TaiSPO 2009

The four-day TaiSPO 2009 which runs from March 19th to 22nd on the first and second floors of the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition hall spotlights the vast new innovative designs and innovations required by the sporting and fitness world. It is not only the sole international sporting goods show in Taiwan but also the most specialized sporting goods event in Asia, an event not to be missed by international buyers.

This year’s event builds upon the dazzling success of last year’s experiment from the 2008 show. That’s when the organizer TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council) and its co-organizer TSMA (Taiwan Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association) and TSGA (Taipei Sporting Goods Association) arranged to sync the dates of the TaiSPO with TaipeiCYCLE (the 3rd largest cycle trade show in the world) so that visitors at either show could see the other.

This is the place where champions begin. It’s TaiSPO 2009 (the 2009 Taipei International Sporting Goods Show) which is back bigger and better to open the innovations of the coming year. This winning venue features 310 vendors who are using 1,519 booths in eight different show areas. These include Fitness Equipment, Skating/Skiing Products/Sporting Ball, Outdoor/Water Sport/Sportswear, Miscellaneous Products, Trade Media, Associations, Foreign Exhibitors, and a Cross-Straits area.

That endeavor proved an amazing success with TaipeiCYCLE attracting 30% more international buyers. With buyers now prepared for these two shows, even better results are expected over the four TaiSPO days during which 2-day overlap (March 19th and 20th) Taipei CYCLE. Buyers at the shows can easily use the free shuttle service that zips between TWTC Exhibition Hall 1 and TWTC NANGANG Exhibition Hall to network the biggest names in sports and cycle.

It is projected that TaiSPO 2009 will welcome more than 1,000 pre-registered buyers from more than 70 countries, most of who are from India, Japan, the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Korea, the UAE, and Germany.

This year’s show will also feature the 2009 TaiSPO ALL STARS – Innovation's Stage of Excellence that will inspire and reward businesses engaged in R&D and aid international buyers in exploring the latest up-and-coming products. A total of 26 suppliers with 37 items are entered in the competition which is packed with creative and practical displays.

With this event comes the 1st Innovative Design Competition in Sports Technology, which is for students, has been received with great enthusiasm who have sent in 101 entries. Among them 15 have been short listed and six have been selected as final winners. The winning designs will be evaluated in terms of feasibility of mass production by the sponsoring manufacturers. Final winners of both TaiSPO ALL STARS and Innovative Design will be presented with their medals at the opening ceremony of TaiSPO 2009. Their works will also be displayed in Area H on the second floor of the exhibition hall for international buyers.

The organizers have also gone all out to purpose the best and most comfortable business environment for buyers with the TAITRA LOUNGE in Area A on the first floor and Area H on the second floor of Exhibition Hall 1. Services available at these facilities include complimentary coffee, Internet, and photocopying machines. In addition, a shuttle bus service will make frequent runs (at least every 20 minutes) between the TWTC Hall 1 and NANGANG Exhibition Hall. Another free shuttle service will zip buyers back to major hotels via three different routes at the end of each show day.

On top of all this there are Taiwan biz tours that help buyers escape business through pleasant Biz Tours that cover several sightseeing routes. Here’s a great opportunity for international buyers to spend a half day exploring the rich heritage and cultural sites of Taiwan’s capital.

This effort to bring in the best in sports has been strongly supported by the more than 50 TAITRA offices worldwide who have signed up scores of major buyers for TaiSPO. This list includes ICON Health & Fitness, the largest manufacturer and marketer of fitness equipment in the US, Deportes Marti, the largest sporting goods chain store and importer in Mexico, FLAMAN Fitness, the largest fitness equipment retailer in Western Canada, COSCO India, a well-known sporting goods supplier in India, CJ Home Shopping, a large Korean firm involved in logistics, foods, and life style items, Al Khayat General Trading, a well-known fitness equipment trader in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai Sports, a professional provider of fitness center equipment, Transmark Corporation Sdn Bhd, the largest sporting goods chain store in Malaysia, HIROUN, a well-known Japanese provider of sports clothing and equipment, and Abisal, a famous Polish importer of sporting goods. All of these large international companies are sending purchasing staffs. They are also attending the 2009 TaiSPO Procurement Meeting which has been arranged by the organizers to facilitate trading opportunities. Buyers will also be able to make appointments online with suppliers for mutual convenience.

The exhibitors this year include key suppliers such as Johnson Health Tech, Sports Art Industrial, Tung Keng Enterprise, Dyaco International, Body Sculpture International, Strength Master Fitness Tech, Sportsman Corporation, Kingasia International Corp, and Sporting King. The sporting goods industry in Taiwan has years of expertise and experience and has accumulated strong product development and innovation capability. Sporting goods that combine technology from the computer, communication and consumer electronic (3C) industries to create high added value have successfully differentiated themselves from the traditional products manufactured in the People’s Republic of China and Southeast Asian nations and have established a trading center for premium sporting goods in Asia. Moreover, many local manufacturers in Taiwan have moved from being outsourcing suppliers to owning their own brands. Ample funding is being invested in research and development to create designs for high-end products. The purpose is to enhance the competitive strengths of the sporting goods industry in Taiwan and to boost its global performance.

The organizers have invited many industry key players in the field including executives from the WFSGI (World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry), a key international sporting goods organization that enjoys a close relationship with the event. These include Mr. John Larsen, its President, Mr. Robbert De Kock, its Secretary General, and several standing members on its Board of Directors representing Europe, America, and Asia. Moreover, Mr. Raul Sergio Hacker, CEO of Speedo, the world leader in swimwear, and Mr. Manfred Wutzlhofer, CEO of Messe München GmbH the organizer of the largest sporting goods event in the world, ISPO, are also among the guests.

A series of seminars have been specially arranged during the show to help brief visitors on the latest trends in international developments. Speakers include Mr. Klaus Uhl, Executive Committee, Director of Board WFSGI, will be discussing “The European Sporting Goods Market”. Dr. Jochen M. Schaefer, Legal Counsel of WFSGI, who will share his thoughts on the “Financial and Economic Crisis in Europe – Risks and Opportunities for Taiwanese Sporting Goods Companies in 2009”. Other professional technology seminars and forums including “e-Commerce Opportunities for Sports & Outdoor Goods in US, UK, and Australian markets” will be taking place in the conference rooms on the second floor of Exhibition Hall 1 on March 19th and 20th.

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