The international press conference was held yesterday evening in Palazzo Re Enzo in the centre of Bologna. It was followed by the award ceremony for the XIV Ceramic Tiles of Italy Journalism Award. The next major event will be held tomorrow, 30 September, when the press meets renowned architect David Childs
Cersaie has always devoted special attention to the Italian and international press and this year is no exception, as evidenced by the dozens of accredited journalists from leading daily newspapers, trade journals and architecture magazines who packed out the Sala del Podestà in Palazzo Re Enzo in the heart of Bologna.
At the customary Ceramic Tiles of Italy international press conference, the speakers’ platform was occupied by key figures from the Italian ceramic industry, who described the state of the sector, the principal new developments in the market, and the figures which suggest that 2010 will close with reassuring progress in all or almost all the main world markets.
“On the basis of the figures gathered in the first half of the year, we are expecting to report overall sector growth at the end of the year of between 2.5% and 3.5%,” noted Confindustria Ceramica Chairman Franco Manfredini. “A key role will be played by exports with expected growth of between 3% and 4.5%, corresponding to an increase in turnover of around 4.7 billion euro in 2010. This recovery reflects the improvement in the international economic situation and demonstrates that the downturn reported by the Italian ceramic industry in 2009 was not caused by a lack of competitiveness but was a direct result of the financial crisis.”
In other words, once these external factors have been eliminated, the Italian ceramic tile industry will be able to rapidly achieve an output of 500 million sq.m per year, particularly in view of the 6% growth in production of Italian companies operating abroad.
“We are doing everything possible to further consolidate the recovery in exports,” replied Roberto Luongo from the Italian Trade Commission ICE. “We are working alongside Confindustria Ceramica in all the key markets, from traditional outlets such as the UK and North America through to emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil. In these highly promising but also very complex markets our contribution may make a real difference. Our decision to support Cersaie stems from the fact that the exhibition is one of the key events for promoting Italian products worldwide”.
Italians have always been good at manufacturing and in the last twenty years have also acquired a high degree of skill in promotion. The Ceramic Tiles of Italy mark is an essential tool that has been used for more than two decades to promote the excellence of Italian ceramic tiles all over the world, offering an assurance of traceability that is not fully guaranteed by a still incomplete European standard. A number of other specific initiatives are being pursued to relaunch the sector in the domestic and foreign markets, including an innovative TV commercial commissioned by Confindustria Ceramica from Barabino & Partners which was screened during the conference and is due to be broadcast in October on national TV. The slogan chosen for the commercial is “ceramica italiana, creatività infinita” (“Italian ceramic tiles, infinite creativity”).
“The Ceramic Tiles of Italy mark, the new TV commercial and Cer Magazine – shortly due to be launched on iPad – are all tools that serve to bring the sector closer to potential consumers,” observes Vittorio Borelli, chairman of promotional activities for Confindustria Ceramica. “Cersaie is likewise an exceptional promotional tool with its packed programme of events, splendid displays and large number of exhibitors who once again have filled all the space available in the Bologna exhibition centre.”
In terms of figures, the 176,000 square metre space of Cersaie 2010 is hosting 1,012 exhibitor companies, including 263 foreign companies (one in four) from 33 countries. The event is focusing ever greater attention on bathroom furnishing, another area of Italian excellence in which the country retains its world-leading position.
“In a recent survey by GFK-Eurisko conducted over 24 million consumers, 95% of respondents declared that the bathroom was the most important room in the house,” explained Gianluca Marvelli, chairman of Assobagno. “Even at this difficult time when the sector has been severely hit by the stagnation of the building market, millions of consumers have decided to carry through significant renovation projects in the bathroom. This reflects a major cultural shift in which the bathroom is transformed from a purely functional space to a room devoted to the body and spirit and worthy of a high level of interior design. Companies are adapting their offerings to meet this change in demand.”
The international press conference was followed by the presentation ceremony for the XIV Ceramic Tiles of Italy Journalism Award, an international prize for the best article on Cersaie and the Italian ceramic industry published in a foreign magazine. A total of 145 articles published in 84 magazines in 25 different countries were submitted. This year the award went to Bulgarian journalist Mariana Svetoslavova, editor of Idealen Dom, who won over the jury with an article entitled Ceramics: digital and nostalgic. The jury also awarded two honourable mentions, one to Mahmoud Ahmad, editor of ICS Magazine (Egypt), for the article “Ceramics in history” and the other to Anthony Stock, editor of Tile Today (Australia), for the article “Slim line tonic, or the thin edge of the wedge?”.
The event continued in the Cersaie Lounge, the hospitality space in Palazzo Re Enzo which will host journalists, architects, foreign professionals and exhibitors for four evenings during Cersaie 2010 (until Friday 1 October).
Cersaie Press Office - 29 September 2010 - firstname.lastname@example.org