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Stone+tec 2009 In Nürnberg: Robust In Turbulent Times

When the international natural stone industry meets in Nürnberg from 20-23 May, the exhibition centre will again be geared to stone and all its varieties. Stone+tec, which attracted some 1,000 exhibitors and more than 40,000 trade visitors at the last event, has constantly proved its importance as one of the major international exhibitions for natural stone and stone processing over a period of thirty years. Despite all the prophecies of doom, no other European country has such a big demand for natural stone products as Germany.

Even at times of worldwide financial and real estate crises, the Federal Republic can still be proud of its position by international comparison. With its sound economic basis and good relations and close proximity particularly with its neighbours in Central Eastern Europe, Germany offers an ideal marketplace for successful business. In the recently published edition of his comprehensive annual market analysis "Stone 2008 – World Marketing Handbook", industry insider Dr. Carlo Montani emphasizes the growth rates of the worldwide natural stone trade. Although development varies in different countries and regions, the German market convinces through its high stability. Against this backdrop, Stone+tec in Nürnberg has succeeded in establishing itself as information pool for decision-makers from East and West in the three decades of its history. Its convenient geographical location has made it a major source of inspiration and popular get-together for the entire natural stone market.

More contacts – more information
The exhibitors at the last Stone+tec in 2007 welcomed visitors to their stands from all relevant fields of natural stone. 93% of the exhibitors said they had reached their major target groups by exhibiting in Nürnberg:
79 % registered potential customers from natural stone contractors, 67% from the trade, 56 % from stonemasonry firms, 43 % architects, 32 % from the gravestone business, 32 % from landscape contractors, 29 % tilers,
20 % from general building contractors, 19 % from official agencies,
16 % restorers and preservers of historic buildings, and 13 % from building material manufacturers.

Some one-third of the more than 40,000 trade visitors in 2007 came from 76 countries outside Germany, but clearly focused on Europe. For around half of the visitors, Stone+tec is the only natural stone exhibition they visit. This combined with the fact that nine out of ten visitors are involved in procurement decisions in their companies makes Stone+tec an excellent business platform every two years: more than 90 per cent of the companies involved made new business connections in 2007.

The visitors were mainly interested in natural stone as a material for interior, facade and exterior use, plus tools, machinery and installations. About half the visitors stated these product segments as their reason for visiting the exhibition. There was also a strong demand for natural stone for gravestones, sacral use and monuments, and for grave design and decoration: more than a quarter of the visitors come to Nürnberg for this reason and Stone+tec does special justice to this interest with a separate hall for this segment.

Stone+tec not only offers a comprehensive range of products from the exhibitors, but also a supporting programme and special theme presentations for information and inspiration. The programme includes classics like the Natural Stone Architects Forum with the presentation of the German Natural Stone Award and the Peter Parler Award for outstanding achievements in the preservation of historic buildings in Europe, plus the 2009 Federal Congress of the German Stonemasonry, Stone and Wood Sculpturing Crafts with its special craft shows.

Two still rather new items from the supporting programme that attracted an excellent response from the audience from the start will also be continued in 2009: the seminar on professional laying of natural stone tiles and the special show "Natural Stone Architecture – Made in Germany". The programme for 2009 will be enhanced by another highlight, which is still in the planning stage. But so much can be revealed: it concerns high-quality design and up-to-date forms of remembering the dead, which could provide a contrast to the trend towards anonymous burials.

With the range of products and services offered by the exhibitors and its supporting programme, Stone+tec 2009 will again provide inspiration for an industry concerned with a material that is literally as old as the hills – a material that is never outdated, but always topical, modern and fresh.

Products on display at Stone+tec 2009

Natural stone
- Natural stone for interior use, facades and exterior use; all types of stone and processing
- Fixing, maintenance, preservation and restoration of natural stone
- Industrial safety and environmental protection
- Services, trade press, associations

Technology
- Machines, installations and tools
- for quarrying natural stone
- for processing natural stone
- for moving and installing natural stone
- for manufacturing diamond tools
- Conveying, transport, packaging

Gravestones and accessories
- Natural stone for graveyards
- Grave design and decoration



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