Verona, Italy - Even more international with a focus on Miami and the launch of a network of marble ambassadors. Increasingly interactive with a new web portal dedicated to architects. And now also more attentive to the world of art alongside designers. These are some of the innovations Marmomac will present during the 53rd edition, scheduled at Veronafiere 26-29 September 2018.

The trade fair is the most important global event dedicated to marble, granite, processing technologies, applied design and training.

Its leadership was confirmed by facts and figures for 2017: more than 1,600 exhibiting companies (64% international from 56 countries) and almost 68,000 visitors (60% international from 147 countries). Its exceptional international profile means that Marmomac is the landmark promotional platform for a sector involving trade worth more than 18 billion euros on a global scale. This is a market where processed products and stone technology Made in Italy hold second place in terms of exports - worth more than 3 billion euros - and the first for quality and added value.

Business opportunities liked with natural stone are as ever at the heart of the trade show through product categories that have been redefined this year to make them more stringent and rational: marble; natural stone; granite; agglomerates and conglomerates; marble blocks; unhewn stone and large formats; processing machinery and equipment; means of transport and lifting/hoisting; abrasives; diamonds; chemicals; services.

“Marmomac is one of our most important business events," said Maurizio Danese, President of Veronafiere. Today, it is the absolute benchmark for trade fairs in this sector worldwide. This is demonstrated by the higher levels of satisfaction among our exhibitors compared to competing events and the fact that - more than four months from the start of the show - the exhibition space of more than 80,000 square meters for Marmomac has already been sold out; there is also a waiting list of more than 40 companies and requests for at least a further 1000 square meters, of which 90% from international companies."

This guiding role has also been acknowledged by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development since 2015 - with the consequent inclusion of Marmomac in the Special Made in Italy Promotion Plan - as a strategic trade fair for the promotion of Italy's natural stone industry.

Within the scope of planned initiatives, collaboration between Marmomac, ICE-Italian Trade Agency and Confindustria Marmomacchine for incoming activities targeting international operators continues for 2018: 300 top buyers will selected, invited and hosted in Verona to attend b2b meetings, technical training sessions and visits to local companies.

All this is once again joined by the International Stone Summit - the world conference involving the world's leading marble associations.

"Internationality is one of the key words for understanding the success of Marmomac," said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO & Director General of Veronafiere. We have created a natural stone community that can also rely on the events we organize in consolidated as well as developing markets such as the United States, Brazil, Egypt and Morocco. We are keen to strengthen this network this year through the creation of Marble Ambassadors and thereby spread knowledge and use of stone materials, as well as Miami Calling - an initiative in partnership with Platform Magazine that seeks to analyse real estate opportunities in Florida."

Other fundamental aspects for developing trade during the show are innovation, design and training related to stone and its use.  This concept is represented at Marmomac by the exhibitions highlighted in The Italian Stone Theatre. This pavilion brings together Italian research, experimentation, marble and technologies.

The theme for the 2018 edition is Water and Stone. This year also sees the debut of an initiative dedicated to artists to enhance dialogue between water and stone materials in hospitality and well-being contexts.

Another news for 2018 is the show where big brands from design and furniture – such as Baxter, Swarovski, Luxury Living Group – work on specific projects with marble companies.

Great attention is also dedicated to architects arriving in Verona from all over the world. They benefit from exclusive training and refresher courses organised by the Marmomac Academy, as well as the new web portal ta8ilor-made for designers who use marble. This is an increasingly widespread trend since 88% of architects visiting the trade fair clearly state that stone will be included in their future projects.

Lastly, Marmomac also welcomes back two awards: the Icon Award identifies the work displayed in The Italian Stone Theatre that will be used as the image for the 2019 promotional campaign, while the Best Communicator Award acknowledges the care and originality that exhibiting companies dedicate to their stand fittings.