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spoga horse 2022 - the anticipation is rising

4 Aug 2021

The focus is currently on the future at spoga horse in Cologne. Together with a highly motivated team and a head full of innovative ideas, Director Dr. Maria Näther is already looking forward to welcoming trade visitors to the B2B leading trade fair for the international equestrian industry.

What can visitors from all over the world be curious about when the trade fair gates open from February 5 to 7, 2022, and what can they expect from the relaunch of spoga horse? Maria Näther already reveals a little bit in our interview...

New course set for the world's leading trade fair for the international equestrian sector

Dr. Näther, you have been Director of spoga horse for over a year now - and so far you have not been able to invite to a trade fair on site. How do you feel about this situation?

The fact that we can't or aren't allowed to do any trade fairs at the moment is already very dramatic for our industry. If there is one good thing I would like to get out of this crisis, it is the time we have gained for a new and refined concept. It is a challenge that we as a team and as an entire industry are happy to take on with full energy. We will go new and innovative ways with spoga horse than before. To be more specific, this means: we are currently planning many new formats in order to be able to be even more attractive for the international equestrian industry. And yes, the excitement definitely increases the closer we get to February 2022. My team and I will definitely give everything to make sure that we can host a new, great and, of course, safe event.

Dr. Maria Näther - Director spoga horse

Dr. Maria Näther - Director spoga horse

You have used the time without a "physical" trade show to set a new track for the world's leading trade show for the international equestrian industry. In this context, you speak of a "new look" and an innovative concept.

Yes, we have not only changed the concept of spoga horse, but have also given the event a completely new look. I think that is also very important. Because we also want to make the conceptual changes visually visible - for everyone involved. It should be apparent at first glance that we have embarked on a new innovative path towards the future.

Eagerly awaited - spoga horse with a new look

What does it look like, the new look that awaits trade visitors next February?

I don't want to reveal too much about this yet in order to keep up the suspense, but I can tell you this much, because we were really innovative in this respect:

In the first step, we established a working group - the spoga horse Industry Panel - with many decision-makers from the industry. It was important for us to involve our exhibitors and visitors from the very beginning, so that we could develop the new concept and the many ideas with the greatest possible added value for the industry. Personally, I am also convinced that we have succeeded well.

In the second step, we created a new key visual for spoga horse. A young creative team supported us in this. This new look is intended to illustrate the many new ideas about how we are moving into the future together. Bold, innovative and with a lot of passion.

The pillars of success

What are the pillars of the new concept and is there a guiding theme for 2022?

I think there are several pillars of the new concept, because our claim is to be THE leading B2B trade fair for the global equestrian industry.

  1. in the future the topics exhibition, networking and conference should be played equally.
  2. we will increasingly address new and underrepresented target groups on the exhibitor and visitor side. Of course, the DNA of the B2B sector will always remain.
  3. we will put even more focus on new products, innovations and new product lines. This is what the global trade wants to see and touch.
  4. we will integrate new events at the event to cater to all target groups at spoga horse.
  5. and, of course, the digitalization of the event itself. With spoga horse @home, we can once again significantly increase the reach of the entire event and take relevance to a whole new level.

You are planning to hold spoga horse hybrid in the future. Does a modern trade fair have to take place both online and on-site? A look at the many purely virtual trade fairs during the pandemic shows that the online trade fairs were less successful than we had hoped.

Of course, we in our industry also know that digitization is becoming increasingly important. No matter which area you look at. Many things can now be controlled from home via internet. Nevertheless, I am convinced that a personal meeting and a live presentation of a product have a completely different significance. The fact that we now have a combination of both formats is, in my opinion, a very big added value for everyone. The physical trade show is the highlight for the personal exchange and the presentation of all new products. The digital platform is a great addition, on the one hand to make the preparation and follow-up work for retailers even more effective, and on the other hand to increase the reach and attention once again.

Excellent innovations - successful premiere

In the absence of trade fair visitors, you positioned a new award format this year with the spoga horse TOP INNVATIONS. As part of the competition, you called for forward-looking products and services to be presented to an interdisciplinary jury.

The industry regularly brings exciting innovations to the market, especially in the area of sustainability and safety for horse and rider. Innovations are further development and bring movement into the industry. However, they also need an international stage and this is where we see the responsibility also at spoga horse to provide this stage. After all, it is the basis for better interaction between horse and rider. Great innovations are therefore an important sign for the industry.

What is the conclusion you draw after this premiere?

It was a complete success. We were overwhelmed by the many international applicants. There were some great products and it was almost a shame that we were only allowed to nominate 30 products. We are already very excited about the second round, which will then take place physically at spoga horse 2022.

When you open spoga horse 2022 on February 5, you are particularly looking forward to...

...the physical coming together of the international equestrian industry. After two years without a trade fair, it's time again to see and exchange ideas in person. Personal contact simply has a very special quality. I am also looking forward to introducing the industry to the many new formats and the new concept of spoga horse, which I hope will now be brought to life in a sustainable way after a long period of planning.