After four years, Stone+tec finally took place again in Nuremberg. 9.600 visitors came on four days and the joy of reunion was noticeable in many areas. Preparations for the next Stone+tec are already underway: the industry will meet again at the Nuremberg Exhibition Center from June 19-22, 2024.
At Stone+tec 2022, 220 exhibitors in three halls presented their offerings in the fields of natural stone, stone processing machinery, tools, chemistry and technology, as well as gravestones and grave ornaments. Important impulses and technical offers came from the professional sponsors, the German Natural Stone Association DNV and the Federal Association of German Stonemasons BIV. The mood was good on all four days of the fair, and there were many technical innovations as well as new designs to see. The atmosphere was friendly and familiar in all areas.
Looking to the future: planning underway for 2024
The managing directors of the new Stone+tec organizer AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen, Henning and Thilo Könicke, see this year’s trade fair as a good basis for positioning the trade fair stably for the future: “The industry was eagerly awaiting this year’s Stone+tec in the run-up. For us it was the first Stone+tec and the launch event has motivated us very much and makes us confident to be able to grow significantly in 2024. We enjoy the industry and the trade fair has potential, which we would like to exploit even more intensively for the next event in 2024 together with our very committed partners and exhibitors from Germany and abroad.”
The opportunity to finally meet live again and have personal discussions was highly appreciated by exhibitors and visitors. Demand was high in all areas and exhibitors were able to achieve good results and expect positive follow-up business. After four days of the fair, the feedback is clearly positive, although the range of products has not yet covered the desired breadth in all areas. Many exhibitors and those who unfortunately were not present this year, as well as visitors and partners, have already indicated that they would like to support Stone+tec as a meeting place for the natural stone industry. This creates the basis for Stone+tec 2024 to grow and present an even larger range of products in some areas.
The approximately 9,600 visitors came mostly from Germany and Austria, but international visitors also came to Nuremberg to explore the offerings at Stone+tec. In the international field, visitors from Italy, Poland, as well as Northern Europe and the Baltic States were most strongly represented. Initial talks were already held at the exhibition to strengthen the international product range for 2024; companies and associations from Turkey and Italy, for example, have already expressed strong interest.
The professional forum for German stonemasons
The young talent in the industry presented themselves in a very committed and motivated manner as part of the BIV’s young talent competition. 13 young stonemasons worked live on their objects at the trade fair. The winner was the young stonemason Lola Zach. In addition, vocational school classes were specifically invited to the trade fair, but since young talent and skilled workers are urgently needed throughout the industry, efforts in this area will be stepped up for next time.
Markus Steininger, President of the BIV, used Stone+tec for many personal discussions: “There are many innovative things to see at the trade fair, which I experience completely new despite my many years of experience in the trade. You can look at a lot on the Internet but that doesn’t help in the long run. Especially the direct contact to suppliers was great, so you could discuss things in person again, which has been lost the last two years. Of course, under these conditions, the fair is a bit smaller this year, but we have great and innovative companies here and you generally hear very positive things about the fair.”
Successful start for the Stone+tec Congress
For the first time, the Stone+tec Congress was held in parallel with the trade fair and got off to a good start. The lectures and panel discussions were of a high standard in terms of content, and the program was recognized by almost all German chambers of architects as an advanced training event. Around 200 participants attended the three days of the congress and showed great enthusiasm and interest. In two years, the Stone+tec Congress is to be opened up to even more target groups. Hermann Graser, President of the German Natural Stone Association, provided conceptual support for the congress program: “The Stone+tec Congress got off to a good start. Like everything that takes place for the first time, there is room for improvement but we had very top-class presentations and the Congress was very well received for the first time and is really an enrichment for the trade fair.”
Another highlight was the presentation of the German Natural Stone Award, which was presented during Stone+tec. Already for the 20th time, the German Natural Stone Association honors pioneers of sustainable architecture with the German Natural Stone Award (DNP). The award honors projects made of natural stone indoors and outdoors that exemplify high architectural quality as well as resource- and energy-saving construction methods. The winner of the DNP 2022 is the library of the preacher’s seminary in the Loccum monastery.
The next Stone+tec will be held at the Nuremberg Exhibition Center from June 19-22, 2024.