Oliver Mathys (Marketing and Sales Consultant) – Koelnmesse
On his tours around spoga+gafa 2019, Oliver Mathys was once again able to discover new ideas for the design of the POS. The marketing and sales consultant was also responsible for the realisation of the POS Green Solution Islands this year.
For weeks the Dutch industry expert worked on the development and completion of the five islands together with Konni van Delft and her team. They weren't finished until two o'clock in the morning - a few hours before the doors of the international garden trade fair opened on 1 September. The POS Green Solution Islands aim to provide the trade visitors with inspiration and concrete suggestions of how to set up campaign and sales areas in garden centres, DIY stores or other trading companies. The focus is on the idea of cross-selling. This year the mottos of the islands were "City Gardening", "Wellness in Nature", "Kids Garden", "Flower Power" and "My Tiny Coffee Shop".
"Wellness in Nature" – Photo: Koelnmesse
Mr. Mathys, how did the concepts of this year's POS Solution Islands go down with the trade fair visitors? Which reactions and questions did you encounter during the tours you offered?
Mathys: Most of the trade visitors, who took part in our guided tours through the POS Green Solution Islands, found the visual realisation of the five themes very interesting – for example the lasagne wallpaper on the inspirational "Flower Power" area. Here we demonstrated a technique of planting flower bulbs that is not very well-known in Germany.
On the "Wellness in Nature" island most of the visitors didn't want to just look at the exhibits: Feeling, touching, smelling them was equally important, because almost all of the senses were addressed here. I was particularly delighted that many of them had a smile on their faces while doing so. Especially a lot of questions were posed regarding the implementation of this theme island. Many people were above all interested in how the moss mats were fastened and also to what extent these plants can filter fine particles.
"Flower Power" inspirational area – Photo: Koelnmesse
You took a good look round at spoga+gafa again this time. Did you discover any new, interesting ideas for POS design at the stands of the international exhibitors?
Mathys: spoga+gafa was once again this year a huge treasure trove for new, innovative ideas. I was particularly pleased that Greta Thunberg and her activities against the climate change are having an influence on our industry. Responsibility for the environment, recycling or even the water footprint - i.e. the overall volume of water that is needed for the production of a product - were important themes at this garden trade fair. I believe such events where many different people and disciplines come together from different countries have a positive effect overall on the industry and trade and can lead to great leaps in development. I don't want to actually go into detail or mention individual manufacturers here - because many ideas are still tiny plants at the moment, which have to mature and grow first - but indeed I saw many great products at spoga+gafa, which in my opinion fit in with the future-related themes perfectly.
POS Living with Plants
In your opinion which trends and themes will play a role in the POS design over the coming years?
Mathys: As I already mentioned, environmental aspects are currently very important to people and these should be highlighted correspondingly at the point of sale. This is why we are probably also going to make the themes sustainability and the water footprint the key theme of the design of the POS Green Solution Islands at the trade fair in 2020. We will provide examples here of how we can all take on responsibility. The themes edible and self-grown fruit and vegetables as well as indoor green also remain topical.
Overall, sales and campaign areas in the DIY stores and garden centres will without doubt in future take on a more experiential character. Virtual tours through the Green Solution Islands were already offered on the spoga+gafa website this year. Such virtual possibilities are also definitely interesting for the POS. Perhaps we will already be able to show examples of this at the garden trade fair in Cologne next year. Personal shoppers, who support the customers while shopping, are also a theme at the moment, which we will possibly pick up on in 2020.