After a couple of years of unpredictable attendance, the Vitória Stone Fair/Marmo+Mac Latin America seems to be back on its feet. This year, the event was held from June 7 to 10, 2018, at the Carapina Events Center in Vitória, ES, Brazil, where it hosted 225 exhibitors and welcomed thousands of visitors.
Fifteen years ago in 2003, the fair made a major move to Vitória, the capital city of ES, which also serves as the largest Brazilian producer of ornamental stones. Before that, the fair was located in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, ES, Brazil, where a large contingent of stone companies have quarries and factories. A smaller, more localized version of the fair has since been created, known as Cachoiero Stone Fair, which is hosted each August.
In 2014, the Vitória Stone Fair was rebranded to Vitória Stone Fair/Marmo+Mac Latin America in an attempt to combine business with design and product culture, while also offering training courses for architects and industry professionals, which was very well-received.
Organized annually by Milanez & Milaneze, in partnership with the Veronafiere Group, the international fair showcases the newest products and innovations in natural stone, including a variety of exotic materials, as well as those indigenous to Brazil. This year’s edition highlighted trending stones, stone-related technology, machinery, equipment, accessories and services.
“The world market is constantly changing and in search of new innovations and connectivity,” said Alberto Piz, director of Milanez & Milaneze. “Vitória Stone Fair needs to walk alongside the changes. This edition revealed a new look, which involved interaction and innovative experiences for exhibitors, visitors and potential buyers. We can no longer think of using the stone in a singular way. We need to increase the supply so that companies become more competitive.”
The president of Sindirochas, Tales Machado, echoed Piz’s comments and explained how the fair showcased prominent Brazilian products, which visitors were eager to see. “Once again, the event reinforces the greatness of Espírito Santo in front of the productive arrangement of stones in the international market,” he said. “The last few years have been challenging for the whole industry, but a sector that deals with such noble materials carries with it a weighty feature: its strength and ability to reinvent itself. Given this, we are aware that the market will respond positively to all the news presented on the fair days and throughout the year. Through innovation, the industry raises its level of competition and product quality to better meet increasingly demanding markets.”
This year’s edition brought together national and international exhibitors from all Brazilian states and 15 countries. Israel participated for the first time, represented by the company, Yonani, along with another newcomer, Egyptian Modern Marble, an Egyptian firm specializing in marble and granite production.
“We had the opportunity to open to new markets, especially Latinos,” explained Ramiz George, marketing director for Egyptian Modern Marble, who said the company will return for future editions as a result of the partnerships formed this year. “We made contacts with Brazilian companies, from Mexico, Costa Rica and Ecuador.”
Although the fair was rescheduled this year from its original February dates, the show still saw a good turnout. However, after speaking with many exhibitors, Stone Worldlearned that the most favorable time of year to host the show is in February, before the Xiamen Stone Fair in Xiamen, China in early March, and after The International Surface Event in Las Vegas, NV, in late January.
“It’s a really bad time of the year for Brazil,” said Felipe Dutra, account executive at Thor Granitos, of the current June itinerary. “There is low inventory and it’s the high season. I would recommend moving it to November, when it’s the low season, there’s more time and more inventory.”
For more information about the fair, visit www.vitoriastonefair.com.br.