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paf Europe - a showstopping success

A month has passed since the inaugural paf Europe in Switzerland the event brought together leaders in the physical activity, wellness and leisure spectrum, from high quality buyers and industry-leading suppliers. Here’s what happened

The inaugural paf Europe began with the arrival of eager professionals, ready to get networking and make long-lasting business relationships. Once everyone had the opportunity to explore their abode and wash away the day of travelling, they convened in a private section of the hotel for an intimate drinks' reception, compete with beer on ice and crackling fire pits. The night was a perfect mood setter for the rest of the trip.

The next morning it was time to gather in the airy, Scandinavian-inspired concert hall, which was to be the main stomping ground for the event. Here, our three speakers, David Stalker (Europe Active), Huw Edwards (ukactive) and Marcus Schwedhelm (Swiss Active) chaired a ‘fireside discussion’ on how different European initiatives are meeting the challenges of engagement and participation in physical activity, which opened the floor to open-conversation amongst our delegates. Discussing the strengths, struggles and triumphs they are all facing in the industry at present, many guests gained valuable insights into both the UK and European environment, and came away energised and with new perspective on their businesses and organisations.

From there, it was time for a coffee break, accompanied by apple and berry strudels – the perfect fuel provider for the next few hours of intimate face-to-face meetings amongst buyers and suppliers. The meetings were pre-scheduled, allowing each of our delegates to know exactly who they were expecting to meet, and providing them with ample time to prepare.

Meetings to mountains

Once the busy morning of meetings wrapped up, it was time to hit the slopes. Our experienced skiers and boarders knew the drill and headed straight up the mountains to explore the runs and smash some cruisey blues. Meanwhile, the novices gathered at the boot room, waiting to meet their personal ski instructors for the day.


As the guests headed up the mountain in the panoramic glass gondola, there was a moment of pure awe the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of fun in the snow.

Following an exhilarating time on the slopes, the vibe amongst our returning delegates was electrifying. A real sense of accomplishment radiated from everyone, especially those who tried skiing for the first time earlier that day.

It was then time to take a private gondola to the quaint restaurant, Alp-Hittä, where Andermatt could be seen far below, twinkling in the night-time sky. By open fires, the guests socialised amongst familiar and unfamiliar faces, while enjoying cheese fondue and mulled wine.

The next morning, the delegates went back out onto the slopes, and after lunch continued to network and develop newly formed friendships. More one-to-one meetings meant buyers could discuss their projects needs with suppliers allowing them to offer solutions with there producst and services.

A gala dinner was hosted that evening, delegates enjoyed a three course dinner, more conversation and a video showing clips from the event, including meetings, fondue party, business discussions and the time in the snow – not to mention some funny ‘fails’.

Niall Cull, from DLR Leisure, said of the event: ‘It was an inspirational gathering of a wide-ranging, varied and experiences group of leisure, fitness and health personnel. Personally, as an Irish attendee, I made important business connections, from which several new business plans have been confirmed.’

Alan Ellis from True Fitness expanded: ‘The location was exceptional, the staff worked tirelessly and were a credit to the business. The buyers and suppliers all spent quality work and social time together. I thought PAF Europe 24 was superb!’

Huw Edwards, from ukactive, said: ‘This was a real opportunity for ukactive to get a sense of where people are and what kind of support they need from us in terms of their own growth and development, but also what the big issues of the sector are and how we make sure that we are delivering for communities that are not only in the UK, but in Europe as well.  

Dave Stalker on paf Europe 2024

‘Paf Europe 2024 has been exciting, different and intimate. It’s been incredibly well structured, with enough time to chat and get to know each other. It’s such as change from most standard events – this stands on its own.

‘The great thing about the audience here, is that it’s packed full of really busy people whose time is valuable, which means Stable Events have got the right audience. I would say my time is also valuable, but I have endless time for an event like this if it’s going to add value, so, for me, people are getting really stuck in because they know these conservations are important. Some conversations will result in small changes to their business, and some might be niche ideas, but some of the conversations I’ve had could literally be game changing.

‘It's rare that I come to an event like this where I don’t know everyone. You’ve brought people from Europe, but also from different industries together and it’s been seamless. And that is the strength of the event. I’ve come across ideas and spoken to people from many other industries. I might never use those ideas, but then not everything has to be a commercial decision that I make some value out of. Improving my knowledge and learning about new things is so valuable because I’ve seen things through a new lens. I’ve spoken to people from the industry I know and love, but I’ve spoken to people from other industries here and that has never happened in 35 years of being in health and fitness.

‘Would I come again? That’s a no-brainer. I go to thousands of events and this one is just ‘wow’. I’ve loved the intimacy of this event, and it think it will expand and grow. I would say to anyone that they have to try this one.’

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