Back from SAIE, much more than a trade show | by Andrea Serri
Saturday October 17th was the closing day of Saie – Riparti Italia (“Restarting Italy”) which hosted the Ceramics and Brick Area, a 200 sq m space promoted by Confindustria Ceramica to present some of the most innovative trends of ceramic materials, mockups of load-bearing brick construction for residential property, and demonstrations of the latest large size ceramic slab installation techniques. The four-day event was also an opportunity to officially launch the European SuperHeroTile programme on the next generation of brick roofing; but – come to think of it – it has been much more than a simple exhibition.
Saie has been the tangible proof that a one-week exhibition can be held in safety even during a pandemic, guaranteeing the health and safety of participants during an event which, by its own nature, requires close contact. Health and safety protocols include measurement of body temperature at the entrance and use of masks at all times. Furthermore, stand layouts have been reconfigured in order to establish one-way circulation. These new measures – under certain conditions – could well remain in place also once the health emergency is over to improve the access and showcase of materials and products on display.
Saie won’t remain the only exhibition venue to have opened after the spring lockdown in Italy. It is just the first one to have done so. According to the Industry Trade Fair Committee, the Association of Italian fair organizers, 14 exhibitions were held at the end of October 2020, with over 3,000 exhibitors of which 13% from abroad, and around 140,000 visitors of which 6% are foreigners. Although they are not as high as last year, these figures confirm Italy a safe country to land – provided the pandemic situation in your country allows you to arrive – and participate to national and international trade shows. Which is a good sign in view of the exhibition calendar for 2021.