Organizers of the recently concluded Cersaie ceramic tile and bathroom furnishing trade fairs in Bologna, Italy, report the number of “actual admissions” to the 2011 event was 113,165, up 0.8% from last year’s figure of 112,292. “This figure, which is the most widely used by leading trade fair events, counts the number of visitors actually present inside the exhibition center and includes re-entries on subsequent days,” according to Confindustria Ceramica.

In detail, the number of international attendees rose from 43,939 to 45,616 (+3.8%) while numbers of paying visitors increased by 5% to 2,714. The figure for Italian attendees dropped by almost 900 (-1.4%) to 64,132. Cersaie also confirmed its international appeal, with non-Italian visitors now accounting for 40% of total attendance.

Another important figure is that of attendance considering first entries only, which at Cersaie 2011 totaled 81,552. This figure, which shows a small 2% reduction compared to last year’s 83,286 attendees, confirms an increase in numbers of international attendees (from 24,960 to 25,155; +0.8%) and a fall in numbers of Italians (from 58,326 to 56,397; -3.3%), due to “the well-known difficulties in the domestic building sector,” fair organizers noted.

Attendance was strong at the first day’s events consisting of the opening conference entitled “Living with an evolving market”, which was attended by more than 700 people.

The various conferences and symposia in the third edition of Cersaie’s cultural program “Building Dwelling Thinking” were also well attended by architects, designers and students. Nearly 1,000 attended the keynote lecture by Kazuyo Sejima and the “lesson in reverse” given by Alessandro Mendini, which included a particularly strong student presence.

The Architecture Gallery was also packed for the meetings with Giorgio Bianchi from Renzo Piano Building Workshop on New York architecture, with Cameron Sinclair on the initiatives of Architecture for Humanity, with Kengo Kuma on projects in Japan and worldwide, and with Patricia Urquiola on her vision of design.

The exhibitions “Ceramics of Italy. Le Metamorfosi” in external area 48 and “Cersaie Downtown” located in three squares in the center of Bologna, also attracted strong attendance.

The 30th annual Cersaie event will be held in Bologna, September 25-29, 2012.