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Spoga+gafa announces changes to garden unique exhibition, contest

COLOGNE, Germany - The garden unique exhibition at spoga+gafa will expand for the 2013 trade fair, to be held Sept. 8-10 at Koelnmesse. Garden unique will also feature a new contest for young designers.

In 2011, garden unique was created as "a distinct product range for the high-end garden furniture segment," according to a press release. Since that time it has experienced positive development as demand for presentation opportunities in the premium garden furniture segment increases. As a result, garden unique will for the first time occupy Hall 10.2 of the Cologne exhibition center at this year's spoga+gafa.

Thanks to this move, garden unique will now be able to offer more exhibitors the opportunity to display their products in an exclusive atmosphere. And this year, 15 creative young designers will have the chance to win an award and be featured in an exhibition at spoga+gafa. Three winners will be selected by a jury and one will be chosen by the public.

The competition will spotlight creative ideas for outdoor living. Everything that makes the outdoor room more pleasant and more functional can be submitted, ranging from outdoor furniture, accessories and shade products to outdoor lighting, weatherproof flooring, plant holders and grills. A jury of experts will select 15 of the ideas submitted by creative young designers, and these ideas will be presented at spoga+gafa as prototypes in the competition exhibition.

The contest kicked off March 18, when design students and young designers who have completed their studies no more than three years ago were invited to use the online registration form to compete for the title of Unique Youngstar in the garden unique design contest. In addition to providing their personal details and a product description, applicants will also be able to upload two pictures of their product.

University professors are encouraged to recommend individual students. In addition, the contest organizers will be scouting trade fairs, graduation ceremonies and other events for innovative products. Participation in the contest is free of charge.

The jury of experts will begin their deliberations at the beginning of May. Overall concept, originality of design, conceptual and visionary quality, functionality and quality of presentation are among the criteria the jury members will use to select their 15 nominees. In addition to receiving an invitation to participate in the Unique Youngstar exhibition at spoga+gafa 2013, the 15 nominees will also be presented on the competition's homepage. The contestants who don't win the jury prizes will still have the opportunity to win the prize awarded by the public. The winner of that award will be determined through online voting.

The three winners chosen by the jury will receive prize money of €3,000 (first place), €2,000 (second place) and €1,000 (third place). The winners will be announced at the "unique hour" event on the first day of the fair.

The new regulations for the competition make it possible for Koelnmesse to give more young designers the opportunity to present their ideas. According to the release, the goal of the contest is "to encourage people to share their ideas and to promote communication between different target groups within the context of garden unique."

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