Cersaie 2023, the ceramic tile and bathroom furnishing exhibition scheduled to take place in Bologna from 25 to 29 September, was presented at a press conference held on Tuesday 23 May at the Unipol Tower in Bologna. The event saw the participation of Confindustria Ceramica Chairman Giovanni Savorani, BolognaFiere Chairman Gianpiero Calzolari, Confindustria Ceramica Vice Chairman Emilio Mussini, architect Massimo Iosa Ghini and the mayor of Bologna Matteo Lepore and was moderated by TG1 journalist Giorgia Cardinaletti.
Following a statement of condolence for the victims of the recent flooding in the Emilia Romagna region, the conference opened with a video documenting the emergency, which has also affected several companies in the ceramic sector.
“Last weekend we witnessed an enormous display of solidarity, with volunteers arriving from all over the region and beyond,” said an emotional Giovanni Savorani. “In Romagna, we are already seeing signs of recovery, although the situation remains critical. In Faenza, one in five inhabitants have had to leave their homes and seek help from friends and relatives. As there is no running water, many people are even having to go into their offices to shower. It is also a challenging situation for companies, with workers unable to reach their workplaces due to infrastructure damage and the numerous landslides that have affected hillside villages. To customers who have asked what they could do to help, I replied: place orders.”
Following the Italian ceramic industry’s strong growth in 2022 to reach revenues of more than €8 billion, the first few months of the current year have seen a decline in sales of around 10%, continued Confindustria Ceramica’s Chairman. “Cersaie is an international exhibition and a global showcase for Made in Italy,” noted Savorani. “At this 40th edition, the Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso will be one of the speakers at the inaugural conference to be held on Monday 25 September at 11.00 a.m. in the Palazzo dei Congressi.”
“In times of difficulty, trade fairs are an opportunity to reboot the entire local economy, and Cersaie is the foremost trade fair for the ceramic industry and our local region,” added Gianpiero Calzolari. “The exhibition center is continuing its investment program and in the space of just a few years will take a big step forward to become even more international in its scope. Climate change is forcing us to make important choices in terms of infrastructure and new production technologies, and it is something that affects all of us, from companies to institutions. BolognaFiere will continue to show solidarity with families and businesses affected by the flooding.”
“Four months before Cersaie is due to open, we can already confirm that the show will be fully sold out,” said Emilio Mussini. “The 15 halls available this year will have a fully occupied total area of 145,000 square meters, a few thousand square meters more than in 2022. The number of exhibitors is also up by a few percentage points from last year’s 624. Ceramic tile producers will make up almost 57% of the total, while the bathroom furnishings sector will account for 15%. Overseas exhibitors will comprise around 40% of the total, once again confirming Cersaie’s exceptional international scope.”
With regard to the initiatives organized to celebrate Cersaie’s 40th anniversary, Mussini explained that the exhibition itinerary will consist of five different areas. The first of these, in the Services Centre, will serve as a teaser for the remaining four – one in Gallery 21/22, two in Gallery 25/25 and the last one in the Mall of Hall 37.
Each of the areas will house a graphic showing key products and personalities from the decade, together with one or more videos featuring product applications, the historical context and events organized at Cersaie, accompanied by music from the period. In April, Cersaie launched a campaign on its LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook accounts in the ten most important markets for ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings: Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, the USA and Canada. This communication campaign involves all exhibitors and showcases the products, projects and events that have marked significant breakthroughs over the course of four decades. It will also look to the future with an eye to new developments and applications of ceramic products.
“The Building Dwelling Thinking cultural program will be back with leading names in the world of contemporary architecture,” continued Mussini. The 18 Press Cafés will be held in the Media Village in mall 29/30 and will be preceded the week before the exhibition by a digital roadshow organized in cooperation with 5 foreign publishers. Cersaie Designs Your Home will also be back again this year. Another new feature of this 40th edition of Cersaie concerns the world of tile installation. As part of a focus on future generations and professional training, six young tile layers aged between 17 and 23 will take part in a challenge to create an artefact using tiles of various sizes.
Rethinking architectural space was the focus of the talk given by architect Massimo Iosa Ghini. “The real challenge is to thrive on harmonization, to successfully pursue development while maintaining the ability to preserve the environment. Ceramic is a local product not just geographically but above all conceptually, and has undergone extraordinary evolution, largely as a result of technological innovation.” Ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings no longer exist in an autonomous space, but following research efforts and innovation have now taken their rightful place amongst the new uses of buildings, taking on new challenges in terms of space, quality of life and sustainability. Ceramic tile is the pre-eminent surface covering material because it meets different aesthetic and functional requirements while protecting the environment.
Next, the mayor of Bologna Matteo Lepore noted that the emergency situation in the metropolitan area of Bologna is at the present time concentrated mainly in the Imola area due to landslides and closed roads. “Infrastructure damage of this magnitude had not been seen since the post-war period, and several billions of euros will be needed for reconstruction.”
More than 10,000 families have settled in Bologna in recent years, noted Lepore, and the investments envisaged by the NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) funds will exceed €1 billion without increasing land use. “Redevelopment is the operative word: at present our main projects are located in disused railway areas and concentrated around the high-speed train station, as well as the construction of six new urban parks and the reduction of emissions with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Cersaie is a key event for our region’s development and fully reflects our ability to compete in international markets.”