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From the organisers of

the Natural Stone Show - back in 2019

28 April 2017

The Natural Stone Show returns to ExcEL London 30 April-2 May in 2019.

Three hectic days of the Natural Stone Show at ExCeL London came to an end on 27 April with many of the exhibitors glad of an extra day's break to recover afterwards with a bank holiday on the following Monday. Then came the time to analyse all the leads and to implement plans of action for following them up.

The organisers from QMJ Group thank the exhibitors for the effort they put into making sure this was another excellent exhibition - the only exhibition in the UK dedicated to the stone industry. The Show brings the industry together with its customers. "We hope exhibitors and visitors alike had a great time," said QMJ Group Managing Director Richard Bradbury as the shutters came down on the last day of the Show.

The Show will be back at ExCeL in its normal two yearly slot in 2019, 30 April-2 May. We hope to see you all again then. There is a report and pictures in the next issue of Natural Stone Specialist magazine. There are more pictures on the Stone Show website and a report on the Show here on this website.

Below is a news report about the Show that appeared in Natural Stone Specialist magazine:

The Natural Stone Show at ExCeL London at the end of April shone a spotlight on the evolution of the industry.

Traditional constraints on the use of stone are being overcome, both by new materials and new ways of working, opening up countless opportunities for the industry that processes it and the architects, designers and engineers who incorporate it into buildings and landscapes.

There was a lot of natural stone from all over the world at the Stone Show, of course. There are many customers, especially at the top end of the market, who will not compromise on that. But light-coloured marbles being the flavour of the day for interiors has opened the door on many new products that emulate the look while overcoming some of the restrictions of using natural stone.

The Stone Show saw the launch of several new ranges of quartz, porcelains and sintered products and new tools for processing them. There were also several waterjets on display from the machinery suppliers as many stone companies turn to this technology to overcome some of the problems of working with a wider range of products.

The evolution of this side of the industry came as an eye-opener to many of the 150 architects and designers who attended the RIBA CPD-accredited conference for them on the first of the three days of the exhibition. There were so many of them this time that they had to be split into two groups for guided tours of the exhibition.

Typical responses by the professionals who came: “The day was excellent,” said Ian McChesney of McChesney Architects. “We had a great time,” added Melissa Beasley of Beasley Dickson Architects.

The record number of leading architects at the conference was only one of the outstanding aspects of the exhibition. It also saw more British stone on display than ever before, as well as stone from all over Europe and more than 25 Chinese exhibitors looking to break into or expand in the British and Irish markets. There was also a small increase in the number of visitors, up 3% on last time at 5,237.

Richard Bradbury, Managing Director of QMJ Group, which owns and runs the Natural Stone Show, said feedback from exhibitors and visitors had been positive. “With an extra aisle-and-a-bit added to the Natural Stone Show this time it was 1,100m2 bigger than in 2015.

“The extra space came both from an increase in the number of exhibitors – up from 213 to 239 – and larger stands, especially from the machinery companies.

“The investment in machinery by stone producers and processors has been significant for several years now as the industry has improved productivity in order to meet the growing demand of the market place.

“Another major change that has taken place is the introduction of large format porcelain and sintered products joining engineered quartz among the non-traditional products. These have challenged toolmakers. Some processors have solved the problem by investing in waterjets – and at the show these included those from Breton, Brembana and Flow. As waterjets can cut intricate shapes as well as just about any material without changing tools they have opened up new possibilities for the processors.

“Others have stuck with traditional cutting, routing and milling machines and the makers of the diamond tools they use have been developing new products for working the latest materials.

“All of this was evident at the Show. There were new porcelain and sintered products such as Ceralsio from CRL Stone, Cambria from Granite Granite, Geoluxe from Stoneware and Sapienstone from Beltrami.

“These products are blurring the traditional lines between stone and other sectors such as tiling, not just in kitchens, but also in bathrooms and living areas. If you want to be on the cutting edge of these product and processing advances, the Stone Show is the place to be.”

The Show will be back at ExCeL 30 April-2 May 2019.

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