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VERONA, ITALY -- Closing its doors on Sunday, October 6, after four successful days, the Marmomacc Stone Fair in Verona, Italy, reported that the event succeeded expectations, and this sentiment was confirmed by many exhibitors at the exhibition.
According to Veronafiere, the organizer of Marmomacc, more than 63,000 people attended the event, and 44% of these visitors came from 120 different foreign nations. The show featured 1,536 international exhibitors, who showcased natural stone as well as stoneworking equipment, tooling and accessories and intstallation/maintentance products. "This edition -- despite the world economic situation -- went far beyond our expectations, confirming the exhibition as a vital appointment for trade operators in the natural stone field, from machinery to instrumental products, from blocks to more complex processing, as well as for the construction sector and the contract field," said Luigi Castelletti, President of Veronafiere.
As usual, Stone World was present at Marmomacc, and the following trends were noted at this year's event:
- Many stone suppliers introduced new materials at Marmomacc 2008 -- particularly varieties of onyx and other exotic materials. Suppliers reported that demand for these high-end materials have not suffered a major drop-off despite uncertainties in the world market.
- Sales of "standard" stone materials have become increasingly difficult -- particularly with regard to the U.S. market. Most suppliers of these materials reported a philosophy of: "Work harder to sell a little less," with the emphasis on making sure these declines remained as minimal as possible.
- Equipment manufacturers did introduce a range of new technology at Marmomacc 2008, including innovations for kitchen countertop producers. While some of these introductions were completely new machines, others were modifications that could be made on existing machines, such as new vacuum pods or tooling.
- Suppliers of installation products and other material treatments also showcased new innovations at Marmomacc, and they seemed to be focused on improving finished products or adding efficiency to the stoneworking process.