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Spoga's Outdoor Centre of Excellence will more than double next month

On Sept. 5-7, the Outdoor Furniture Centre of Excellence at Spoga Cologne will grow from the original 19 to more than 40 design-oriented companies from 13 countries.

To accommodate the growth, the exhibition area at the International Trade Fair for Sport, Camping and Garden Lifestyle will be enlarged, incorporating Hall 6 in addition to Hall 8.1.

About 630 of the 1,200 suppliers at Spoga will showcase outdoor furniture and collections for indoor and outdoor use.

The first indications of an expansion of the Centre of Excellence could be seen at Spoga 2003. Participants said they would welcome additional exhibitors with uncompromising high standards of quality.

A number of companies that had wanted to wait and see if the centre would be a success said at the end of the fair that they would like to take part next time.

"We have succeeded in maintaining and expanding Spoga's leading position in the outdoor-furniture sector," said Oliver P. Kuhrt, executive vice president of Koelnmesse. "Our goal is to ensure high quality."

Potential exhibitors at the Centre of Excellence must submit applications to a jury made up of a group of exhibitors that initiated the project in conjunction with Koelnmesse.

The 2004 Centre of Excellence includes nine companies from Germany, six from the Netherlands, four from France, Italy and Spain, three from the UK and Denmark, two from Switzerland and South Africa and one each from Australia, Belgium, Mexico and Thailand.

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