VeronaFiere has announced some new additions to Marmomacc, the international stone exhibition in Verona, Italy, which will take place from October 5 to 8, 2006. Innovations include the inauguration of two new halls (10 and 11, measuring over 215,000 square feet). These new halls will house suppliers of natural stone for use in the design sector and for distributors of finished products. Additionally, Hall 7 will offer a global presentation of sectors, including tools, abrasives and chemical products for processing.

Apart from the exhibition itself, there will be a full calendar of cultural initiatives on the use of stone in modern architecture. The “Marble Art and Culture” program includes meetings and reports on trends and new design styles, with a focus on the end user. There will also be a theme-based, guided tour of exhibitors involved in interior design, external surfaces and cladding.

Organizers also reported that, as of press time several months before the event, 90% of companies exhibiting at the last edition had already confirmed attendance for 2006. The roster features 1,450 exhibitors, including 675 international firms from 51 countries. Last year's attendance was comprised of 62,048 visitors from 116 countries, including 300 accredited journalists, and delegations from Turkey, Spain, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan and China.

Moreover, the event is now an official member of the prestigious Marble Institute of America, and it is an official “education provider” for the AIA (American Institute of Architects). As of this year, they are also offering an on-line course in the use of natural stone through AECDaily (