With the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world by storm in the beginning of 2020, many industry events were forced to be cancelled or postponed to a future date. Veronafiere, the organizer of Marmomac, strategized a plan to still hold the international stone fair virtually. Usually held annually in Verona, Italy, the 2020 edition took place through a series of online sessions, private chat rooms and video demonstrations from September 30 to October 2.

The networking and training platform was set in motion after the attended exhibition was postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic. In total, participants from 135 countries took part in Veronafiere’s first 100% online event. Attendees, who linked up across the portal over the three-day virtual event, totaled 4,975, of which 60% were international. This number included 200 top-buyers who were invited by Veronafiere and ICE-Italian Foreign Trade Commission.

As a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of Marmomac transitioned to a completely digital platform – continuing to bring the stone community together to network, share information and present new products. 

Marmomac ReStart featured 210 exhibitors who hosted virtual booths, including 111 international companies from 22 countries. More than 3,100 products and 840 projects were uploaded to exhibitor profiles. The hit list for Marmomac ReStart Digital Edition traffic saw Italy take first place, followed by India, Brazil, the U.S., Turkey, Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany and China. A representative list of markets in line with current supply and demand.

“We are very pleased with the result of this first entirely digital event,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere. “Natural stone within reach of a click proved to be popular, especially among international visitors who accounted for a 60% share, thereby validating the level of internationality already achieved by the physically attended trade fair. The global natural stone community responded well and this confirms the huge appeal of Marmomac. Even the digital version proved to be an effective matching tool, with an average score for the quality of b2b contacts of 4.5 out of 5.”

Marmomac ReStart was held from September 30 to October 2, 2020, and drew slightly under 5,000 viewers.

The exhibition was also accompanied by a great deal of on-line content, with 158 live streaming events, including webinars, company presentations and Marmomac Academy refresher courses for architects and designers. All in all, 67 speakers took turns on-screen. The most popular market focus session involved Brazil; there was also significant interest for in-depth information about the U.S. and China. 

The next edition of Marmomac is currently scheduled for September 29 to October 2, 2021. Visit www.marmomac.com for up-to-date information on the event.