The 26th edition of Cersaie, the international exhibition of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings, recently took place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 in Bologna, Italy. Although the week was pressed against a world financial crisis, attendance figures did not disappoint nor did the efforts brought forth by those exhibiting.
When touring the halls, very little evidence gave way that the turnout this year was at 84,537, an 8% decrease from its more than 90,000 visitors in 2007. In fact, the exhibit space was increased by 20,000 square meters (found in the new two-level hall 14-15) to a record total of 176,000 square meters. According to show organizers, "not only was this additional space fully booked several months in advance, it also allowed for participation by a record 1,074 exhibitors from 34 different countries, including 230 from abroad." Additionally, international presence rose to 25,675, which accounted for more than 30% of the total professional attendees -- a first for the show.
It was clear that manufacturers were hard at work, eloquently showcasing their latest products. Tiles with gold, silver or copper tones and materials made with attention to the environment highlighted this year's fair.
Many company's featured new lines created with recycled products, including Green Tech Tile by Ergon Tile, which is made of 40% recycled material and can be offered at lower prices, in the hopes of reaching additional markets. Golden tones, for instance Pardelli's Predioza pure gold line, were also being featured to appeal to commercial applications as well as other geographic markets.
AwardsThis year's Cersaie Award for best booths at the show went to Coem Ceramiche, Ceramiche del Conca and Refin Ceramiche for the ceramic tile category, while Ceramica Dolomite, Falper and Rubinetteria Cristina received the award for the bathroom furnishings category. The decision was made by a panel of judges that included Aldo Colonetti (Director of IED Milano), Gilda Bojardi (Editor of Interni) and Franco Origoni (Origoni&Steiner).
Additionally, the Confindustria Ceramica Distributors Award -- a competition open to European distributors that have excelled in their relations with the Italian tile industry -- was given to Nuova Comes srl from Italy, Galeries du Carrelage from France, Schmidt Rudersdorf from Germany and Neoceramica SA from Spain.
Tone of the showThe overall tone of the show was set on the first night at the International Press Conference, in which the current world financial situation was addressed. It was clear that the U.S. would no longer be the primary focus of world demand. "Although the U.S. has driven the world's economy for the past 15 years, we now need to look towards other markets," said Confindustria Ceramica Chairman Alfonso Panzani.
Yet, as days passed many companies remained optimistic. For instance, Ege Seramik reported having success with U.S. customers at the show. "There's been many U.S. customers stopping in," said Onur Oyman, President of Ege Seramik America, Inc. "We've already had about 20 consumers."
The next Cersaie will be held in Bologna, Italy, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, 2009.