Cersaie 2023 (edition number 40, from 25 to 29 September in Bologna, for info and tickets here) is off to a great start: 15 pavilions covering 145 thousand square metres, growing exhibitors, a five-station itinerary with various initiatives to celebrate the fair's 40th anniversary, and the presence of the Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso among the speakers at the inaugural conference on Monday 25 September at 11 a.m. at the Palazzo dei Congressi.
Who are the exhibitors at Cersaie 2023?
As always, it is the ceramic giants that dominate, accounting for 57% of the total number of exhibitors, while bathroom furnishings account for 15%. Of absolute importance is the foreign component, in the order of 40%, which once again confirms the internationality of Cersaie 2023.
Cersaie after the flood: solidarity and business
These are the figures that were presented at the press conference that launched the 40th edition of Cersaie at the Unipol Tower in Bologna and expressed condolences for the victims of the flooding in Emilia-Romagna, which also hit some companies in the ceramic sector hard.
"Last weekend we received enormous solidarity," Giovanni Savorani (president of Confindustria Ceramica) said movingly. "With volunteers coming from all over the region and beyond, in Romagna we are already showing signs of recovery, even though the situation remains critical: in Faenza, one in five inhabitants has a house that is uninhabitable and we are helping out among relatives and friends. Since there is no running water, many people even go to the office to take a shower. The situation is also complex for companies, where workers are unable to reach their workplaces due to damage to infrastructure and landslides in the hillside villages. To customers who asked us what they could do for us, I replied: place orders'.
Cersaie: an international fair
Savorani, after recalling that in 2022 the entire ceramic industry exceeded 8 billion euros in turnover with strong growth, noted that the first few months of this year had seen a drop in turnover in the region of 10%. "Cersaie is an international trade fair and a world showcase for Made in Italy. In this 40th edition we can announce that the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso will be among the speakers at the opening conference on Monday 25 September at 11.00 a.m. at the Palazzo dei Congressi".
A chance to restart
"In times of difficulty, trade fairs are an opportunity for the entire local economic fabric to restart," added Gianpiero Calzolari (president of BolognaFiere), "and Cersaie represents the leading trade fair for the ceramic sector and our territory. The exhibition centre continues with its investment programme and in a few years' time will complete the quality leap by becoming even more international. Climate change imposes important choices on the front of infrastructures and new production technologies, but we are all in the front line: from companies to institutions. The Fair will continue to be close to the families and companies affected by the floods'.
In his speech, the mayor of Bologna, Matteo Lepore, emphasised that at the moment, as far as the metropolitan area of Bologna is concerned, the emergency is mainly concentrated in the Imola area due to landslides and the interrupted road network. "We have not seen infrastructure damage of this importance since the post-World War II period and several billion euros will be needed," he said. Lepore recalled that more than 10,000 families have settled in Bologna in recent years and the investments envisaged by the PNRR funds will exceed one billion euros, without consuming land. "Redevelopment is the watchword: at the moment our main projects are on disused railway areas and concentrated around the high-speed train station, as well as on the creation of six new urban parks and the reduction of emissions, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Cersaie is a fundamental moment for the development of our territory and is a snapshot of our competitive capacity on international markets'.
Exhibitors on the rise
"Four months before the opening, we can say that it will be a sold-out edition," said Emilio Mussini (Vice President of Confindustria Ceramica). "In the 15 pavilions available this year, with a total area of 145 thousand square metres fully occupied, we are registering several thousand square metres more than in 2022. The number of exhibitors is also up by a few percentage points compared to last year's 624. Ceramic companies present account for 57% of the total, while bathroom furnishings represent 15%. Of absolute importance is the foreign component, in the order of 40%, which once again confirms the internationality of Cersaie".
Telling 40 years of history
On the initiatives to celebrate Cersaie's 40th anniversary, Mussini illustrated the exhibition itinerary at the fair consisting of five stations. The first, at the Service Centre, will be a teaser of the others: two located in Gallery 21/22, two in Gallery 25/25 and the last in the Mall of Hall 37. Each will consist of graphics representing products and personalities of the decade, accompanied by a series of videos with images of product applications, historical context and events at Cersaie and with music otiginous to the historical period. Cersaie also launched a campaign in April on its social accounts Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook in the ten most important markets for ceramics and bathroom furnishings: Italy, France and Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Holland and Belgium, Great Britain, the United States and Canada. A communication campaign involving all the exhibitors, based on the re-proposal of products, projects and events that, over the course of four decades, have posed significant discontinuities. Without forgetting, with an eye to the future, the new evolutions and applications of the ceramic product.
Many events and opportunities to meet
"The Costruire Abitare Pensare (Building, Dwelling, Thinking) cultural programme is confirmed," Mussini continued, "with leading names in the world of contemporary architecture. The 18 Press Cafés will be held in the Media Agora in Mall 29/30 and will be preceded, in the week before the fair, by a digital roadshow in cooperation with five foreign publishers. The Cersaie Disegna la tua Casa initiative is confirmed once again this year. This edition's novelties also concern the world of laying, with an eye on future generations and professional training: six very young people, aged between 17 and 23, will try their hand at creating an artefact using tiles of different sizes."
Ceramics, the product of a territory
Rethinking architectural space was at the heart of architect Massimo Iosa Ghini's speech. "The real challenge is to thrive in harmonisation, generating development and maintaining the ability to preserve the environment. Ceramic is a product of the territory both geographically and above all conceptually, which has undergone an extraordinary evolution thanks also to technological innovation'. Ceramics and bathroom furnishings no longer live in an autonomous dimension, but thanks to research and innovation they are now rightfully part of the new uses of buildings, initiating new challenges on space, quality of existence and sustainability. Ceramic is the main product of surfaces because it allows different aesthetic and usage requirements to be interpreted, while fully respecting the environment.