With TaiSPO 2023 fast approaching Mark Hayhurst talks to Emilia Shih, Exhibition Department Executive Director, TAITRA, about the show, its history and future.
Can you tell me the history of TaiSPO?
TaiSPO was the first sporting goods industry exhibition in Taiwan. In the beginning, TaiSPO was called the “Taiwan Int’l Sporting Goods Show” showcasing a variety of sporting goods made in Taiwan. After more than 40 years, TAITRA gave TaiSPO a new name and a new concept to reflect the changes in the industry and expand the sports market to all members of the community.
Why is Taiwan an ideal place for a sporting goods show?
Taiwan has long been lauded as the centre of high-end sports and fitness equipment. In addition to years of experience in OEM/ODM, Taiwan’s strong capacity for R&D is shaping the transformation of its companies from manufacturers to developers of their own brands. Taiwan also has a well-known information and communication technology (ICT) sector to use to its advantage, developing wearable devices, sensors, and software/hardware that are highly competitive on the world stage. With cross-industry synergy, Taiwan has become the ideal place for pushing the boundaries of sports technology.
As such, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan launched the “Sports and Technology Action Plan” this year (2022) and is set to invest an estimated NT$4.6 billion (USD154.6 million) in five years to spur the rise of the domestic sports technology industry. This plan aims to turn Taiwan into a sports technology hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
What changes will people see in March at TaiSPO?
TaiSPO 2023 is following the transformation trend with its new name, “Sports and Fitness Taiwan”. Along with everything from indoor fitness, outdoor sports, water sports, and sports fashion, the exhibition will now include all-age fitness, sports tech, and marketing & service areas. Attendees will be able to visit the newly added “Sports Tech” area, which features VR sports equipment, digital exercise applications, e-sports gear, wearables, smart sports equipment, and IoT applications.
The “Marketing & Service” area will focus on software and mobile apps, cloud systems, big data, and health training programs. Visitors will get to see different aspects of the market and explore the infinite possibilities of the sports industry.
Additionally, with more people coming to realize the importance of preventive medicine and sports for seniors in our aging society, there has been a boom in sales of sports and fitness equipment and products designed for the elderly in recent years. The “All-Age Fitness” area featured in this year’s TaiSPO has wellness and physical fitness equipment for both children and seniors. With equipment and workout sessions suitable for all age groups, we hope to make sports a part of everyone’s life.
Who will be exhibiting at the show?
Some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Dyaco, Johnson Health Tech, DK City, ALATECH, JK Fitness, SPORTOP, SRS, Body Charger, Sportsman, Body Dynamic, and Royaly will be displaying their latest equipment and solutions. The Taiwan Sports Technology Association and the Taiwan Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association will also bring in many of their members to showcase Taiwan’s latest innovations in sports and fitness.
What special events can people visit?
TaiSPO 2023 will hold various events during the show such as group fitness workouts, virtual sports games hosted by KOLs, industry forums, and new product launches. “Outdoor Taipei”, a special area in TaiSPO, will allow visitors to experience camping, yoga, and many other cultural fitness activities. In addition, NPC WORLDWIDE Taiwan will be held concurrently with TaiSPO 2023, combining a sports B2B trade show with a bodybuilding competition. There is no doubt the upgraded TaiSPO will be the top platform for sports industry networking!
What obstacles did TaiSPO have to overcome during the pandemic?
TaiSPO developed many digital services such as online shows, online matchmaking, and live tour to maintain and build the connection between exhibitors and international visitors who were not able to visit Taiwan during the pandemic. In this situation, we found that more and more people, whether sports industry members or consumers, were getting used to online services, which also encouraged enterprises to take steps toward digital transformation.
With this new perspective, and vision for the show, we plan for 2023 to be the year to restore and refurbish. In the past six months, we have visited many major manufacturers in Taiwan, including the industry pivots, Johnson Fitness and Dyaco. It is our pleasure to announce that not only the major industry players have returned, but in 2023, we also welcome over 30 new exhibitors, including high-quality MIT Brands, such as TeamJoined and AiQ Smart Clothing, to present their latest innovations.
TaiSPO returns on March 22-25, 2023, at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2 (TaiNEX 2), and will feature a full range of sporting goods, fitness equipment, sports technology, and workout services for all ages. A total of 150 exhibitors will span 800 booths, making TaiSPO the perfect matchmaking platform for the sports, fitness, and wellness industries.
Header image: Emilia Shih, Executive Director of Exhibition Department, TAITRA.