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IAKS Congress and FSB 2021, 26-29 October

Developing healthy and sustainable communities

In less than seven months’ time it’s “Curtain up!” for the 27th IAKS Congress – the foremost international forum for the design, construction, financing and management of sports and leisure facilities. The focus will be on how to support communities in developing conditions for their citizens for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The IAKS Congress, together with FSB and aquanale, will probably be one of the first events where representatives of the industry can meet in person.

The people in charge of the events from Koelnmesse, IAKS and bsw (German Federal Association for Swimming Pools and Wellness) are more than ever dedicated to host an exciting specialist event programme. They plan everything to be held as live event, while various presentation formats to suit the international travel situation are considered. FSB Director at Koelnmesse Bettina Frias: “For example, we’re planning events that will not only take place in the exhibition halls and the congress area with a trade audience but also simultaneously on our digital platform. This is the only way we can meet the needs and demands placed on us as event organisers and achieve the necessary and desirable reach that these future-oriented topics require.”

Talking about the preparations, Bettina Frias, who is also acting as Director for both FSB (International Trade Fair for Public Space, Sports and Leisure Facilities) and aquanale (International Trade Fair for Sauna, Pool, Ambience) continues: “There are signs of very good demand for the trade fair duo of FSB and aquanale. By the end of the early-bird phase, more than 65 per cent of market-relevant companies had already confirmed their participation in both FSB and aquanale. Both events are international leaders in their segments and provide the stimulus so urgently needed by all industries in the post-coronavirus era in terms of trends, networking and the initiation of new business relationships.”

IAKS Congress 2019 (313)_panel_650_Hieronymus Caspar

27th IAKS Congress: Hub for inspiration and innovation

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photo: IAKS

Climate challenges and ecological sustainability is at the core of the congress opening with an overview of international goals such as The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the IOC’s sustainability achievements and future goals, sustainability goals for Olympic Games host cities, and TAFISA’s Global Active City programme.

The afternoon will see practical insights: How to reduce embodied carbon by environmentally sustainable design? How can design respond to extreme weathers caused by climate change? Experts will present strategies and models such as “NEOM: A network of top-tier community sports zones in urban, beach and mountain locations” and “Zeroing in on Net Zero – approaches to Net Zero Energy Arena complexes”. Innovations to foster ecological sustainability are shown by examples from the circular economy.

On Wednesday, the morning session starts with social sustainability as a key factor for recreation facilities for All. How to advocate, promote and design for greater accessibility and inclusivity for arenas, in particular ice sports facilities? Operators and foundation representatives will outline the 24/7 model, and inclusive programming and design as key success factor for recreation facilities.

The second session of the day will focus on innovative models to foster new thinking in public recreation facilities. Look forward to first-hand insights and experiences related to “The public realm and the democratization of play”, “Institutional models for supporting innovative culture and sports facilities”, “Innovative concepts for sports halls” and “Public participation: involving the community’s and citizens’ needs”.

“Economic challenges and operational improvements; digitalization and future trends” is the promising title for the first session of the third congress day. Experts will present insights into integral planning and project management, as well as case studies on how to shape more informed, connected and active communities.

“The impact of Covid-19 on design and operations” will hopefully be a look back on a situation that we will have overcome by that time, but nevertheless provide great learnings for the architecture of the future. New success models for stadiums and arenas will be the main topic in the afternoon, looking at the rapid development of Esports and Esports arenas.

The first session on Friday showcases the future of synthetic turf and brings together a panel of experts informing about the circular economy, opportunities of chemical recycling, and a look at the current status of the ECHA process. Finally, the congress will offer a session on how to enhance the attractiveness of ice rinks and arenas. This session will teach approaches to leisure ice for greater participation and winter engagement, and will provide useful information for any facility from smaller ice sport venues to multi-functional ice arenas.

Look forward to exciting panel discussions, lectures and workshops. Experience at first hand the trends dominating the scene in architecture and management – now and in the future!