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Marmomacc 2013 A Symphony of Stone, Design and Technology

Veronica EntranceMarmomacc 2013 welcomes over 1,400 exhibitors from nearly 60 countries and more than 56 thousand visitors.

At its 48th edition, the International Trade Fair for Stone, Design and Technologies, which was held from 25 to 28 September 2013 at Verona, Italy, yet again ranked as a leading event in sustaining the marble system on the world market to promote development of products and technologies and become an increasingly qualified cultural workshop for worldwide trends in stone construction and design. Marmomacc 2013 welcomed well over 1,400 exhibitors from nearly 60 countries – including new entries from Singapore, Slovenia and Ireland – 16 international group attendances and 44 official trade missions from 44 countries. Institutional visitors included the Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, and the Egyptian Minister for Industry and Trade, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour.

A new record of operators from 143 nations marked the closure of the 48th edition of Marmomacc. This new record confirms the role of the Verona Exhibition Centre as a global centre for business focusing on the natural stone, design and technology value chain. In addition to coverage of geographic areas, the overall share of foreign operators visiting the halls grew by 6 per cent to 55 per cent of the 56,000 visitors in total. The top ten specialised operators came first of all from Germany, followed by India, Spain, Turkey, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Brazil. The four days of the event welcomed well over 1,400 exhibitors from nearly 60 countries with new entries from Singapore, Slovenia and Ireland; there were 16 international group attendances, with the return of Palestine and the debut of Tunisia, and 44 official trade missions from 44 countries.

Ettore Riello

Ettore Riello, President of Veronafiere

“The results of the 48th Marmomacc,” said President of Veronafiere Ettore Riello, “confirm the validity of the show’s unique formula combining business with product culture, design, training and constant innovation. All this is equally hallmarked by Marmomacc’s increasing internationalisation; its initiatives abroad interpret and promote the excellence of the Italian stone industry – as highlighted during the visit by the Deputy Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda. Further proof of our role as a global hub is that, despite continued economic and financial difficulties, nearly three-quarters of the world’s countries – 143 out of 205 – decided to attend the event. We must also highlight the importance of the first official visit to Italy by Egyptian Minister for Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour.”

Giovanni Mantovani, chief executive officer and director general, Veronafiere

Giovanni Mantovani, chief executive officer
and director general, Veronafiere

“During Marmomacc 2013,” said Giovanni Mantovani, chief executive officer and director general, Veronafiere, “the central concept of highly qualified trade visitors was upheld, not the least through the selective efforts of Veronafiere’s international network of representatives who followed up specific programmes of B2B meetings with exhibitors in the course of the event. We finalised a great many of international agreements, in particular the launch of a new collaboration with Egypt that will be completed with the debut in 2014 in Cairo of MS Africa and the Middle East; we also unveiled a partnership in the stone industry in Palestine and implemented on-going operations in Brazil with the two most important trade fairs in the sector. Our activities also continue in North America, alongside Hanley Wood, as well as in Middle East markets. We are also developing initiatives in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia. Evidently, the international market is working and we will have to focus on this fact for the future. It was precisely from abroad, in fact, that we recorded an increase in qualified operators, and this testifies to the fine work carried out to promote incoming attendance.”

Flavio Marabelli, honorary president, Confindustria Marmo-macchine, said: “The exhibition generated very positive results and was especially encouraging as regards maintaining certain markets and developing others, both for materials and technology. I saw good signs from Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Asia as a whole for technology, while for materials there was promising feedback from Gulf countries and the recovery in the United States.”

A sense of optimism about the industry prevailed among the exhibitors at the 48th edition of Marmomacc. This optimism was shared by Italian and other foreign companies, Turkey being one of them. Erdogan Akbulak, member, board of directors, IMIB, the government association that organised the impressive group attendance by Turkish companies at Marmomacc, said: “The situation is not the same as before the crisis but compared to last year, I can say that it has slightly improved. I spoke with some of our exhibitors and they emphasise that the visitors they met were all highly professional. I am fairly optimistic, especially as regards certain markets, such as the United States.”

Colarge 1Italian companies specialising in processing were quite happy. “We are satisfied; the market is definitely picking up, especially American markets, although I also saw positive signs in other areas, such as Asia. Nonetheless, the strongest signal for us as producers of processed materials came precisely from the United States. The recovery is confirmed by attendance at the show by many US buyers,” said Carlo Varni, sales manager, Franchi Marmi.

Roberta Zanet of Marmi Bruno Zanet, was also quite pleased: “Our assessment is very positive because we have seen a strong recovery. We worked well, especially on Far East markets, and we also saw a good recovery in the United States, where a good number of important architectural projects are underway. Brazil is a fundamental resource for materials for us and it will be all the more so, thanks to the initiative launched there by Marmomacc.”

A sense of optimism also prevailed among companies in the technology sector. Gianbattista Pedrini, the soul of Pedrin SpA, said: “We expected a good show and it certainly was. The problems we have in Italy are absent abroad and as a result we can fortunately export between 85 per cent and 90 per cent…this year we should post the same turnover as before the crisis. This year we invoiced 25 per cent more than last year, thanks to foreign markets that have already begun to recover, such as Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and even China, which is now looking at Italian machinery to improve the quality of its products intended for export.”

These feelings were also confirmed by Benetti Macchine: “The impression is better than in other years: turnout was high and visitors came with specific and well-defined interests and not just to gain an idea of the market. We work in the quarry world and in this area we saw a revival both abroad as in Italy. And there was even some demand for projects in new countries.”

Igino Bombana, owner of Tenax Spa, summed it up: “This year was positive for us; if we look at the market in general, I can say that Italy performed quite well but abroad things were much better albeit with differences from country to country. Brazil, India and Turkey are fundamental for us and where we also have our own local offices we recorded excellent results.”

Inside Marmomacc

At the exhibition, Hall 7B was transformed into “Inside Marmomacc” – a venue for exhibitions, installations and international conferences dedicated to the use of stone. Inside Marmomacc was also the stage for numerous awards and honours, such as the XIII edition of the International Stone Architecture Award, which celebrates the best architectural projects involving the use of stone; the Ad Memoriam Award; the Vernacular Architecture Award; the Best Communicator Award for exhibitors distinguished by the quality and originality of their stands; the Master of Stone Award; and the Women in Marble Award.

Cultural projects were particularly distinguished by the installations at the Marmomacc and Design “Fluid Stone” event involving young under-30 designers capable of interpreting stone materials using modern media tools, as well as the exhibitions of prototypes by students of the Faculty of Architecture, Ferrara, and students at the Brenzoni Art School; the Bathing in Light exhibition of works from Turkey; the rotating disks with marble tiles in Opus Motus; the two different Stone and Luxury SPA installations representing the relationship between man, water and stone; the Structural Stone event for the design of prototypes and design themes for stone architecture and many others.

There was also impressive participation by architects, engineers and designers at the course and educational activities promoted by the Stone Academy involving 20 Italian and international universities, this year joined by schools of architecture in Florida and Ljubljana.

Even after its closure, Marmomacc will continue to live at Verona until the end of October with ‘Marmomacc and The City’, an exhibition of stone sculptures and installations in the streets and squares of the historic centre of the city.

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