Trade Show Coverage / International Coverage

Stone+tec Nürnberg takes a new approach

Focusing on the German-speaking region and Central Europe, the Stone+tec trade event in Nuremberg, Germany, saw a different level of success

Stone+tec, a biennial trade fair for stone and technology, took place in Nuremberg, Germany from May 29 to June 1, 2013 and proved that it is rightly one of the sector’s top events in the world. The biennial gathering drew 19,562 trade visitors — primarily from the surrounding German-speaking region and Central Europe.

“We are convinced we have taken a decisive step forward with the 2013 event,” said Willy Viethen, Director of Exhibitions at NürnbergMesse and also responsible for Stone+tec Nürnberg. “Supply and demand change, trade flows change. Exhibitions as reflections of the market must change accordingly, as this is the only way they can survive as sector gatherings.”

Stone+tec Nürnberg
Stone+tec, a biennial trade fair for stone and technology, took place in Nuremberg, Germany from May 29 to June 1, 2013 and it drew 19,562 trade visitors — primarily from the surrounding German-speaking region and Central Europe.

The show is divided into three exhibition segments — “Natural Stone,” “Technology” and “Gravestones,” and its marketing efforts were directed at a more narrow area this year. “For more than three decades, Stone+tec Nürnberg has maintained its position in a global market with strong regional emphases and many challenges,” Viethen said. “We spoke to many companies and stone experts in the preparatory phase of this year’s exhibition in order to obtain an impression of what the market actually needs at the moment. The result clearly indicated where we have to go from here: smaller but smarter.”

With 543 exhibitors and nearly 20,000 visitors, Stone+tec Nürnberg still ranks among the biggest international trade fairs for natural stone. “In terms of figures alone, Stone+tec Nürnberg is the world’s number five,” Viethen said. The majority of the visitors — mainly stonemasons, stone traders, tile installers, landscape contractors and architects — came from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (altogether about 80%) and the neighboring European regions. Visitors from a total of 55 nations came to the event. According to the show organizers, nine out of 10 visitors are involved in purchasing and procurement decisions in their company.

The list of the largest exhibiting countries is headed by Germany, followed by Italy, China, India, Turkey, France, Austria, Portugal and Egypt. Basis for success: quality before quantity.

Award-winning achievements

Once again, awards for outstanding achievements in architecture and craftsmanship were presented at Stone+tec Nürnberg 2013. The winner of the 2013 German Natural Stone Award was chosen from some 60 works entered, and it is the new e-science lab designed by the Austrian architects Baumschlager Eberle for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. The German Natural Stone Award is presented every two years to user-orientated indoor or outdoor projects of natural stone that are examples of high architectural quality, technically innovative application and sustainable construction using natural stone.

Additionally, the Peter Parler Award is presented for special achievements by the stonemasonry trade in the field of restoration and historic preservation. This year’s award was shared this year by Markus and Christof Traub for their restoration of the “wayside shrine” in Halle and Roland Heimbach and Christoph Mai of Monolith Bamberg, for their restoration and preservation of the choir of St. Lorenz Church in Nuremberg.

A European skills competition to promote newcomers to the stonemasonry trade took place for the first time at Stone+tec Nürnberg 2013. Seven young male and female stonemasons from Austria, Switzerland and Germany pitted their skills against each other in the task of making a head of their own design from a sandstone column 1.5 meters high. The Swiss stonemason Melanie Sterba won first prize with her work called “Der Schrei” (The Scream).

The next edition of Stone+tec will take place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from May 13 to 16, 2015.  

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