On 16 April, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi outlined the various stages of the gradual reopening programme designed to enable economic activities to be resumed safely, setting 1 July as the date for the resumption of international trade fairs in Italy in accordance with the health protocols approved by the Technical Scientific Committee. This eagerly awaited programme, which is due to come into effect once legislation is passed next week, is also essential for Cersaie, the leading international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings to be held in Bologna from 27 September to 1 October.
To date, more than 80% of the available space at the show has been booked, a result that demonstrates the international importance of an event where 40% of exhibitors are from overseas.
“The ability to organise a world-leading event like CERSAIE once again and to give our international clientele the opportunity to enjoy the Made in Italy experience directly and in-person is of vital importance for a sector that generates 85% of its turnover from exports,” comments Giovanni Savorani, Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica. “The experience of being confined indoors for long periods of time during the various lockdowns has led to greater interest in home improvements amongst consumers all over the world, and this includes a special focus on health aspects. This in turn has prompted growing interest in ceramic materials, bathroom furnishings, kitchens, outdoor furniture, lighting, wellness and interior finishes, all of which are product sectors that will be present at Cersaie 2021.”
The safety of exhibitors and visitors will be the top priority for everyone and will be based on the progressive rollout of the vaccination programmes, an enormous collective effort that is being made both in Italy and worldwide. The vaccination programmes will also form the basis for the vaccine passport schemes that are currently being prepared at an EU level and the creation of travel corridors on key international transport routes, which will allow business travel to resume after the summer tourist season.
“Following the Government’s announcement of the date for the resumption of in-person events, we can look to the future with greater optimism and above all reopen our major international trade fairs, a vitally important tool for our companies and exports,” comments Gianpiero Calzolari, Chairman of BolognaFiere.
“Organisational activities are getting back into gear with the aim of ensuring optimal event planning. Safety is our top priority and for this purpose we will be adopting protocols covering every aspect of health and safety both in the Exhibition Centre itself (from the entrances to visitor routes, from catering to logistics) and in the city of Bologna in cooperation with the other players involved in the exhibition experience (airport, transport, hotels, etc.). Our aim is to create an environment where exhibitors and operators can focus on business and build new commercial relationships with complete peace of mind.”
Given the positive impact that an international trade fair like Cersaie can have on so many business activities across the country, the reopening effort will require an unprecedented level of assistance from the institutions, which moreover have continued to provide their support throughout this very difficult period, including at a regional and local level.
“The reopening of trade fairs is excellent news and will bring confidence and hope for the future to sectors that have suffered badly over the last year due to the restrictions necessary to fight the pandemic,” says Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia Romagna regional government. “Trade fairs are essential tools for promoting exports and supply chains that stand as models of excellence not just for our region, but for the country as a whole and for the Made in Italy label worldwide. This is why, as we continue to roll out the vaccination programme and prepare to double the number of jabs with the arrival of new vaccine supplies in accordance with the national plan, we are working to adopt all the necessary tools for safe reopening based on strict health protection protocols for exhibitors and visitors. In such a complex scenario, we are grateful to Confindustria Ceramica for its commitment to safeguarding production activities and employment.
“For this reason, we intend to continue to invest in the regional trade fair system in the knowledge that it is through teamwork that Emilia-Romagna can become a key player in major international markets.”
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