Highlights of spoga+gafa: Interview with Stefan Lohrberg
As the largest garden trade fair in the world, spoga+gafa will be presenting all the new products for outdoor living from 1 to 3 September. We talked to Stefan Lohrberg, Director of spoga+gafa, about the trade fair highlights and current developments in the industry.
Mr Lohrberg, can you tell us about the new products and highlights at this year’s edition of spoga+gafa?
Along with new products and highlights from exhibitors, spoga+gafa will also provide a wealth of inspiration for the green sector with theme worlds, hands-on formats, lectures and special events. The highlights this year will undoubtedly include the IVG Power Place Akku and Power Place Smart Gardening in Hall 6, where trade visitors will be able to see the latest gardening technology. For the first time this year, the Gardena garden award will be presented at the trade fair. In partnership with Koelnmesse, this award will recognise innovative entrepreneurs and founders that focus on sustainable solutions for the future of the “digital garden”. Also featured at the trade fair will be the Trendshow Outdoor Furniture & Decoration and the special event “Beef! on Stage” with lectures and interviews as well as show cooking at the highest BBQ level. In addition, a separate theme-based area in Hall 6 will be dedicated to the trend topic of city gardening.
“City gardening” is the focus of this year’s trade fair. How exactly do you implement this theme?
spoga+gafa 2019 reflects this trend in all its diversity which, in turn, generates enormous added value for exhibitors and trade visitors from all over the world. At the Power Place City Gardening event, international exhibitors will showcase their trend products from the irrigation, planting and multifunctional furniture segments. We will also be presenting a new market research study on this topic together with IFH Köln. Lectures on various stages, as well as special communication tools for visitors to find their way to exhibitors with city gardening products or balconies highlighting products that can be used in an urban setting, convey the trend theme in its entirety throughout the trade fair.
And speaking of trends – with the Trendshow Outdoor Furniture & Decoration, spoga+gafa ventures a look into the future for the second time. What trends do you currently see in outdoor furniture and decoration, and how are they shown in the special area?
The Trendshow presents furniture and decorative elements within the context of megatrends that are impacting society on a global scale. For example, it will feature new solutions that address the increasing urbanisation as well as the rising population of older people. At the same time, it also explores what significance sustainable products and the increasing desire for individualisation hold for the garden industry. The Trendshow curated by renowned interior architectural firm brandherm+krumrey will put the spotlight on these developments with groundbreaking innovations from the exhibitors.
What developments are you observing in the outdoor market and what do you expect for the near future? What does this mean for spoga+gafa?
The desire for diversity and individuality in outdoor products will continue. At the same time, more focus is being given to outdoor spaces with a home-like design – also and especially in cities. Manufacturers are responding to this trend by partially realigning their product ranges or bringing new developments to the market. As a trade fair that also sees itself as a market driver, we have established ourselves as an international communication platform with new theme formats. With a focus on future-oriented topics such as the increasing blending of inside and outside spaces, smart gardening and outdoor cooking, spoga+gafa will also be able to offer added value for exhibitors and visitors in the future and a special trade fair experience. More than ever, the entire spectrum of products and themes in the green sector will be on display in Cologne.