Showing significant growth from years past, the Natural Stone Pavilion was recognized as “Best Booth” in the Best of StonExpo Awards, during The International Surface Event (TISE), held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, from January 31 to February 2, 2023. Stationed in the heart of StonExpo, one of three components of TISE, which also included TilExpo and Surfaces, the Natural Stone Pavilion featured a Stone Theater where educational sessions were held daily, as well as exhibiting stone producers from around the world.

“It was wonderful to have the jury recognize the entire Natural Stone Pavilion as a tribute to the commitment these companies have made to advance StonExpo as a trade show with a solid balance of both natural stone and technology -- tooling, equipment and adhesives,” said Jim Hieb, chief executive officer / executive director of the Natural Stone Institute and Natural Stone Foundation. “The Pavilion is the result of collaboration and teamwork amongst several international trade associations to help bring more awareness to natural stone. We are grateful to receive the award and encourage other natural stone suppliers to look to StonExpo as a vehicle to advance their company and their materials.”

The Natural Stone Pavilion was in partnership with five leading industry international associations, including Centrorochas (Brazil), Assimagra (Portugal), Green Marble Association (Greece), Confindustria Marmomacchine Association (Italy) and Istanbul Mineral Exports Association IMIB (Turkey). The expansion included special programming for architects, designers and stone distributors with classroom learning and product tours of the pavilion. 

This was the first time the Greek Marble Association had a presence at StonExpo. Enterprise Greece, the official investment and trade promotion agency of the Greek state, under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported the association’s participation. A Greek Marble pavilion was set up within the Natural Stone Pavilion, comprising eight prominent stone producers of the sector. Visitors had the opportunity to watch step-by-step the creation of a work of art produced by a sculptor graduate student from the School of Fine Arts of Panormos, Tinos, Greece, and were informed about the endless possibilities offered by Greek marble in various applications.

“We were really happy to have the space and create momentum for Greek marble,” said Irini Papagiannouli of John Papagiannoulis Bros S.A. of Athens, Greece, and Global (International) representative on the Natural Stone Institute Board of Directors. “It helped us to see how we can better approach the U.S. market, which is really important. It also allowed us to showcase how Greek marble can be diversified. We were happy to have the collaboration and the opportunity to have a strong presence abroad.”