VITORIA, ESPÍRITO SANTO, BRAZIL -- Considered to be the largest stone trade fair in Latin America and one of the most important of the world, the next edition of the Vitória Stone Fair -- taking place from February 7 to 10, 2012 in Vitória, Brazil -- will serve as a showcase for the Brazilian stone sector and beyond. The event features stone suppliers from Brazil as well as international stone producers, along with stoneworking equipment, tooling and accessories.

In all, a total of 410 companies exhibited at the 2011 Vitória Stone Fair, an increase of around 11% over 2010. This included 315 firms from within Brazil, including companies from the State of Espírito Santo as well as other stone-producing states, such as Bahia, Minas Gerais and Caeará.

The event also included 95 international exhibitors, and they came from nations such as China, Italy, Egypt, India, Spain and Greece, among others.

According to Milanez & Milaneze, which organizes the event, a total of 25,542 people attended the 2011 Vitória Stone Fair, an increase of 6% over the previous year. Just under 10% of these attendees (2,540) came from outside of Brazil. The U.S. had the strongest international presence at the event, representing 35.3% of foreign visitors, followed by Italy (8.5%), China (6.0%) and Canada (5.9%).

Attendees at the event were able to view the full spectrum of stone materials, including marble, granite, quartzite, onyx, slate and other stones. In addition to a range of different stone materials, products could be found in a variety of formats and surface finishes -- including backlit panels and brushed and textured surfaces. Products on display in Vitoria included slabs as well as tiles, mosaics, sinks, furnishings, panels and other architectural applications.

In addition to exotic materials not seen before in the marketplace, exhibitors showcased some of the classic stones of Brazil, including materials from newly opened quarry sites.

Suppliers of stoneworking technology also offered new introductions, including new resin products and application technology, which are critical in the production of many Brazilian exotics.