Elite Sports Performance Expo
Launched last year, the 2016 show promises to be even bigger and better. find out more from Tom Borthen, marketing director for the Prysm Media Group
There’s no substitute for hard work when it comes to boosting sports performance, but at an elite level the potential gains to be made by even the tiniest of improvements mean no stone is left unturned in the quest to maximise potential.
It explains the likes of precision hydration, cryotherapy, sweat testing and a whole host of other training support methods on the market. But how do those in need sort the wheat from the chaff and find out from the people who know what works best?
Enter the Elite Sports Performance Expo. Launched last June by the Prysm Media Group, it provides a showcase of the latest cutting edge technology, sports equipment, facilities, services and nutrition from around the world to help improve and enhance the performance of elite sporting clubs, athletes and organisations.
Tom Borthen, marketing director for the Prysm Media Group, says: “We launched in 2015 and it went really well. We’re always a bit nervous with a first event, but it performed beyond our wildest dreams.”
The trade show certainly had an impressive list of attendees. Just over 1,250 of the great and good in elite sports came along, from major sports clubs and associations such as Everton FC and World Rugby to a raft of other interested sporting parties, including universities and schools. On offer was a range of seminars, talks, demos, workshops and masterclasses.
“The event delivers a huge amount of industry experts talking and sharing knowledge, but it isn’t so high end it’s hard to take in,” Borthen says. “It’s all done in a language coaches can understand.
“For instance, a cycling coach might talk about a training method he’s tried, which has enabled his cyclist to go faster. That might be useful for rugby players too. But it isn’t just talks – there are lots of activities too, such as combat classes and goalkeeping practice.”
In terms of 2016, it’s still early days in terms of a full programme, but there are already 30 seminars and 75 exhibitors planned, including a technology and fan engagement symposium featuring top international experts, a runway offering live demos of the latest theories and technologies, a live gym area, an elite skills area and interactive product demonstrations.
“One subject we’re interested in is how certain countries achieve so well,” Borthen says. “For instance, Cubans always win gold in the Olympics at boxing. Why? What are they doing right? Likewise, why do Germany and Brazil always do so well at football? If we can find out what they’re doing that we’re not, maybe we can adapt.
“Linking up performance data with fan engagement is also big news. Football clubs are using social technology to build engagement with fans, but it would be great for fans to be able to access the latest performance data of footballers in training.”
Borthen is expecting a slightly higher footfall this year, but in the world of elite sport, it’s more about who than how many.
“It’s brilliant for coaches to be able to get away from the day-to-day and find out what can be taken back to the club,” he says. “It’s a chance for professionals to take a breath in an informed environment.
“Everything they need to help them come up with new strategies is in one room. It’s better than searching on the internet and they can try things out. People come up with new solutions in a different environment. It’s about more than accessing information though, it’s about seeing it in the context of the bigger picture.
“It’s also a great opportunity for brands to reach out to major players in the industry. It’s so difficult to get in front of them otherwise, but we bring everyone under one roof. Last year, the exhibitors were overjoyed. These are high end products, maybe £20,000 a piece, but if that means Wayne Rooney scores a goal, it’s worth it.
“The brands get to meet a unique audience who are up for it. They’re in the right mindset, are open to new ideas. They come in, can compare products, go back to the office, then pitch the idea to seniors and apply for funding. There isn’t a shop for clubs to go to, this is a one-off opportunity.”
Importantly, the event is free for industry professionals to attend and unlike a conference, attendees don’t feel obliged to attend every event.
“We have up to 30 seminars which you can drop in on, then pop back out again,” Borthen says. “You can get involved in the boxing ring, then go and have a chat about nutrition.
“We do recommend though that you do your research. We send out our brochure when an attendee registers – at most events you pick them up on the door. That way you can find out what you want to see and who you want to talk to, because if you miss out, you’re going to kick yourself.”
Facts & figures
Date: June 15-16
Venue: ExCeL London
Opening times: 10am-5pm
Event website: www.espexpo.co.uk
Information correct at time of going to press.