Featuring more than 2,000 stone companies, the 16th edition of the Xiamen Stone Fair in Xiamen China, brought together companies from all over the world. Between the four exhibit halls of the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center, the show hit a new record with 180,000 square meters of exhibition space, hosting exhibitors from 56 countries. “We are happy that we are playing a role that tries our best to push the stone industry forward,” said Lai Guoxiang, general manager of the Xiamen Stone Fair, which was held from March 6 to 9, 2016. “It’s not just a success for us, but for the entire industry.”
The exhibition was split into four different sections, featuring domestic stone, international stone, machinery and tools, and an outdoor sector. New exhibitors accounted for 20% of the total amount of companies there. The international pavilions also grew in size, with the Italian pavilion expanding by 19.6%, the Egyptian pavilion by 50% and the Turkish Pavilion by 32.9%. There were also numerous countries that participated for the first time that included, Czech, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Morocco.
“The show started in 2001 with only 125 standard booths, with a total space of 4,000 square meters,” said Guoxiang. “In 2016, the total space was 180,000 square meters with 2,000 exhibitors from 56 countries; we received 148,573 visitors, 28,690 of which were from abroad. The visitors came from 148 different countries. The most important thing of running Xiamen Stone Fair is the will of the people and the power of joint work. We work with media, associations, trade shows and all that are interested in the show. We promote worldwide, and we provide a one-stop service. People therefore understand that Xiamen Stone Fair is the best choice.”
World Stone Congress
After seven years of development, the World Stone Congress expanded from one single meeting into a series of events and seminars on industry trends, products, technological innovation and design creation. In 2016, more than 40 meetings were held during the fair. One of the events held was the sixth Global Master Architects Forum, presented by Sou Fujimoto, a young architect with several international and domestic architectural awards. With more than 1,000 attendees in his forum, he reflected about the relationship between people, space and cities when it comes to architecture.
Also featured was the Stone Design Day, a forum co-organized by stone-ideas.com and Xiamen Stone Fair, with the purpose of discussing stone in architecture and interior design, as well as innovation of stone products. Eight lecturers presented from Greece, Thailand, Spain, France, Italy, India, Turkey and China. Although they differ in age, nationality, gender background and experience, they were all able to share the same love for stone and design to help the industry.
More than 20 education sessions were held during the show, where stone experts came together to reveal findings, innovations and suggestions for the stone industry.
MIA + BSI
Offering eight seminars in the conference program, organizing a one-day study tour visiting four stone facilities and factories, and hosting a member reception that drew 150 people, the MIA+BSI not only attended Xiamen Stone Fair, but became very involved with the show. “As the largest stone show in the world, we have known for several years that the Institute needed to be more involved with the show, especially since so many of our association members were either exhibiting or attending the show,” said Jim Hieb, CEO of the MIA + BSI. “One year ago, then Stone World magazine publisher Alex Bachrach helped open some doors for us with the Xiamen Fair organizers.” Along with the different seminars the institute put on, the Xiamen Stone Fair organizers agreed to fund a translation of the Dimension Stone Design Manual, which will be available later this year.
“This being my first visit to the Xiamen Stone Fair, I was just amazed at the sheer size of the show,” said Hieb. “I also didn’t expect to see as many attendees from North America as we did. The attendance at our reception and educational events further highlighted the importance of our role in providing great education and technical advice, as well as bringing people together at networking events.
“With 20 percent of the Institute’s membership being from outside the U.S., we need to continue to utilize shows like Xiamen, Vitoria, Marmomacc and others as a means to promote networking and education amongst our members,” Hieb went on to say. “We plan to go back to Xiamen next year and build on the successes of 2016 by hosting a member reception, study tour and again help out with industry education.”
The Xiamen Stone Fair will be held again next year in Xiamen, China, on March 6 to the 9, 2017.
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