International lawn and garden event spoga+gafa 2019 took place Sept. 1-3 in Cologne, Germany. The event featured more than 2,000 exhibitors in the lawn and garden, outdoor living and grilling categories. About 40,000 attendees from 124 countries came to explore the show floor.
For the first time since the event launched more than 40 years ago, spoga+gafa established a theme, City Gardening. The theme was developed in response to steady increase of city populations whose residents still desire green spaces outside and in their homes.
Education on the Show Floor
Attendees explored 10 halls that were divided into four categories: Garden BBQ, Garden Living, Garden Creation and Care and Garden Unique. For a more individualized experience, regular guided tours through certain spaces and following certain themes on the show floor were available. Tours topics included Plans, Cultivation and Care; Inspiration and Solutions for POS; and Trends in Furniture and Decor in 2020.
In addition to exhibitors on the show floor, spoga+gafa invited experts to speak on topics relating to products and trends and those that relate to the event’s theme. From furniture and decor trends in 2020 to preserving bee populations, the presentations spanned a broad range of topics to appeal to all attendees.
One presenter was Joe Franquinha, owner of Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center in Brooklyn, New York. He introduced several of his regular customers who have committed to creating or preserving their own green spaces in their urban neighborhoods.
“Urban residents are coming up with creative solutions to create their own green spaces,” Franquinha says. “Today, people aren’t stopping at three or four houseplants. They are bringing in a multitude of plants, and they’re making sure they are mobile so they can move them from apartment to apartment.”
The Whole Experience
Each area of the show floor provided opportunities for attendees to interact with products. In Garden Living and in Garden Unique, the show floor featured furniture fit for all types of outdoor living spaces. Furniture spanned broad categories, including extensive patio collections suited for large patios to an all-in-one convertible lounge that can be closed when not in use to protect it from the elements. Attendees enjoyed opportunities to test the furniture and rest after exploring the show floor.
In the Garden BBQ area of the show floor, which spanned two halls, attendees were encouraged to have a hands-on experience with grills, accessories and food. Many exhibitors set up cooking areas inside and outside to show the capabilities of their products in Outdoor Kitchen World.
One highlight of this space was Beef! On Stage, a grilling experience led by the editors of BEEF! magazine. The chefs led audiences through multiple cooking techniques such as dry aging and cooking with unique proteins, such as crab and eel. In addition to learning these techniques, audience members were able to sample the food that was prepared during the show.
The WD-40 Balloon Launch
On Monday afternoon, a first-of-its-kind event took place in the outdoor plaza of the convention center. The history of WD-40 is well known to some; the lubricant was initially developed for the aerospace industry, but is now a common household product. The company wanted to make its mark at spoga+gafa and return the product to its roots: outer space.
WD-40 partnered with a company that specializes in launching weather balloons. At spoga+gafa, a weather balloon was outfitted with a GPS tracking device, a camera and two cans of WD-40 and was launched into the stratosphere. Learn more about the history of WD-40 here.
spoga+gafa 2020 takes place Sept. 6-8 in Cologne. Mark your calendars and make plans to attend this extensive international lawn and garden event.