March 9, 2020 - We have already reported about the cancellation of Ispo Beijing. Three other big international fairs, Fibo in Cologne, IWA Outdoor Classics in Nuremberg and Prowinter in Bolzano, announced a few days ago the postponement of their events. Two of them have now communicated their new dates. On the other hand, Sportair, the organizer of the French Sport Achat fair in Lyon, announced at the last minute on Sunday night the cancellation of its winter edition, only a few hours before it was set to start on Monday March 9.

Fibo, the international fitness show, has been rescheduled for Oct. 1-4. As usual, the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) will be held by EuropeActive one day earlier, on Sept. 30. Fibo was scheduled to take place on April 2-5 in Cologne, but it has been postponed because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Reed Exhibitions, the organizers of the event, said in a statement that the decision was not taken lightly, but health and safety had to be the priority. Fibo is the leading European trade fair for the fitness sector. The event attracts around 1,000 exhibitors and 145,000 visitors, including many consumers, from 135 countries every year. Life Fitness and other major exhibitors had previously said that they were not going to participate because of the epidemic. Life Fitness and Precor also said that they would not take part in the American IHRSA trade show in San Diego on March 18-21 for the same reason.

Reed’s announcement of Fibo’s postponement came after the news that IWA Outdoor Classics, the hunting and outdoor show in Nuremberg, will not take place as planned on March 6-9, and the cancellation of other shows in Europe and elsewhere around the world. The new dates for the IWA are Sept. 3 to 6. The organizer of the show, Messe Nürnberg, said it has decided to hold on to this timing in future years rather than mid-March like in the past.

Big tourism fairs in Berlin and Paris and others in Europe have been cancelled because of the epidemic, but some smaller B2B shows, generally national in scope, were allowed to go ahead as planned. In France, where the government had requested that there should be no enclosed gatherings of more than 5,000 people, the biennial Sport Achat show in Lyon was confirrmed for the previously scheduled dates of March 9-11.

Then, in the afternoon of Sunday March 8, the French government decided to reduce the limit for collective gatherings to only 1,000 people. Sportair, which organizes Sport Achat, reacted by shutting down the exhibition just a few hours before it was due to start, hosting about 455 sports and outdoor brands over 20,000 square meters. A year ago, a total of 3,324 visitors attended the fair.

All the exhibitors had already set up their stands. According to sport-guide.fr, Sportair took the decision after a meeting at 9 PM on Sunday with key exhibitors. It was expecting a drop of around 10 percent in the number of visitors because of the epidemic, based on pre-registrations.

In Italy, which is the most infected European country for the moment, the dates of Prowinter have been postponed to April 21-23, with the possibility of a further change in the future depending on the evolution of the epidemic. This annual international fair for the operators of skilifts and other snow sports facilities was due to held in Bolzano from April 7 to 9.

In Germany, Gallery Shoes, the shoe show in Düsseldorf, is taking place as planned on March 8-10, but some of the exhibitors, including Buffalo, Flip Flop, Kangaroos, Gabor Shoes, Peter Kaiser and Vagabond, said they would not be participating. Last year, the trade show counted a total of 9,800 visitors. More in Shoe Intelligence.