisation and the unique voice addressing key European institutions on behalf of the European health and fitness sector. Its mission is not just to turn back the tide of inactivity but to ensure that more people get more active more often as a result of an effective synergy between all the sector’s actors.


EuropeActive represents more than 25,000 fitness centres, 21 national associations, together with market-leading suppliers, education providers and individuals.


For further information visit or


or contact;


Nathalie Smeeman, Executive Director

About Reed Exhibitions


Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 30 countries and serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries. In South Africa, the group owns major exhibition titles such as Africa Travel Week – International Luxury Travel Market Africa; Incentives, Business Travel & Meetings Africa and World Travel Market Africa, Africa Automation Fair, #Buy a Business Expo, Decorex Joburg, Cape Town and Durban, 100% Design South Africa, Mediatech Africa, Small Business Expo, Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, International Sourcing Fair, Value Added Agriculture in West and East Africa, Pollution and Waste Technology Africa and FIBO. We also offer strategic venue management solutions – managing the award-winning Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.



For more information contact Jayne Harley | | 011 549 8300

Nov 10, 2017 By admin