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New accents: an interview with Stefan Lohrberg

Stefan Lohrberg © Koelnmesse

All new products revolving around outdoor life will be presented at spoga+gafa from 2 to 4 September. With around 2,100 providers from approximately 60 countries, the international garden trade fair is the world’s leading industry event. We talked with Project Manager Stefan Lohrberg about current outdoor trends and the highlights of the current spoga+gafa.

Mr Lohrberg, as the largest garden trade fair in the world, spoga+gafa looks back on a successful development. Can you tell us about the innovations and highlights of the coming edition?

Around 2,100 exhibitors will present the new products, technical innovations, fresh designs and trends of the coming season – everything at a glance and in one location. The diversity of the garden at spoga+gafa is unique worldwide. The trade fair covers the entire offer of the industry at a glance. spoga+gafa enhances the product offer of the exhibitors with a unique event programme: In addition to the Boulevard of ideas, the POS Green Solution Islands, which present solutions for the design of sales space, set new thematic accents. Furthermore, we are placing the focus on the trend themes of the garden industry again with the IVG Power Place Akku, the IVG Power Place Green and the Smart Gardening World and Outdoor Kitchen World. The Outdoor Furniture Trend Show and the Icons of Outdoor Furniture exhibition are real highlights in the furniture segment.

 

In the scope of the trend show, for the first time spoga+gafa is daring to take a look ahead to the future of outdoor furniture and shading systems this year. What is the concept behind this and how will the trends be presented?

The trends of the coming season will be presented on several product islands together with future-oriented furniture of our exhibitors. A jury comprising of international experts was responsible for selecting the products presented. Members of the jury include renowned experts such as the designer, Jeanette Altherr from Barcelona or Manuel Rucar from the French trend research office, Chlorosphere. An own special event entitled “Icons of Outdoor Furniture” offers the appropriate setting for the trend show, where the best-selling and most stylish garden furniture of the current and also former exhibitors will be presented. They surround the new Trend Islands and place them in a temporal context. Hence, for the exhibitors and trade visitors, the history and the future of furniture trends will be tangible and come to life in one area.

 

Trendshow Outdoor Furniture © Koelnmesse

How do you think the outdoor market will develop over the coming years? Which themes will gain more significance?

The garden is already enormously important today as a place of retreat and as a contrast to fast-moving everyday life. The personal environment and greenery around the house will gain even more significance. Hence, in future even more attention will be paid to the homely design of outdoor space. Against this background, a theme with great potential for the trade fair is thus also that of cooking outdoors. On the other hand, garden technology is also further developing. Smart gardening and battery technology remain to be important themes, since there are rapid developments and many innovations in these sections at present.

 

What are you anticipating with regards to the future development of spoga+gafa?

Things happens at spoga+gafa, the industry shows us this and we notice it. Today, trade fairs have to be much more than pure marketplaces. They have to offer added value, create experience and worlds. That is precisely what spoga+gafa does. The trade fair has consistently further developed its alignment over the past events: With the new theme platforms and high-reach communication islands it offers the exhibitors and the visitors precisely this added value, which goes beyond the normal trade fair experience and the related expectations. We present the entire lifestyle world of the garden in Cologne as well as more and more design, tableware and decoration elements from the interior design segment. A development that is quite logical since the garden and interior sections are merging more and more in our living environment. This trend will be ongoing and will be further reflected in the concept of spoga+gafa.

 

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