BOLOGNA, ITALY—Cersaie has once again confirmed its world leadership position in the field of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishing trade fairs. After selling out all the floor space in the Bologna Exhibition Centre five months before the event (965 exhibitors from 31 countries, including 265 non-Italian companies), the show’s strength was further bolstered by its number of visitors.
The number of “actual admissions” to the 2011 event was 113,165, up .8% from last year’s figure of 112,292. This figure, which is the most widely used by leading trade fair events according to show officials, counts the number of visitors actually present inside the exhibition centre and includes re-entries on subsequent days.
More specifically, the number of international attendees rose from 43,939 to 45,616 (up 3.8%), while the number of paying visitors increased by 5% to 2,714. The figure for Italian attendees dropped by almost 900 (down 1.4%) to 64,132. In 2011, non-Italian visitors to the show accounted for 40% of its total attendance.
Another important figure is that of attendance considering first entries only, noted officials, which at Cersaie 2011 totalled 81,552. This figure, which was down 2% compared to last year’s 83,286 attendees, shows an increase in the number of international attendees (from 24,960 to 25,155; up .8%), and a fall in the number of Italians (from 58,326 to 56,397; down 3.3%), due to the difficulties in the domestic building sector.
A total of 703 journalists took part in the 29th edition of the show, including 248 from outside Italy (35.3% of the total).
Attendance was strong at the first day’s events, officials noted, consisting of the opening conference titled, “Living with an evolving market,” which was attended by more than 700 people, and the show’s international press conference, which attracted 180 journalists from all over the world. The various conferences and symposia in the third edition of Cersaie’s cultural program, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” were especially well attended by architects, designers and students. Almost a thousand people attended the keynote lecture by Kazuyo Sejima and the “Lesson in Reverse” given by Alessandro Mendini, which also included a strong student presence.
The Architecture Gallery was filled to capacity for the meetings with Giorgio Bianchi from Renzo Piano Building Workshop on New York architecture, with Cameron Sinclair on the initiatives of Architecture for Humanity, with Kengo Kuma on projects in Japan and worldwide, and with Patricia Urquiola on her vision of design.
The exhibitions, “Ceramics of Italy. Le Metamorfosi” in external area 48 and “Cersaie Downtown,” located in three squares in the center of Bologna, also attracted strong crowds.
Cersaie’s 30th edition will be held in Bologna, Italy, from Sept. 25 to 29 of next year.