spoga+gafa, the largest garden lifestyle trade fair in the world, impressively confirmed its standing as the most important industry meeting point for the green industry in Cologne from 19 to 21 June 2022. Around 25,000 visitors from 112 countries came to Cologne to experience the new products and innovations of around 1,000 exhibitors from 52 countries live. The first spoga+gafa without spoga horse being staged parallel and with its new venue date in June thus made a successful comeback after three years.
Taking the reserved approach of the Asiatic manufacturers into account, spoga+gafa 2022 reached the pre-crisis level in terms of the number of exhibitors. That was acknowledged by top decision-makers, many of whom had made their way to Cologne. As usual, the European core markets Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain were strongly represented by dealers and buyers. Intercontinentally, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, the UK and the USA were excellently represented at the trade fair. The share of foreign visitors rose up to 67 percent (2019: 65%).
“The quality and internationality of the visitors is outstanding. This has become clear from our discussions with the exhibitors. We have used the last 2.5 years to further develop spoga+gafa and are delighted to experience the first benefits here live. Thanks to the 365-day platform, which we initiated over the last weeks, spoga+gafa will in future also lend the green industry strong support all year round,” stated Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer, Koelnmesse GmbH.
Focus on sustainability
As expected, this year’s focal theme “Sustainable Gardens” was omnipresent throughout the halls: The emphasis was placed on durable, reusable and resource-saving materials and on the efficient implementation of energy and water in the garden across all segments. spoga+gafa thus once again satisfied its claim of being the theme platform and trendsetter of the green industry.
As such, the Industry Garden Association e.V. (IVG), the industry sponsor of spoga+gafa, was also satisfied with the outcome of the trade fair: “We are delighted that the trade fair is finally taking place again. We really missed the personal contact and it was good to be able to shake people’s hands again. There may have been fewer visitors here than before the pandemic, but the quality of the visitors is spot on. That is the decisive thing,” confirmed Anna Hackstein, Executive Director of the IVG.
A premiere is now scheduled after the trade fair in Cologne: The aftershow starts on the new digital platform of spoga+gafa on 27 June – with live interviews, recorded videos of the stages as well as digital events of the exhibitors. Seamless networking is also possible after the fair closes via the app. The 365-day platform of spoga+gafa goes live soon and already invites guests to attend the digital deep dive “BBQ” on 8 September. And the joyful anticipation for 2023 is already growing: By the way, guests of the Global DIY Summit in Berlin, which will be staged there from 14-16 June 2023, can now plan their direct onward journey to Cologne. Because spoga+gafa 2023 is scheduled to take place from 18 to 20 June 2023.
Quotes from exhibitors
“After two years of stop, it has been a great pleasure to come back to spoga+gafa. Thanks to our local presence in all European countries, we have been able to keep in close contact with all our customers in the recent years, however this is the first international fair which has occurred for our industry since 2019. The attendance and the reply to our invitation have been warmly accepted. We consider ourselves satisfied both regarding the affluency and the timing of the fair. Indeed, June is an important month for monitoring the sell-out and introducing our brand-new products for the 2023 summer season. We are grateful to our trusted customers and all the new contacts, who decided to visit us and see our 390 square metre booth with our new collection.”
– Simone Zesi, Chief Executive Officer
“It was a special show after 2,5 years, with a good atmosphere. The quantity might be less, but I don’t care: It’s about quality, and the quality is very high. All the top customers in the world were here, so it was a very good show for us.”
– Toine van de Ven, Managing Director
“We were happy to inspire and meet our customers in person again at our green stand. It is great to be back and have the opportunity to share our sustainability journey and present our 2023 innovations to our customers and prospects.”
– Olaf Elderenbosch, Chief Executive Officer
“The quality of the visitors clearly tops the quantity. We held very concrete discussions with the right people. We and our contact persons had the necessary peace and quiet to hold these dialogues. It really was a very good trade fair.”
– Andreas Fonken, Sales Director DACH
“After the long compulsory break, it was great that the industry was able to finally meet up in Cologne again. We were able to connect up with many long-standing personal contacts again here and also establish new ones. The visitors at our stand were very international, which enabled interesting discussions.”
– Heribert Wettels, Company Spokesman
“As first-time exhibitors at spoga+gafa we were very much looking forward to the event and we received a clearly positive response, especially in combination with the other EVL members here on-site. We also stood out positively with our stand. We were extremely surprised about the high export share. We were able to win over many customers beyond the DACH region and get to know potential high-quality customers.”
– Philip Wurm, Executive Director
“We are extremely satisfied with the trade fair. It is the first time we exhibited. We are an international dealer and we especially established good international contacts, that is exactly what we had hoped for. So, we look forward to returning.”
– Olaf Kramm, Chief Executive Officer
“Here at HÖRMANN we are very content with the outcome of spoga+gafa. We had a “full house” at our stand the whole time from Sunday onwards already. We were able to establish many interesting new business contacts and were able to optimally present our products that fall in the upper- class segment at the trade fair to this market which is new to us.”
– Sebastian Fischer, Sales Director, HÖRMANN
“For us it was a fantastic trade fair. We were here in the BBQ hall for the first time and thus in exactly the right place to present our new product, the Sevo Smart Control GTS. We had many qualified contacts and are thus already looking forward to the next trade fair.”
– Joyce Gesing, Executive Director
“We are very satisfied with the course of the trade fair. Overall, we clearly felt that people want to meet in person again and spoga+gafa offers an optimal platform for this. The frequency of the visitors who came to see us was consistently high, both nationally and internationally, and showed that the new date was also well received. spoga+gafa convinced us once again in 2022 as a business platform.”
– Marcos Grespan, Sales Director