The 4th edition of the WFSGI Manufacturers Forum 2016, held in Taichung/Taiwan on November 15-16, was sold out. A record-breaking number of more than 200 delegates from 20 countries studied the multi-faceted transformation brought about by digitalization, innovation and robotics, over two days of fast-paced and captivating presentations.

Some of the presentations appeared almost like science fiction, and yet they have started to impact many aspects of sporting goods production – from the digitalization of footwear and apparel to the management of human resources in factories and the geography of manufacturing, among other topics discussed at the fourth WFSGI Manufacturers’ Forum.

Christian Decker for instance, Managing Director at DESMA, a German supplier of injection machines and automation equipment for the shoe production, explained that the industry has been shifting toward smaller lot sizes, declining warehouse inventories, growing product variation and a sharp rise in consumer influence. “I am convinced that in the near future new production modules will allow companies soon to establish shoe production in urban locations and consumers could have “freshly baked shoes” of their choice made for them while they have a (very) quick coffee in a New York store”.

“It is the goal of our meanwhile very well established yearly Forum to provide an exceptional density of high-level keynote speakers, including keynote lectures, panel discussion, educational workshop and practical inputs like a factory or tradeshow visit. The delegates of the Forum shall have excellent networking possibilities and the event should always offer cross-industry exchange, providing insights and innovation from the automotive and electronics industry”, stated Robbert de Kock, Secretary General of the WFSGI.

The WFSGI has partnered with ISPO to hold the fifth Manufacturers’ Forum in conjunction with Productronica, a trade fair for electronics development and production. The event will be held in Munich on November 14-15, 2017. Separately, the WFSGI also confirmed that it was jointly organizing a World Cycling Forum with Bike Europe on June 7-8, 2017 around the topics of Consumer Centricity and Lean Manufacturing.

A detailed report will be provided by WFSGI’s media partners SGI Europe and Bike Europe. 


In case of any questions please contact WFSGI PR Manager Simone Ramsauer at sramsauer(at)

WFSGI Manufacturers Forum 2016 Christian Decker