The Vertical Pro in Friedrichshafen, which is slated to take place for the first time on November 19 and 20, 2021, is announcing another prominent partnership with an organization focused on climbing, safety, and height in addition to the German Alpine Association (DAV)/Halls & Walls. The International Adventure Park Association (IAPA) is the umbrella organization for high rope courses and will be the second partner of the Vertical Pro alongside the DAV. CEO Jochen Brischke sees a great deal of thematic overlap between industrial climbing, tree climbing, sport climbing and recreational climbing. Vertical Pro Project Manager Dirk Heidrich is also pleased about the new partnership: “Being able to work with the IAPA was at the top of our wish list. The focus of the event, which offers both a trade fair and symposium, will be on the topic of height and occupational safety as well as techniques and technologies involving rope and safety systems, and that’s what makes the IAPA a perfect fit as a partner.”
There are currently some 320 high rope courses in Germany alone, with 270 of them known as tourist climbing forests. Climbing is no longer a sport that can only be practiced in a few rocky regions of Germany but is now available everywhere, from Flensburg to Friedrichshafen and from Cottbus to Trier. What’s more, the rope courses attract a good five million visitors in a normal year. By way of comparison, a high-attendance season of the Handball Bundesliga draws only 1.6 million viewers. This makes high rope courses a serious recreational and economic factor in Germany.
The “International Adventure Park Association” (IAPA) will be an ideal partner of the Vertical Pro as the second to sign on after the German Alpine Association with its well-established Halls & Walls. CEO Jochen Brischke sees great potential in the new concept: “Bringing together the various industry players, from climbing park and climbing gym operators to rope access technicians, tree care technicians, and professional mountaineers through to firefighters and high-altitude rescue teams, the Vertical Pro offers a unique opportunity for us all to learn from each other, to analyze the points of overlap, and to take advantage of synergies.” Climbing is more than just an athletic endeavor. The fields of industrial climbing and tree climbing in forestry all have the same safety needs, and each create innovative approaches to solving common problems that can be learned through sharing and discussion.
Teaching and learning are crucial to the fundamental mission of IAPA of elevating safety and quality in rope courses to the highest level possible. To this end, IAPA works to bring about an extensive training concept for operators and employees. “With our presentations by specialists and practical workshops, we offer trade fair visitors the opportunity to engage in discussions on trending topics with experts from our industry,” explains Jochen Brischke, adding: “With our vast and comprehensive experience in training, education, and quality assurance, IAPA is a competent and powerful partner for the Vertical Pro.”
IAPA also expects that it will become better known and grow from the new event in Friedrichshafen, of course: “The trend toward working from home and home schooling, which has taken off in recent months, is causing the public to experience an increased urge to exercise and experience the world. High rope courses are outstanding in meeting this need, offering an opportunity to take on personal challenges and accomplish things as a team while experiencing the great outdoors and breathing fresh air.”
The Vertical Pro will be held as a trade show for the first time in Friedrichshafen on November 19 and 20, 2021.