CarraraMarmotec hosts an international audience
The 2007 edition of CarraraMarmotec, which took place from May 30 to June 2 in the world-renowned stoneworking center of Carrara, Italy, was regarded as a success by its organizers, as it saw an increase in its international attendance.
According to statistics released by CarraraMarmotec, the event drew 19,650 visitors, including 4,075 coming from 93 countries. Because of the show’s advantageous location in Carrara, these visitors were also able to tour a broad range of stoneworking facilities within the region. Of course, these producers are not only working with Carrara White marble, which made the region famous, but also with a range of granite, marble, travertine, onyx and other materials from around the world. Many of these stone producers are employing technology not seen elsewhere in the international stone industry.
As for the exhibition itself, organizers report that the event hosted 426 direct exhibitors, including 82 foreigners from 28 countries -- an increase of 20% over the 2006 event. Exhibitors included suppliers of natural stone products as well as machinery, installation and maintenance products and accessories, and the display area covered a total of more than 430,000 square feet.
“We are satisfied that this year’s fair has confirmed the positive trend in marble and granite exports, which have been a great incentive to Italian companies and have helped the Italian industry to maintain its position as a strong reference point in the international market,” said Giancarlo Tonini, CarraraFiere Chairman. “There has been an increased number of foreigners, who have been the main target for our promotional campaign.”
A total of 53.4% of foreign visitors came from Europe, 13.8% from Africa (showing an increase), 12.3% from the Americas (showing an increase), 13% from the Far East and 7% from the Middle East.
Growth within ItalyThe 2007 fair took place at a time of general growth in the Italian stone industry, which exported 3.239 million tons of raw materials and finished products in marble and granite in 2006. These exports had a value of 1.825 billion Euros ($2.495 billion U.S.). This marked an increase of 4.43% in terms of quantity and 7.58% in terms of value, and this trend has continued for the first few months of 2007 as well.
After a somewhat difficult period, “companies have invested to reorganize production and are now a more competitive force,” explained Paris Mazzanti, Managing Director of CarraraFiere, “with new products that appeal to designers and end users. Moreover, their renewed vitality substantiates our intent to make CarraraMarmotec the fair par excellence for natural stone and technology and the venue for training and information for the industry all over the world. This year’s exhibition was certainly positive, and we are already at work to plan our new promotions campaign for the coming year.”
Conferences and eventsAs usual, CarraraMarmotec was a well-rounded event, with a program of side events, such as conferences, design exhibitions, awards and presentations by leading names in architecture and industry. One of the most popular events was a meeting with leading contemporary architect Hans Kolhoff, who held a conference on the use of marble and other stone materials in important architectural works. Several technical seminars were also of interest, as well as a statistical report on the international stone industry.
Also showcasing the relationship between natural stone and architecture, the Marble Architectural Awards (MAA) were presented during CarraraMarmotec 2007. The presentation of these awards cited outstanding use of stone on eight different projects that were completed within Italy (the awards are given for architectural work in the different region of the world each year).
On the exhibition floor itself, the “Marble/Habitat” display was a showcase of ornaments and furnishings in natural stone by leading designers. Originally on display in the prestigious main hall at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, these works were delivered to the CarraraMarmotec fairgrounds so they could be viewed by fair attendees.
“Marble/Habitat aims to show important pieces of design in a place which exalts their size, characteristics and, above all, the great skills of the craftsmen who have turned the projects of leading designers into timeless objects of marble,” said Tonini, who added that the exhibition would not have been possible without the assistance of UP Group, which lent their historical collection of design pieces by well-known designers such as Castiglioni, De Lucchi, Di Rosa, Lazzotti, Natalini, Mari, Palterer, Sottsass, Jr. and Thun.
The next edition of CarraraMarmotec is scheduled from May 29 to June 1, 2008.
American and Indian delegations take part in CarraraMarmotecOne of the promotional events during CarraraMarmotec was a multi-day training seminar for two delegations -- one American and one Indian -- of important marble distributors and importers. These delegations came to Carrara to “study” the natural stone and technology of companies from the Tuscan marble district.
The event, organized by the ICE (Italian Trade Commission), Confindustria Marmomacchine and show organizer Internazionale Marmi e Macchine (IMM), sought to educate participants on the range of materials and processing technology in use in the region. This was achieved by visits to the CarraraMarmotec exhibition as well as tours of the famous Carrara White stone quarries, state-of-the-art stoneworking plants and completed architectural works.
“This event has enabled an important group of industry representatives to see the best products and advanced companies for themselves,” said CarraraFiere Chairman Giancarlo Tonini. “I sincerely hope that the contacts established will continue in the future with mutual satisfaction. Our commitment to promotion is our prime objective, and promotion is carried out all year long, not only during the fair.”