TheMarmomacc trade fair in Verona, Italy, has been long established as the international stone industry’s top event. And this past edition, which took place from September 26 to 29, 2012, was no exception, as it drew visitors from countries around the globe. Moreover, the show’s organizer, Veronafiere, announced a number of initiatives that increase its presence across the world.

Among them, Veronafiere announced its entry into the Brazilian market through the acquisition of a 60% stake in Milanez & Milaneze, the organizers of the Vitória Stone Fair and Cachoeiro Stone Fair.

“Brazil provides a natural entrance for the U.S. market,” said Claudio Solignani, Veronafiere’s Director of Strategic Planning. “The Vitória Stone Fair is crucial. We are working with the Brazilian organizers to understand what can be done in the future to increase American presence at the show.”

Solignani also said that a long-term goal is to bring more of the architecture and design community to the Vitória Stone Fair, an initiative that has become very successful at Marmomacc in Verona. “We are working with Milanez & Milaneze to add more initiatives to attract architects,” he said. “Adding a design component is a key value that Veronafiere can bring to a trade show. Marmomacc has become strong internationally — from quarry workers to designers — and we want to export this vision of the trade show to Brazil. This will be a key point in the future — to gain higher recognition with architects. The first focus of this will be the local community.”

Veronafiere also announced the purchase of a 30% stake in Medinit, in Casablanca, Morocco, a construction show that also includes stone; and the creation of a new event, MS Africa Middle East, to be held annually in Cairo, Egypt. This show, named after Marmomacc and Samoter (Veronafiere’s international construction machinery trade fair), will focus on construction materials, technologies and equipment.These new initiatives join a number of existing Marmomacc-related events around the world: StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas in Las Vegas, NV (in partnership with Hanley Wood Exhibitions), as well as Qatar Stonetech and Saudi Stone Tech in the Middle East (the latter co-organized by Veronafiere).

“Brazil provides a natural entrance for the U.S. market,"   --- Claudio Solignani

This expanded portfolio of international opportunities will allow Veronafiere to better support Marmomacc exhibitors in key global markets, whether important stone consumers like the U.S. and the Middle East, or major stone-producing nations, such as Brazil.

Marmomacc 2012

As for Marmomacc 2012, of the 1,450 companies exhibiting at the show, 60% were from abroad, representing a total of 57 countries. Over 56,000 stone trade professionals attended, 52% of which came from abroad. Trade visitor numbers were on par with 2011. The overall internationalization trend can also be seen in the number of countries represented among visitors, which increased from 132 to 140.

As always, design was a principal focus at Marmomacc. The sixth edition of Marmomacc Meets Design, the Best Communicator Award and continuing education for architects were among the highlights of the design component of the show.

Those who attended Marmomacc had the opportunity to view some of the latest stone products and technologies. With indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, displays included slabs and blocks of granite, marble, limestone, travertine, onyx and other materials from quarries around the world. Some exhibitors announced new or expanded quarry locations for some of the industry’s “traditional materials.” Also, many types of exotics were on display. In addition to rare quartzite varieties, these introductions included semi-precious stones as well as backlit onyx panels. Also showing innovation, many exhibitors showed materials in new formats or surface finishes.

Equipment for stone fabrication and quarrying were a major component of the exhibition, as well as stone maintenance and installation products. In addition to the machines themselves, exhibitors displayed new products in the area of tooling and accessories — many of which were aimed at the fabrication market.

For companies that supply stone treatments, many of the advances were aimed specifically at fabricators, including new adhesives and sealers designed for white marble — a growing trend in the North American market. Suppliers also spread the message of their eco-friendly practices, which is of growing importance in today’s business landscape.