The naturalness of stone

From 25 to 28 September, the Verona Fair hosts the 54th edition of Marmomac. The theme of 2019 is 'Naturality'

B2b meetings targeted by segment and type of use of natural stone materials, an educational project for interior designers, expanding digital developments and the international promotion network. These are some of the new features in the line-up for Marmomac 2019, scheduled at Veronafiere 25-28 September.

The most important world exhibition dedicated to marble, granite, processing technologies, applied design and training this year posts its 54th edition, confirming it status as the leading event in the natural stone sector. This value chain in 2018 saw trade of than 18 billion interchanges globally; Italian industry ranks in the forefront as regards added value of production, worth more than 4 billion euros last year (73% thanks to exports*).

Marmomac enjoys a high international profile, as confirmed by figures for the 2018 edition: 62% of the 1,616 exhibiting companies and 68,000 operators were international, from 150 countries worldwide. This result is also the outcome of collaboration with ICE-Italian Trade Agency, Confindustria Marmomacchine and the Veneto Region as regards international buyers.

“Marmomac is now the landmark meeting platform for international natural stone system professionals, where Italy plays a leading role,” said Maurizio Danese, President of Veronafiere. Veronafiere’s goal is to consolidate the leadership of this brand thanks to the guidelines in the new business plan through to 2022 which envisages investments of 105 million euros that also focus on the growth of our most successful formats.”

Business opportunities involving natural stone remain at the heart of the event and its product categories: marble, natural stone, granite, agglomerates and conglomerates, marble blocks, unhewn stone and large formats, processing machinery and equipment, means of transport and lifting, abrasives, diamond-cutting systems, chemical products and services.

Marmomac, © Ennevi Veronafiere
Marmomac, © Ennevi Veronafiere

With the aim of being an increasingly effective business tool, Marmomac 2019 will hold b2b meetings with a “speed dating” format focusing on three areas (luxury/slabs/tools), each with specific targets (architects/distributors/marble operators and installation technicians) from countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Mozambique, Turkey and Iran.

“Internationality is one of Marmomac’s development assets,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere. Starting from the event in Verona, we have since created a global community linked with natural stone products that today boasts roots in the United States with StoneExpo and Brazil thanks to Vitória and Cachoeiro Stone Fair. This is a continually expanding network which we are now also keen to test even in Asian markets, with new initiatives in Shanghai and Beijing.”

Marmomac 2018, © Luca Morandini
Marmomac 2018, © Ennevi Veronafiere

The trade growth of the exhibition relies on fundamental aspects such as innovation, design and training. This concept is represented at Marmomac by the exhibitions highlighted in Hall 1 The Italian Stone Theatre, that brings together Italian research, experimentation, natural stone and technology.

The theme for the 2019 edition is Naturality – the naturalness of stone in its purest aspect which enhances uniqueness and geodiversity, as emphasized by the green scenario alluding to the link between plant and mineral worlds.

A concept also backed up reaffirmed by Marmomac through its membership of Rete PNA (Pietra Naturale autentica – Authentic Natural Stone Network) to promote truly natural stone products.

Followings its debut in 2018, The Italian Stone Theatre welcomes back Brand & Stone 2.0, the exhibition where major furniture and design brands (Antonio Lupi, Aston Martin, Baxter, Casamania, Horm and Tonino Lamborghini Casa) create specific projects for companies in the natural stone sector.

The Art Ways event also returns, where five artists experiment with computer numerical stone processing technologies to produce works of art. The concept of hortus conclusus is taken up in Lithic Garden, with the development of five settings providing a cross-section view of the interior of a stone garden, while Natural Things seeks to rediscover the relationship between man and nature through eight new design projects. The hall is also complemented by the Ristorante d’Autore, dedicated to gastronomic excellence in a setting that recalls rocky landscapes, and the Wine Bar.

The Young Stone Project is an event dedicated to young students and researchers. It brings together stone material prototypes developed by six universities (Bari, Bologna, Pescara, Rome, Venice and Verona) and the Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella School of Marble.

Marmomac 2018, © Ennevi Veronafiere
Marmomac 2018, © Luca Morandini

Special emphasis is also given to architects. The Marmomac Academy organises specific training and refresher courses that this year also focus on the world of interior designers. One of the innovations at this edition of Marmomac is an educational project focusing in particular on interior designers who, thanks to three workshops, can investigate the features of natural stone products in order to propose this material more effectively among end customers.

Marmomac 2019 is even more digital, in a context of supporting business as well as continually expansion and diffusion of natural stone culture. First of all, a new App integrates with the geolocation system in all exhibition halls so that visitors can save their favourite exhibitors, voice and text memos, as well swap digital business cards.

B2in is an online platform for matching supply and demand where Italian and international companies and buyers have the chance to meet each other, organize appointments on stands and manage daily agendas.

The online catalogue of exhibitors is increasingly interactive with impressive content. Marmomac Plus +people+products+projects this year focuses even more on telling company stories and their project portfolios.

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 2020 promotional campaign, while the Best Communicator Award acknowledges the care and originality that exhibiting companies dedicate to their stand fittings.