Xiamen Stone Fair 2023: fewer international exhibitors, almost the same number of visitors as before Covid, and furthermore a key event for the stone sector worldwide

Produktdesign aus China, gezeigt im Rahmen von „Stone Infinite“.

The fact that the organizer had continued the new themes during the pandemic paid off

This fair in Xiamen (05 – 08 June 2023) was the first edition after the Covid period and after 3 years again an event with international participation, and it was at least in one respect like before the pandemic: the aisles were full of visitors, as it is known from this next to the Marmomac most important event of the stone industry. The mood among exhibitors and visitors was also as usual: the Chinese high-performance economy is booming again, and among the population, consumption has become firmly established as a lifestyle, as in the USA. In the current five-year plan, even the government is calling on citizens to consume more high-quality and environmentally friendly products, which the stone industry was delighted to see.

There were minor differences from 2019 in the numbers the show organizers presented: this time, 139,041 guests came from 91 overeseas countries – almost as many as the 150,520 (from 148 countries) in the last year before Covid.

Compared to the 2019 issue, round 50% of overseas visitors have returned, and the increase of Chinese buyers accounted for 24.75%.

Wie vor der Pandemie waren die Gänge gestopft voll mit Besuchern.

In addition to the locals, guests from India, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia were in the lead.

This also reflects the changes in world politics because there had been no Russian visitors at all in Europe or the USA. In Xiamen, however, they were represented by two groups.

The decrease in the number of exhibitors was strong: their number dropped from 2000 in 2019 to 1308 from 40 countries this time. The reason is probably the new covid outbreak in China in early 2023, which made booth tenants fear for the risk of a new lockdown.

As a result, only small areas in hall A5 with a handful of companies remained from the formerly sprawling joint stands in halls A1 to A5 and a small part of A6. But the associations of Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, and Portugal had remained faithful to the fair.

The number of halls had been reduced this time from the former 25 to 22. The area was 170,000 m2 (2019: 180,000 m2). On the portal Cloud Xiamen Stone Fair 1550 brands are registered.

Xiamen Stone Fair 2023 undoubtedly had a national preponderance.

It was noteworthy that there were joint booths even among domestic exhibitors. For example, Guizhou Province, Hubei Province (Macheng City and Sui County), Jilin Province (Jiaohe City), and Shandong Province (Laizhou City) had organized appearances of their natural stone clusters.

As for the design of the booths, there were the usual eye-catching staging at the big companies. However, in Xiamen, the appearances even of the sector giants generally do not show the luxurious abundance, i.e., the tons of stone for design, as with the Italian companies at Marmomac or the Turkish ones in Izmir.

The exhibitors have it in Xiamen gladly a number smaller and want to bring the visitors obviously less opulence to the astonishment than them with imaginative everyday products for natural stone interest.

For this purpose, there were again two new presentations in Hall A1: on the one hand “Stone Infinite,“ which was about product design with natural stone. The show has now become a meeting place for the designer scene: Lots of young people, obviously part of the designer scene, and even bloggers with live broadcasts had gathered.

Eine Bloggerin beim Live-Bericht über die Design-Schau „Stone Infinite“.

On the other hand, the “Xiamen Habitat and Design Festival“ is an interior design counterpart. Rooms had been staged, in whose artistic design natural stone played an important role. We will report separately.

Both were also special in that the organizer had taken the risk of maintaining them during the pandemic

Vortrag für die Design-Community.

As usual, the lecture program was richly populated with topics ranging from architecture to design and marketing. Unfortunately, there was no English translation this time.

It was also remarkable that at the big banquet on the evening of the first day of the fair, the band did not play pop songs from the West, as in previous years, but hits that are currently popular in China and Asia.

Nevertheless, internationality is and remains the great goal of the organizers in Xiamen. The country’s stone sector continues to be internationally active, even if exports seem to be declining compared to the past 20 years. On the other hand, the country is establishing itself as a hub for the global stone trade, just as Italy used to be.

There are two things we still have to mention:

Natural Stone Varieties Collection.
* in Hall A7 the “Natural Stone Varieties Collection“ was shown exhibiting samples of natural stones from all over the world. The fair also presents such varieties in its newsletter throughout the year;

Eine feste Tradition auf der Xiamen Stone Fair ist der Lundhs Cup.
* the Lundhs Cup is already a good soccer tradition in the context of the Xiamen Fair. With really much heart blood 4 teams from all over the world fought against each other and it was bolted with great skill so violently that occasionally also the spectators the balls flew around the ears. Participants were the teams „Samba“ (Brazil), „Vikings“ (Norway), „Dragon“ (China) and „Shi Shan Ban“ (China). The Brazilians came in on first place like in years before. The event was initiated and is sponsored by Norwegian company Lundhs.

In 2024, the Xiamen Stone Fair is scheduled to return in the spring and take place from March 16 – 19.

Xiamen Stone Fair

Photos: Xiamen Stone Fair / Peter Becker