Numbers of international visitors exceed 50,000 for the first time
The outstanding figure for the 2016 edition of CERSAIE, the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings held in Bologna from 26 to 30 september in cooperation with Bolognafiere, was the total attendance of more than 106,000 (almost 5,000 more than in 2015; +4.7%). This included growth in numbers of both Italian and international visitors, the latter in particular exceeding 50,000 for the first time in CERSAIE’s history. As usual, the commercial side of the show was complemented by events catering for the world of architecture, interior design, installation and end consumers.
As usual, representativeness and international scope were the key characteristics of CERSAIE, which alongside the traditional sectors of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings once again hosted a large number of exhibitors of wood, marble and natural stone surface coverings.
The figures speak for themselves: the six exhibition sectors hosted 852 exhibitors from 43 different countries (four more than in 2015) in an exhibition floor of 156,000 square meters, and there were 335 non-Italian exhibitor companies, almost a third of the total. Ceramic tile was the best represented sector with 491 companies (including 237 non-Italian), followed by bathroom furnishings with 194, confirming CERSAIE’s position as Italy’s largest bathroom furnishing exhibition and one of the leading shows for the sector in Europe.
The show’s appeal coupled with a strong economy in a number of international markets fuelled double-figure attendance growth, including a recovery in numbers of Italian visitors after several years of stagnation (+3.8% to a total of 55,623) and a continued rise in international visitors (+5.7% to 50,976). As always, the Italian and international press were very strongly represented, reaching a total of 797 journalists, of which 472 were Italian and 325 non-Italian (40%). These figures confirm CERSAIE’s position as a key event for developing global business in the ceramic floor and wall tile and bathroom furnishing sectors, while the more than 170 countries of origin of the visitors underscore the show’s powerful role as an engine for international trade.
CERSAIE is a vital appointment for architects, interior designers, tile fixers and the general public. Lord Norman Foster was the eighth consecutive Pritzker architecture prize winner to give CERSAIE’s keynote lecture in front of an audience of more than 2,000 people. The exhibition ‘CER-sail’ curated by Angelo Dall’Aglio and Davide Vercelli in hall 30 attracted large numbers of attendees. There was very keen interest in all the other conferences in the ‘building, dwelling, thinking’ cultural programme, which earned architects education credits along with those gained for attendance of the show itself. Other very popular events included the various practical demonstrations, the presentation of the industry-average epd and the technical meetings held in tiling town in partnership with the main professional associations. ‘CERSAIE designs your home’ was strongly attended by consumers interested in renovating their homes. Bologna design week was also a big success, with a programme of cultural events held in the evenings in a number of prestigious locations throughout the city.