Trade Fairs: Opening with a Bang!

(April 2010) Those who are familiar with China’s stone branch from trade fairs in the West, are oblivious to its true strength. The West has grown accustomed to a Chinese stone branch where „cheap” is the order of the day reflected in a myriad of imitations or tasteless products, which lend cheap products their right to existence.

With this preconception in mind China’s biggest stone trade fair held in Xiamen, was a rude awakening for one European representative of What the stone branch presented there and how it was presented showed an industry with high standards in design and innovative potential.

The pictures below this text as well as the report of the World Stone Congress held during the fair will give readers some idea of the standard on display.

But what is the root of the discrepancy between the level displayed in the West and China’s true potential?

An analysis of the building branch in China shows enormous potential of the local market. China is riding the crest of a hitherto unseen building boom and the country boasts an ever-growing social stratum of well-endowed citizens. The same can be said for India and Indonesia to name but two markets with high buying potential.

Also, albeit this is just our hunch, China is probably the ghost-producer of much of the mosaic or inlay work displayed at the stands of Western firms.

The unprecedented upward trend of the Chinese economy and its stone industry is also reflected in the statistics of the Xiamen Fair, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year (see below). The goal is set and stakes are high: to be the nr. one world-wide and take over the rank of Verona’s Marmomacc.

This is not likely to happen overnight. The building machine sector e.g. is still in fledgling phase. However the fair is already an international meeting point not only for Asia’s buyers and sellers. Representatives of the branch world-wide come together here.

It was the declared aim of the fair’s organizers to foster international exchange with its World Stone Congress (see report) according to Marsha Tsai so that the exhibitors as well as visitors may „gain by the experience”, i.e. find answers to current questions.

Western fairs, by contrast, are weak in this area with the exception of Coverings and Marmomacc Americas. Verona’s Marmomacc often sponsored talks on a variety of interesting subjects, but alienated business guests due to a series of mishaps such as failing to keep by the schedule. The same result was achieved by Carrara’s Marmotec albeit by different means: all talks as well as discussions were held in Italian, insufficient by international standards.

Xiamen was a bang figuratively and literally speaking. The show opened with a confetti explosion. „Chinese people love that sort of theatrics” as Bessie Lin, another representative of the Xiamen Organizers, expounded. Like her colleague Marsha Tsai, she too, is a good-will ambassador for Xiamen attending fairs world-wide.‘s know-it-alls note that the confetti explosion was accompanied by the title melody to the movie „Star Wars”. What does that tell us? Is the Empire ready to strike back? Is the return of the Jedi imminent? Or will raw stone blocks be sliced by means of the laser sword by the likes of R2-D2 in the future?

China Xiamen International Stone Fair 2011 (March, 6.-9)

Contact to the fair: Bessie Lin