Marmo+Mac, the annual Italian stone exhibition held in Verona, has confirmed that the show will go ahead this year on schedule from 30 September to 3 October.
It is being called 'Marmomac Re-Start 2020', a title reflecting the aim of the exhibition to kick-start the recovery of the international stone industry after the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisers say this special edition of the exhibition seeks to relaunch the natural stone sector towards a 'new normal'.
But it will be a scaled down version of the exhibition with exhibitors mostly coming from Italy. Albion Stone, the producer of Portland limestone that has been the UK's only regular exhibitor of stone at Marmo+Mac in recent years, says it is 'almost certain' it will not attend this year.
The exhibition is one of the world's major stone exhibitions in one of the world's main trading centres for stone. For this reason, say the fair organisers, Marmomac Re-Start 2020 will go ahead.
It will have a carefully thought-out format to protect visitors and exhibitors from spreading Covid-19, including a new entrance.
Marmo+Mac is also in the process of developing a number of digital services to run alongside the onsite exhibition that will make virtual meetings possible for international buyers unable to attend because of coronavirus restrictions.
Italy has some 3,000 stone companies with annual sales worth €2.6billion, 70% of which comes from exports.
The stone industry in Italy had already gone into a down-turn last year before the pandemic, with sales of stone and processing machinery down 7% on 2018.
Giovanni Mantovani, CEO or Veronafiere, said yesterday (15 June): “Through Marmomac Re-Start we aim to assure the most important natural stone community in the world that we have promoted for the past 55 years a 2020 edition in total safety hallmarked by resumption that we can share with clients, exhibitors and operators in response to the challenge that the sector is called upon to tackle.
"The Verona-system and, more generally, the country-system... seeks to ensure that the recovery for the stone industry starts off from Italy, where Veronafiere organises the leading sector event."
The exhibition will once again include the Italian Stone Theatre, showcasing the interaction between natural stone, projects by major international architecture studios and innovative processing technologies developed in Italy.
The organisers of the exhibition also want to try to get a better idea of the fall-out from the coronavirus and invite you to complete a brief (one page) online questionnaire. If you would like to participate, click here.