Marmo+Mac, Europe's main annual stone exhibition held in Verona, Italy, will NOT now go ahead this year at the showground. A version will take place online.
The organisers have, until now, maintained that the exhibition would be held as usual in Verona. But it became clear few people outside Italy intended to visit and those who usually exhibit were reluctant to commit to doing so this year. Some had already pulled out. Others would not say they would not exhibit, but would not commit to being there, either.
The Italians, in announcing that the exhibition will now be held online only, put it this way: "The persistence of the actual situation of uncertainty related to the worsening of the Covid-19 emergency all around the world, has highlighted the absence of the conditions needed to ensure the respect of the qualitative standards that are one of the main strengths of Marmomac, with its international profile."
But they did not want exhibitors to lose the opportunity of reaching a worldwide audience entirely, so there will be an online exhibition on three of the four days that the show was to have been held (30 September to 2 October) on what is described as an 'interactive platform', whatever that might turn out to be.
Elena Amadini, the Exhibition Manager, says in an email to exhibitors that there will be "three-days of meetings, networking, B2B, digital events, to know and be known through a global format with no restrictions or limits.
"You’ll benefit from new relationships created by artificial intelligence and preview the profiles of registered operators, filtering your interlocutors by cluster and country of origin.
"This and much more will be offered by Marmo+Mac ReStart online."
The exhibition was called 'Re-start' this year because the natural stone industry worldwide had already gone into a small decline, notably in Italy, before the pandemic. The exhibition organisers wanted this year's exhibition to mark the beginning of a natural stone revival.
It remains to be seen if the Xiamen Stone Fair in China, already postponed twice this year and opened after a fashion as an online event on 6 June, will go ahead on 27-30 October in Xiamen according to the latest re-reschedule.