Feria Valencia, under new management, holds its biggest event since the pandemic

CEVISAMA, Valencia’s biggest trade fair, is back after a two-year break, despite the desperate situation the ceramics industry finds itself in due to increased gas prices.

The event, one of the main global showcases for ceramic tiles, and bathroom fittings, brings exhibitors and buyers from the ceramics industry worldwide. Meanwhile, the city’s hotels have reported an average of 80% occupancy, with some of those closest to the trade fair hanging the No Vacancies sign.

Ceramics is the main industry in Castellón and the surrounding towns, accounting for 19.6% of the total number of industrial jobs in the province, with more than 17,000 people directly employed in the industry and a further 50,000 employed indirectly. The ceramics sector in the province closed 2022 with a turnover of 5,700 million Euros, an increase of 17% compared to 2021, according to Ascer,the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association. However, the increase was not the good news it might appear to be as almost half of that figure, 2,400 million Euros, was spent on energy.

Cevisama 2023 got underway on Monday (27 February) and will fill the halls of Feria Valencia until Friday (3 March).

The show will also be a test for the regional government as it is the first trade fair to be held since management of the venue came under public control.

Valencian minister for Sustainable Economy, Rafa Climent, was optimistic and said his department had earmarked one million euros to bring foreign clients and buyers to the event. He commented: “The figures we are looking at, with more than 500 brands present and more than 900 foreign buyers confirmed, are very positive.”

There are, however, significant differences between Cevisama 2023 and its pre-pandemic versions. Several of the major companies from the sector have chosen not to attend the event but instead have set up events at their own facilities, taking advantage of the main players from their sector being in Valencia. So while not participating in the fair itself, they are dependent on its continuity.

As we wait to see how well the local government’s new company manages Valencia’s main trade fair in this post-pandemic era, the question of whether trade fairs return to the bustling events they once were or become redefined as something else, remains to be seen.

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