German trade fairs are most popular

Everyone in Europe is talking about “the crisis”. However, despite currency problems and debt crisis the German trade fair industry faces an upward trend – and many exhibitors intend to spend even more money on their trade fair appearances in 2012 and 2013.

According to a recent survey carried out by TNS Emnid for AUMA, the German association for trade fairs, 30 % of those companies represented at a trade fair in 2011 will ramp up their trade show budgets. Another 55 % will neither increase nor decrease their spending. In most cases the extra money will be spent on a more attractive design of the booth or its enlargement. Thus, trade fairs continue to play a vital role in the marketing strategies of large and small companies alike, which is also reflected by the fact that more and more small companies decide to exhibit at relevant trade shows. Trade fairs in Germany become increasingly interesting for exhibitors from abroad, which resulted in a surpassing plus of 4 % in 2011. “Many non-European companies that want to explore the European market start by exhibiting on trade fairs in Germany” says AUMA-Chairman Hans-Joachim Boekstegers. But also for those foreign companies that have already established their products on the European and/or German market are German trade fairs an important marketing tool: AUMA forecasts a further increase in the numbers of exhibitors and visitors of two per cent in 2012.

Further information on trade fairs in Germany this can be obtained under: auma.de

Gardening around the world

It is said that globalisation and modern communication techniques make our planet a smaller place. To a certain extent, this is definitely true, but still it is only half the story as can be seen when looking at garden lovers around the world.

There is one thing, apart from gardening, that gardeners all over the world have in common: Blogging and online gardening. Always in search of inspiration and advice, gardeners love to communicate with other like-minded people everywhere on the globe. The Swedish lawn-mower producer Husqvarna and the German garden equipment producer Gardena, which is also part of the Husqvarna Group, made use of the gardeners’ web affine manner and produced the Global Garden Report. Having analysed more than 1.4 million blog posts in 13 countries they received a very clear picture as to what is hot or not for garden lovers.

Although they found out that the idea of the personal garden paradise is strongly determined by different cultures and the respective zeitgeist in the particular countries, they could put up a top-ten-list of relevant garden trends. According to this list kitchen gardening is the gardeners’ favourite, followed by the organic garden and the feel-good garden. The designed and artistic garden as well as the re-creating wilderness completes the top five. The social garden, urban farming, the lush garden, container gardening and greenhouse gardening follow on positions six to ten. However, the report also reveals that what may be hot in Denmark may not in Norway. Within the next few weeks we will present summaries from the report for each of the surveyed 13 countries.

The full report is available here: newsroom.husqvarna.com

 

Gardening transforms from being “uncool” to “delightful”

Parents with children that do the gardening are amongst those lucky 15 per cent, whose kids’ favourite activities in the garden are not just playing or chilling. A recent survey carried out by Suttons Seeds shows that merely 15 % of young people aged between 15 and 24 do the gardening – at least occasionally.

Even when looking at the next age group, i.e. 25 to 34, this figure rises by only one per cent. According to the survey, teenagers do not see gardening as being “cool” and is simply non-existent for the vast majority of young people in their twenties. However, their attitude towards gardening changes once they are in their thirties. With the focus on career progression, marriage/partnership and home-making, people in their thirties tend to buy their first own house – naturally, with a garden. Now that they have their own garden, they want it to look nice and tidy. Out of necessity, the interest in gardening rises, but there is still a lack of knowledge. Ten years later, in their forties, interest and knowledge have significantly risen. From now on gardening is no longer just a chore; it has evolved into a delightful leisure activity. Another ten years later, when the former “gardening-isn’t-cool-teens” are in their fifties, they are very experienced gardeners with very good (13 %) or quite good (47 %) knowledge.

3 questions to: Jacqueline van der Kloet

Jacqueline van der Kloet is an internationally well-known garden architect with projects e.g. EXPO 2000 in Hanover, Highline and Battery Park New York, World Horticultural Exhibition Floriade 2002 and 2012, Millenniumpark Chicago, River Park Shenyang, Governmental District Kuwait etc. the designer of many private gardens throughout Europe and a successful writer of gardening books.

What is the most striking difference concerning private gardens between now and ten years ago?
van der Kloet:
In my opinion gardens are getting more valuable and important. People spend a lot of money to create their private paradise. They look for quality of plants, trees, but also for sophisticated gardening designs, materials and luxury furniture.

Do you think this is an answer to the rapid changing world?
van der Kloet: As far as my profession is concerned, I cannot feel the crisis. Maybe, beautiful gardens are an answer to a world we can no longer understand and maybe, gardens give a feeling of freedom and peace which we can hardly find somewhere else these days.

You travel a lot around the world, what does your garden mean to you?
van der Kloet: Whenever I come home again, my tea-garden (www.theetuin.nl) welcomes and surprises me and sometimes it even asks me to stay for a while, take a break or work hard to get rid of the weeds and to enjoy life, sun and rain and the miracles of nature around us.

Prize-winning innovative

The “green industry” and “innovation” are not necessarily a contradiction. The Swiss garden centre Meier of Dürnten proves that both can go together very well. The company was recently awarded the “Graines d’Or” prize as the most innovative garden centre in Europe. Even the location of the award presentation was pretty unusual: It took place at the Paris nightclub Lido.

But what is it that makes this company so innovative, so extraordinary? Could it be the many events in the premise, as for instance the family-days, the handicraft courses or the roses-days? Maybe the garden journeys organised by Meier, e.g. to the Netherlands and Great Britain? Is it possibly the child care by three child minders, which is so unusual for a garden centre? Could it be the excellent service and the distinguished advice for all customers? But no, perhaps it is the wide ranging assortment? Or could it even be the highly professional media work done by the 115 years old family business? In fact, it is a bit of all, or as was said in the laudation in Paris: The Meier family has proven that innovation and tradition don’t have to exclude each other. The brave steps the family took in difficult times reflect the way in which this family is able to uncompromisingly realise visions and use their strengths in order to expand their business.

A deeper impression of the most innovative garden centre in Europe can be obtained here: meier-ag.ch

Congratulations!