The event, which is taking place in its 23rd edition, will include displays of marble from the region as well as natural stone from throughout Italy
and the world. It will also feature manufacturers of stone fabrication machinery, quarrying equipment and stone installation and maintenance products.
The 2001 edition of the fair included 862 exhibitors, including 112 foreign companies from 30 different countries. These companies exhibited over a space of more than 320,000 square feet.
Once again, CarraraMarmotec will be hosting exhibitors from around the world, including companies from Italy and throughout Europe. Also, of particular note, some exhibitors will be coming from Eastern Europe and other areas such as Iran, India, Pakistan and China. "This proves that, just when traditional markets are going through a hard time, producers see the Carrara district and the Carrara Fair as the ideal instrument to promote their materials and goods, or to increase the number of their trading partners," stated Internazionale Marmi e Macchine Carrara (IMM Carrara), the organizer of the fair. "The massive participation of foreign exhibitors or representative boards is the fruit of a huge promotional campaign carried out all over the world, especially in those areas which have the best development potential, such as the Middle East, with special attention to Iran, which can boast a rapidly growing stone industry."
The organizers had conducted an extensive worldwide promotional campaign, which was in cooperation with the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad. They included the Chamber of Commerce of Queensland for Australia; Cairo and Tunis for the North African area; Izmir for Turkey; Salonika for Greece; Lisbon for Portugal; Madrid for Spain; and Marseilles for France. In addition, the Italian Chambers of Commerce to Zurich, The Hague, Stockholm and Brussels are also making efforts in Europe.
These efforts have targeted exhibitors as well as visitors, and IMM Carrara has not only promoted CarraraMarmotec, but the Carrara stoneworking region as "an area where the most important quarrying, processing and trading companies are located, along with those companies that manufacture cutting-edge technology." According to a census taken by IMM Carrara last year, a total of 1,093 stone companies are operating in the region, employing 6,622 people. Moreover, 164 technology and service companies are in operation, employing 1,452 people.
Visitors attend CarraraMarmotec for various reasons. Last year, a total of 70% of attendees reported that their primary interest was on natural stone products, with the remaining 30% focusing on technology. However, many visitors are interested in both sectors, as 50% of attendees in 2001 said they were interested in both areas.
Through a cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ICE (Foreign Trade Institute) and the Region of Tuscany, many official delegations from foreign nations have been organized for 2002. These delegations will be composed of architects as well as professionals from all over the world, who will provide the exhibitors with high-profile contacts.
Educational eventsIn addition to the fair itself, professionals from around the world take part in the show on the Internet by going to the "CarraraMarmotec virtual fair" Web site at "www.carraramarmotec.com." This site will offer a reconstruction of the fair on computer, with details on the exhibitors as well as events surrounding CarraraMarmotec.
Moving beyond the exhibitors, a broad range of educational sessions are being organized for visitors to the 2002 fair. These sessions will provide information and discussion opportunities on technical and cultural topics, with an emphasis on the current worldwide economic situation and the aftermath of the events of September 11.
The schedule of the events will include the presentation of the book "Stone Sector," which offers an overview of the stone industry, and will be discussed by international experts. Other seminars will discuss new European regulations for stone, and there will also be a technical session held by the architects who will have won the Marble Architectural Awards. These awards were given to those architects that have accomplished noteworthy stone projects in Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Addressing topics that have been of particular concern for the international stone industry, the fair organizers have outlined three additional discussion areas. "The first concerns the need to protect the 'reputation' of natural stone from misleading communication by competing products that have damaged the reputation of marble and granite to gain market shares that they could not otherwise penetrate," stated IMM Carrara. "A specific meeting will address the needs and measures to be taken to properly protect the 'reputation' of natural stone."
Another discussion will compare the stone production and application systems in different countries and regions. This session will take on the form of an open debate that will also try to assess the future prospects of the leading markets. Finally, a third session will highlight female architects, providing an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the contributions by women working in the stone sector, particularly in the area of design. "This topic is certainly not traditional, and contributions from women designers are bound to raise the level of attention and general debate," stated IMM Carrara.
In addition to addressing stone for new construction, the restoration sector has become an increasingly important sector of CarraraMarmotec. Reflecting this trend, a stone restoration exposition will be established to showcase products by companies from this sector. These firms will not only be displaying products, but they will also give demonstrations of their techniques. Also, a technical seminar will offer hands-on education, technical information and completed case studies.