Tickets available for spoga+gafa 2012
Brent Felgner -- Casual Living, May 16, 2012
From Sept. 2-4, spoga+gafa will transform Cologne into a global marketplace for outdoor living products.
This year, around 2,000 suppliers from 52 countries will exhibit outdoor innovations at the leading trade fair for the garden and leisure industry. The garden trade fair delivers a comprehensive overview of the full spectrum of the international market with segments for garden creation, garden living, garden care, garden unique and garden basic.
"No other event offers such broad coverage of the garden market or brings every domestic and international market player together in such a concentrated format," said Katharina C. Hamma, COO of Koelnmesse GmbH. "Our multifaceted program also highlights current trends and issues."
The "boulevard of ideas" showcases concepts for POS displays in real-life contexts - with a particular focus on sustainability. The plant park alongside the international garden center day serves as a central communication forum for the event, while "furniture acts" and the grill zone provide an eye-catching parade of new products in the furniture and barbecue segments.
"The program is tailored to the industry's needs and offers a lot of space for communication and interaction, which is an ideal addition to our exhibitors' product ranges," Hamma said.
As always, spoga+gafa stands out through its truly cosmopolitan environment. Around 80% of exhibitors will arrive in Cologne from abroad. European countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Britain are very well represented, but even far-flung nations including Bolivia, El Salvador and New Zealand will have a solid presence at spoga+gafa. Overall, the international product ranges from all the manufacturers will cover a gross exhibition space of around 207,000 m².
Traditionally, the furniture and living segment is the strongest at spoga+gafa. International premium outdoor furniture manufacturers will present their products in Hall 2.2 in the garden unique area with its high-end, design-oriented ambience. Almost all of the top exhibitors from the highly successful 2011 premiere will be in attendance. In addition, other well-known companies such as Manutti, Viteo, Barlow Tyrie, and Solpuri will be present in Cologne in September. Trends within the premium segment will have their own special setting in garden unique.
The competition on the jovoto.com platform will continue to integrate young, up-and-coming designers and their creative ideas into the garden unique concept. This year's theme is "Dining outdoors." The objective is to design furniture and objects that create the perfect open-air culinary experience. The competition this year has received a boost from the addition of new jury members, including distinguished French designer and architect Patrick Nadeau, celebrated designer Marc Sadler from Milan, and Marcus Fairs, editor-in-chief of the international architecture and design online magazine "Dezeen." They will be joined by outdoor gastronomy expert Herbert Seckler, owner of the trendy restaurant "Sansibar" located in the middle of the Sylt dunes.
Also on the jury again this year are Tobias Lutz, co-founder and managing director of architonic.com, and Ralf Ferdinand Broekman, publisher and editor-in-chief of German architecture magazine "build." Awards for the design competition will be presented during "unique hour" on the Monday of the trade fair. The "unique hour" and other new formats for creative matchmaking are intended to encourage more interaction between the various garden unique target groups: premium providers, high-end furniture retailers, architects, interior decorators, builders and designers.
Everything that makes gardens more beautiful will be shown in the garden living zone. In Halls 1, 2.1, 3, 11.1 and 11.2, around 700 companies will present their new outdoor furniture and accessories. Decorative products and accessories will provide the finishing touches for any garden. Visitors can marvel at the extraordinary variety in this segment in Hall 9 and 10. Most people would agree that al fresco dining is an integral part of garden living. Therefore the grill and barbecue segment at spoga+gafa is represented strongly. Hall 5.1 contains everything from basic gas and coal barbecues to luxury outdoor kitchens. In Hall 5.2 visitors will find products for sports and games, as well as for camping and leisure activities.
Innovations in garden care will be highlighted in Hall 6 and 7, from soils and fertilisers to garden tools and motorised equipment. Creating a garden requires a diverse range of products. The garden creation area in Hall 8 and 9 will include plants, products for ponds and swimming pools, sheds and summer houses, lighting and hand tools. Various garden products from the discount segment will be showcased in the garden basic area in Hall 11.3.
The events program at spoga+gafa takes into account recent trends, themes and innovations in the garden and leisure industry, relying on a mix of information, discussion and interaction. One of the core themes is sustainability, which will be a key feature along the "boulevard of ideas." It's all about sustainable marketing at point of sale by throwing the spotlight on practical and interactive demonstrations of retail marketing concepts that do not just leave a lasting impression on consumers, but also keep in mind the need to conserve resources. This is also true of the design for the "boulevard of ideas". One of the goals was to take environmental aspects of the trade fair constructions, communication and services into account. Five areas along the boulevard and two others in the piazza will provide attractive platforms for current marketing trends.
The plant park will again be located in Hall 9 this year. This is the spoga+gafa communication hub, at the heart of which will be a stand for the VDG. On the Sunday, this will make the plant park the number one meeting point for the international garden centre industry. The international garden centre congress ends its own run on that day - garden centre day - at spoga+gafa. Every day of the fair, the plant park also offers an interactive program and information about plants.
Visitors to the garden furniture area can look forward to a lively, entertaining presentation of new products. During the "furniture acts" actors will skilfully work these innovations into various scenarios.
The Barbecue Park in the outdoor area of Koelnmesse between Hall 5.1 and Hall 6 will give visitors a genuine outdoor feeling. Besides the BIAG trend forum and a product showcase by barbecue suppliers the barbecue park offers the visitors a fantastic culinary experience in the live grill zone. Last but not least, spoga+gafa has also scheduled two evening highlights: the 6 p.m. party on Sunday and "IVG Fair Talk" on Monday evening.
Opening hours change
At the request of the sector, this year spoga+gafa is going back to its original opening hours. Doors will open between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday for professional visitors only, then on Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 2-4, access to the fair is via the south, east, north and west entrances.
Tickets are available from the online shop at www.spogagafa.de to take advantage of the lower advance booking prices. Each ticket gives access to spoga+gafa and to spoga horse, taking place at the same time in Hall 4. Also included: free tickets for the entire VRS local public transport network.