FIBO-Cologne-2015-g-Marc Pfitzenreuter-770.jpg Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images Plus.
FIBO, the largest fitness trade show in Europe, is being rescheduled from April to the second half of the year due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. More than 145,000 people typically attend the event, which is pictured here in 2015.

Coronavirus Concerns Lead to Postponement of FIBO in Cologne

Reed Exhibitions, which owns FIBO, decided to postpone the event from April to the second half of the year.

[Update on March 5, 2020: FIBO has announced the new dates for its event will be Oct. 1-4 in Cologne, Germany.]

FIBO, which was scheduled to be held April 2-5 in Cologne, Germany, has been postponed to an undetermined date in the second half of 2020, according to an announcement from Reed Exhibitions, which owns and operates the event.

The postponement is due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

FIBO is an annual health and fitness event in Cologne that attracts more than 1,000 exhibitors and 145,000 visitors from 135 countries, according to Reed Exhibitions.  

Prior to the postponement, both Life Fitness and Precor had announced they had withdrawn from exhibiting at the event.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly,” Silke Frank, portfolio director of FIBO Global Fitness Events, said in the announcement. “Our customers, partners and the FIBO team worked incredibly hard on this event. While it is disappointing to postpone, it is imperative that we prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved. Our goal remains to provide the best customer value for everyone attending FIBO.”

A decision on a rescheduled date will occur in the coming weeks after consulting with Cologne Messe on available dates in the second half of the year.

As of Feb. 28, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is 84,124, according to a coronavirus tracking site from Johns Hopkins. Forty-eight of those cases are in Germany. More than 2,800 people have died of the virus, mostly in Asian countries although 21 deaths have been reported in Italy, two in France and 34 in Iran. None of the deaths occurred in Germany. More than 36,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

The number of reported cases of the coronavirus in the United States is 62, as of Feb. 28, according to Johns Hopkins. No deaths have occurred from the virus in the country to date. Seven people have recovered from the coronavirus in the United States so far.

The IHRSA conference and trade show is being held in San Diego on March 18-21. An IHRSA spokesperson told Club Industry that a handful of exhibitors based in China have cancelled due to travel restrictions. IHRSA posted a statement on its website about precautions that are being taken.

In part, the statement reads:

“IHRSA is carefully monitoring developments related to coronavirus and will adhere to any policies put forth by the United States federal government. IHRSA is, therefore, following the Presidential Proclamation on travel restrictions. IHRSA will not be implementing any further restrictions beyond the Presidential Proclamation.

“In late January, IHRSA posted this article, ‘What Your Club Needs to Know About the New Coronavirus’. It has since been updated six times and will be updated as needed.

“IHRSA is committed to the health and safety of all IHRSA 2020 attendees and is in close contact with event venues. The San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) is providing plentiful hand sanitizing stations, ongoing training for SDCC staff, and has increased measures to prevent respiratory infections (like colds, flu, or coronavirus) including increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and handrails. They have also posted signage to remind attendees of these common precautions.”

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