Dining Outdoors

Develop product ideas for the perfect outdoor dining experience! €15,000 prize pool

Develop product ideas for the perfect outdoor dining experience!


spoga+gafa is the world’s leading trade fair for the garden industry. It takes place every year in late summer (2 – 4 September 2012) in Cologne, Germany. What makes spoga+gafa special is garden unique, its premium area for outdoor furniture, which is developed together with leading manufacturers. Here, in an informal atmosphere, manufacturers, retailers and designers can find out about the latest trends and innovative ideas.


With this design contest, garden unique wants to inspire the industry on the one hand, and contribute to participation growth on the other. Following the huge success of last year’s contest, the 2012 contest will be the second to date. As was the case last year, the results of the design contest will be presented in a central exhibition to the international exhibitors and visitors and published in an exclusive yearbook. It will even be possible to admire the jury winners' work in the form of prototypes.



garden unique wants to present new, innovative concepts to the trade fair exhibitors and visitors on the theme of premium outdoor items in 2012 by presenting the results of this innovative design project. The exhibition area of the design contest is a real magnet for garden unique and underlines the innovative focus of the event.


Benefits for the creatives

The participants of this contest not only have the chance to win community prize money, but also jury prizes and the construction of a prototype of their design. garden unique is also offering the creators of selected ideas extensive media coverage. Participants will have direct access to contacts in the industry and the opportunity to turn their concept into a reality together with manufacturers.


Benefits for the exhibitors

For six months garden unique exhibitors will be given the exclusive rights to purchase and realize ideas from the contest.


Task Definition

Develop product ideas for the perfect outdoor dining experience!


Develop an item that is perfectly suited to a culinary event in the open air. From furniture that can be conveniently moved around and transported, to a sunshade for a picnic with family or friends, down to an outdoor kitchen, seating or shade for the professional and exclusive catering needs of a larger group. The focus of your concept should be the items that give your culinary event, whether small or large, an exclusive touch. Show how your design and the occasion come together to create a unique experience!


You should also consider the practical and logistical aspects of an outdoor occasion e.g.:

  • How can your item be transported?  
  • How is it assembled and dismantled?
  • How are the guests protected from sun, wind, rain, insects etc.?  

The project within the international designer community should also encourage discussion about the way the topic of “eating & drinking al fresco” is regarded and handled in different cultures and countries and in different parts of the world. You should also reflect on whether different generations deal with the subject differently.

Target Group


1. Furniture manufacturers and retailers 

The first target group for your product designs are the exhibitors and manufacturers of premium garden furniture. They should be impressed and inspired by your ideas, ideally to such an extent that they want to buy and realize your idea.


2. Users

End consumers for the product ideas are people from all over the world with discerning tastes when it comes to private and social events outdoors. This includes both private as well as professional users (such as hoteliers and restaurateurs).


3. Designers

The third target group consists of professional architects, landscape gardeners and designers who advise their customers in outdoor design and furnishing matters, and last but not least, you, the participant of this contest.





garden unique as an exclusive exhibition area of the international garden trade fair spoga+gafa is aimed at premium exhibitors and premium customers. Your design concept should therefore also be of a high quality and exclusive in its design, quality and materials.

Mandatory requirements

Design guidelines

  • At the focus of your concept are the items required for a small or large-scale culinary event. This can be individual components, like a light, a sun or mosquito net or also complete equipment sets. However, the aim of this contest is not to develop small accessories such as cutlery and such, even if these can, of course, be part of an overall concept.
  • It should be possible to transport and store your items well.
  • You can decide on the location for which you design your products.
  • There are no constraints whatsoever in terms of the design or materials of your items.
  • Selected ideas will be given the opportunity to be exhibited in the garden unique area. The prerequisite is that the creator is willing to personally present their work to a specialist audience at the trade fair.
  • For a possible presentation of your items, they should be available as a physical model or as a 3D model - ideally in a dxf., dwg. or stl. format.
  • To consolidate the success of this project - and to help promote your ideas – the submitted work may be shared in digital and printed form.


Legal framework conditions

  • During the event, the participants shall grant the organizers jovoto and Koelnmesse unrestricted rights of use for possible publications, press and promotional measures for print and digital media. 
  • The event organizers do not accept any liability whatsoever, even for possible claims from third parties.
  • Within the first six months after the end of the project, garden unique exhibitors exclusively receive the opportunity to purchase and realize the designs. The licensing price of an idea that is to be manufactured shall be individually negotiated with you.

Useful links

Project terms

For this project, special  project terms  apply.


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Project terms

In addition to jovoto’s General Terms (Nutzungsbedingungen) and Terms for Projects (Nutzungsbedingungen für Projects), I hereby give my consent to Koelnmesse and jovoto to feature this idea and its idea versions from the project ‘garden unqiue - dining outdoors’ in (i) dedicated picture books, handed out to exhibitors at the spoga+gafa garden fair 2012 (ii) in any printed media that Koelnmesse and jovoto issue to communicate and promote the aforementioned project. With regard to this, I assure that or consent that: I created this idea. Images and/or graphics used are properly licensed, or otherwise used by permission of the author (including license-free), and evidence of such can be provided upon request. Should my idea contain unlicensed material, I will immediatly inform jovoto’s contest manager for this project. Koelnmesse/jovoto can use my full name in combination with my idea in the aforementioned communication and promotion activities.