The large boisterous crowd that congregated outside the gates of Veronafiere on the opening morning of Marmomac was certainly an indicator to the success of the international stone exhibition, which is held annually at the fairgrounds in Verona, Italy. The energized vibe carried strongly throughout the four-day event, and with a total of 68,000 visitors, the trade fair recorded an increase of 1,000 people over last year — reinforcing the fact the stone industry is on the upswing.
“Facts and figures for the 52nd Marmomac confirm its role of leadership for global trade in this sector,” said Maurizio Danese, president of Veronafiere. “We’re talking about 1,650 companies (64% international from 56 countries attended the trade fair) attracting 68,000 visitors from 147 countries. This edition also achieved the objective of expanding business for natural stone companies that concluded important contracts and signed orders for materials and technologies alike.”
Marmomac, as a b2b promotion platform, especially plays a strategic role for Italian stone industry products, which achieves almost 75% of turnover abroad. In 2015, the Italian government included the exhibition in its special “Made in Italy” promotional plan and, on the opening day this year, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, Ivan Scalfarotto, renewed the commitment to extend the funding made available also in 2018.
A primary objective for Marmomac 2017 was to increase its international attendance, according to Giovanni Mantovani, CEO and director general of Veronafiere. “Once again, attendance by international visitors came to 60% of the total, thereby reflecting the evolution of international markets and confirming Marmomac as a global platform for trade and promotion of the entire natural stone value chain,” he said. “In particular, there was growing interest among African countries, as well as even more buyers from North and South America, and consolidated attendance from Europe. At the same time, growth was seen for Asia with China and India, followed by Russia, where the market is recovering at last, and Turkey and Iran posting significant improvements. There was also good attendance from the domestic market, especially from central-southern Italy.
“Our objective now is to project the Marmomac brand energetically abroad, and we have already signed several system agreements in Italy and China this year, Mantovani went on to say. “The next appointment is scheduled in Miami in mid-October for Archmarathon and meetings with 50 studios of architecture from across the entire American continent to expand the network of the event even further.”
While walking through the bustling halls of Marmomac 2017 there were many new products that were attention grabbing. Beautiful exotic stones were being showcased by a number of stone producers. And although the color white remains a popular choice for design, there were other interesting marbles and quartzites characterized by movement of vibrant hues.
From Brazil, Gramazini introduced Jacaranda quartzite — named after a tree in Brazil that is deep red inside — and Magban displayed Blue Velvet quartzite, a unique blend of greenish blue, burgundy, beige and black. Moreover, Granos promoted Perla Santana, an elegant quartzite with soft light tones from its new quarry.
Quartz surfacing continued to have a presence as well, with an announcement from Tab India about the construction of a new plant to produce an exclusive line of quartz products and Quantum shared a preview of its new Renaissance Collection — named after the Italian artist and featuring 20 colors.
Brazilian producer Guidoni held a press conference to announce the opening of a distribution center in Verona to offer a one-stop shop for quartz and porcelain to the European market. “I think natural stone is still there, but we found it a necessary change,” said company owner Rafael Delogo. To celebrate afterwards, Guidoni enlisted the assistance of Leonardo Santos from MasterChef Brasil to cook for its guests.
On the machine side, Intermac demonstrated the Busetti F10 double-edging machine, an innovative and efficient piece of equipment that is ideal for rough or polished finishing of edges for rectangular sheets in natural, sintered and synthetic materials. The machine processes both sides of the sheet at the same time with thickness from 3 to 40mm. Another machine drawing a crowd was the Cyberstone CR1 from Donatoni — a robotic system to process stone materials, including cutting, shaping, turning and polishing up to sculpture.
Zares II from Terminator Diamond Products Inc., a fully offline 3D optical CNC tool measuring system, was also being demonstrated on the show floor. The system integrates directly with CNC routers.
The 53rd edition of Marmomac is scheduled at VeronaFiere from September 26 to 29, 2018.
What exhibitors were saying
When speaking with exhibitors — from a range of countries — it was apparent most of them had positive feelings about the show.
“The first day was busy. It has never been like this. I think it is a good sign.”
“We sold two machines to North American customers during the exhibition. We had quite a few [visitors] last year, but it is double this year. There are more Canadians.”
“It’s a very good show. We have new products and different treatments, and a lot of gimmicks for customers to play with.”
“It’s one of the busier shows I have been to. The first day we had about 9 or 10 Americans come to our booth and six or seven on the second day.”
“The first two days were really crowded. We changed our hall this year and we are better situated here.”
BEST COMMUNICATOR AWARD 2017
The 11th edition of the Best Communicator Award was presented during Marmomac Night, the gala evening organized by Veronafiere in the The Italian Stone Theatre area of the show. This prestigious setting welcomed guests and exhibitors to the event and the debut of its new award formula with three nominations for each category in the contest. These are the winners in the various categories: Design, Stone, Machinery and Tools.