For the first year, Cersaie opened its doors up to exhibitors of marble, natural wood and stone -- introducing an array of new flooring and wall products to industry professionals from around the world. The show drew in 45 more exhibitors than last year and attracted visitors from three new foreign countries, contributing to the total number of international attendees, which represented almost half of this year's visitors. There was also an increase in the number of unique visitors and journalists, which rose by 4.1% and 3.39%, respectively.
During the five-day show, there were a lot of things to see from the hundreds of tile exhibitors that were dispersed throughout 10 of the 21 halls that comprise the Bologna Exhibition Center. Some of the returning tile trends that TILE saw at this year's show included the popular wood and stone looks, which have become more realistic and detailed, along with colorful, glossy mosaics. Some new trends that were unveiled included graphic- and pop art-inspired tiles, some of which were based off of stories or cartoons, geometric-shaped tiles, three-dimensional tiles, and ultra large-format slabs with considerable thicknesses and ultra-thin thicknesses.
One of the highlights of this year's event was a keynote lecture given by Japanese architect, Toyo Ito, winner of the 2013 Pritzker Prize and the sixth consecutive Pritzker Prize winner to give Cersaie's keynote speech. Another very popular event was "Cer-Sea," the exhibition exploring ways of exploiting seaside resorts at all times of day and throughout the year to improve their capacity to generate more revenue and attract tourists; each year, Cersaie organizes small exhibitions that focus on a particular theme and are completed by local artists and designers, and this was this year's concept, completed by two Italian designers, Angelo Dall'Aglio and Davide Vercelli.
Attendees also showed a strong interest in Cersaie's interactive conference and seminar series, "Building, Dwelling, Thinking," which for the first time granted training credits for participating architects. Some of this year's guest speakers included Carme Pinós, Javier Corvalán, Riccardo Blumer and Stefano Mirti -- who discussed everything from the history of architecture to the future of ceramic tile.
Also popular were the various works in progress and meetings held at "Tiling Town," a location within the Bologna Exhibiton Center dedicated to training young tile setters and presenting installation techniques. The initiative, "Cersaie Designs your Home," proved to be a big success with consumers, many of whom came equipped with plans for their home renovation projects.
Overall, Cersaie 2014 was another successful show for exhibitors and attendees, as well as all of the organizations that helped bring it to life. The new sections of marble, natural wood and stone products proved to be a hit, with many visitors perusing through each of the exhibitors' booths to see what they had to offer. Dates for next year's show, which will again be held at the Bologna Convention Center in Bologna, Italy, have not been finalized yet.