When the spoga+gafa 2013 closed its doors on September 10th, 2013, it had recorded a good result. In total 36,800 trade visitors from 116 countries attended the garden trade fair in Cologne. A total of 1,817 companies presented their latest products, themes and trends; the international share of exhibitors was 82 percent this year.
“The spoga+gafa has confirmed its standing as the international garden trade fair again this year,” explained Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of the Koelnmesse. “We were able to welcome more visitors from more countries here at the location in Cologne and are thus totally satisfied particularly when one considers that the garden and leisure industry got off to a rather slow start this year.”
This year's spoga+gafa presented everything that makes outdoor living prettier, better and more comfortable. The Garden Furniture sector, comprising of approx. 700 exhibitors, offered the largest selection of exhibits. In terms of material, the spectrum ranged from bamboo to concrete, through to outdoor-compatible leather. Teak also made a comeback as a result of the sustainable and vintage trends. The optical improvements and the development in the haptics of the fabrics in the garden furniture area were also impressive.
Against the background of the growing demand for exhibitions in the garden furniture sector and in order to further exploit the synergies between the related segments, the ‘Highend Garden Furniture‘ relocated to the larger Hall 10.2 this year. The ‘garden unique‘ exhibition zone also impressed both exhibitors and visitors with its exclusive, design-oriented and high-quality appearance at its location in a new hall.
The accompanying young designer competition, which was organised as a prototype contest for the first time ever in 2013, also attracted plenty of attention. In total 62 projects from 24 nations addressed the competition's theme ‘Outdoor Living’. However, in the end there could be only one ‘unique youngstar 2013‘. The international panel of expert judges awarded first place to the creative folding boat ‘Ar Vag‘ by Thibault Penven (Switzerland). The prize voted by the public was also awarded during the ‘unique hour‘. Countless interested visitors took advantage of the opportunity to co-select the winner via online voting: 533 votes were received on the campaign homepage for the 15 nominated projects on the theme of ‘Outdoor Living’ - the ultra-light, portable grill “Stakes” by Roee Magdassi (Israel) received the most votes.
The Decoration sector also registered a positive development and an increase in the number of exhibitors. The Halls 9 and 10.1 convinced with a broad array of exhibits including countless novelties and a - in the truest sense of the word - colourful variety. Since, similar to the garden furniture sector, in terms of decoration the theme ‘Colour Clash’ was extremely noticeable and will be visible on the terrace, balcony and in the garden in the coming season. Also en vogue are brightly patterned cushions, vases, crockery and textiles, because hitherto classic indoor accessories are being increasingly used outdoors, bringing elegance and modernity out into the green.
Once again this year the segment ‘garden living‘ was also completed by novelties from the Grill & BBQ sector as well as products to do with camping, leisure-time, sport and games. Whereby the Grill Park or installations such as the surf simulator on the Expo Boulevard harmonised perfectly with the offerings in the hall.
Plants and flowers in their full glory could be admired this year in the Plant Park. Designed by over 20 horticultural firms belonging to the ‘Plantregio Rhein-Maas e.V.‘ and ‘The Green Connection‘, the surface fits in well with the ‘garden creation‘ segment. Close-by numerous exhibitors presented their novelties that contribute towards the creation of gardens or which are vital when planning a garden surface, including garden equipment and sheds, tools & accessories as well as water & light. Regarding the theme of light, for example solar lamps, which offer a high-quality, design-oriented look, will be all the rage in 2014. Garden tools will be offering more comfort in the coming season too. Hedge trimmers and hoes for instance feature individually adjustable gripping heights and ergonomic handle constructions. In the garden care area the focus lay on novelties that are needed to take care of the home garden. Among other things different soils, machines and accessories were on display, including as a real novelty compressed substrate, which will turn dragging heavy soil into a task of the past.
Satisfied trade fair participants
The presence of numerous market leaders, the high quality of the products exhibited in the exhibition halls and the diversified supporting programme aroused great interest among the visitors - accordingly the mood in the exhibition halls was very positive. “We had the pleasure of welcoming many important international and satisfied industry and trade purchasers,” was a frequently heard comment at the exhibitor stands. This statement was also confirmed by the trade fair poll. 75 percent of the visitors questioned are involved in the procurement decisions and in fact, 47 percent are decisive for the decision-making process.
The Federal Association of the German Sport Goods Industry (BSI), honorary sponsor of the spoga, also drew a positive balance: “The spring may have arrived very late in Europe which meant the German garden leisure-time and water sport industry got off to a rather slow start, but in mid-June the summer managed to prevail bringing many hours of sunshine with it, so that in many cases the manufacturers were able to make up for the initial deficits,” stated Chairman of the spoga Advisory Board, Désirée Derin-Holzapfel. “The spoga+gafa 2013 has created good impulses for the industry, so that we can confidently look ahead to the year 2014.”
The German Garden Industry Association (IVG), honorary sponsor of the gafa, assessed this year's spoga+gafa as follows: “Particularly considering the fact that the season got off to a late start, we are satisfied with spoga+gafa 2013. Our member companies reported that their stands were well-attended and that they had held constructive discussions. Especially the high number of visitors from Eastern Europe was viewed positively. Overall, after the spoga+gafa 2013 we are optimistic about the coming season,” summed up Hans-Jürgen Riehl, Chairman of the gafa Advisory Board adding that “the premiere of the IVG Garden Party was also a huge success and worked well as a platform for an industry get-together, this event will be repeated in the future.“.
The spoga+gafa 2013 in figures
1,817 (2012: 1,975) companies from 58 (56) countries participated at the spoga+gafa 2013, 82 (81) percent of whom came from abroad. They included 311 (360) exhibitors and 8 (8) additionally represented companies from Germany as well as 1,449 (1,571) exhibitors and 49 (36) additionally represented companies from abroad. Including estimates for the last day of the trade fair, the attendance figure for the spoga+gafa 2013 totalled 36,800 (2012: 36,300) visitors from 116 (103) countries. The international share of the trade visitors was 58(58) percent.*
*All figures have been calculated according to the guidelines of the Society for the Voluntary Control of Trade Fair and Exhibition Statistics (FKM) (www.fkm.de).
In 2014 the spoga+gafa will be staged in Cologne from 31st August to 2nd September
Visit the spoga+gafa website