Here I am again, to introduce the next edition of Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition of woodworking technology and supplies for the wood and furniture industry.As you know, the event is scheduled next May 8 to 12 at Fieramilano-Rho and will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.The first edition dates back to 1968.

 

So, the exhibition boasts longstanding tradition, which we celebrated two years ago at the 25th edition.Now we are reviewing a story that has spanned a long period of success and growth, with a pause during the crisis years, and now a second youth.Yes, I will tell you immediately that we are very happy about the next Xylexpo, as figures are positive and significant – we will talk about it – and most of all show a very clear picture… but we will talk about that in a while.

 

Before we go into details and specific remarks, let me give a warm welcome to all of you in this room. Some of you are coming from far, far away, so thank you for accepting our invitation. We consider it a sign of esteem and friendship, but it is also evidence that Xylexpo has restored its appeal to the global industry media, because Xylexpo is a topic the industry wants to know about.

 

Such vitality is recognized also by the people sitting here with me today.
So, let me thank MarinellaLoddo of Ice, always standing next to Acimall – the association that organizes Xylexpo – for the promotion of the Italian industry around the world, and for the organization of this press conference.

 

Thank you to another long-term partner of Xylexpo, I mean Fiera Milano, which have been with us for fifty years.I am really proud to toast to this achievement with their president, professor Lorenzo Caprio, welcome from myself and all of us.

 

These are valuable partnerships, enduring relationships that have supported our story and success.Having success today, in a more and more crowded and often confused trade fair landscape, depends on several factors, some of them really strategic, such as the partnerships with Ice and FieraMilano.

 

It’s equally strategic to be part of a European entity, a federation that gathers the representatives of European industry associations. And so, thank you Luigi De Vito, EumaboisVice President.

 

And thank you Federico Rossi, an architect by education and a “technologist”, if you allow this definition, by vocation.He is an architect who has realized the benefits that digitization brings to creation, project and design. Today, he runs an important laboratory at the London Southbank University and you will hear about his experience from his own voice.He is the testimonial we selected for this edition of the press conference, after Paolo Fantoni and Maurizio Riva, with an “Industry 4.0” angle.

 

And just like two years ago, we are proud to say that Xylexpo is the only Italian event dedicated to technology and supplies for the wood and furniture industry, sponsored by Eumabois, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Cfi-ComitatoFiereIndustria (Confindustria).

 

XIE-XYLEXPO INFORMATION EVENT
I would also like to thank the sponsors of this day, the companies you have met in the next room and that will stay with us throughout the morning. They are “top exhibitors” of our event, big global groups as well as small and medium companies; they are here to show that they recognize the importance of our exhibition and most of all of you in the audience, ready to tell about the innovations they will present at Xylexpo, their vision and strategies…

 

Maybe they will not tell you everything they would like to, because this year Xylexpo is at the beginning of May and many solutions to be displayed are still being defined, but they will not fail to arouse your curiosity…

 

So, thank you to all the protagonists of this third edition of Xylexpo Information Event: Leuco, Salvador,Homag Group,Biesse Group,Leitz,Giardina Group,Weinig, Metal World, Scm Group,Greda, Costa Levigatrici and Finiture.

 

XYLEXPO 2018
Let’s get into the thick of this press conference: how are preparations for next Xylexpo going?Definitely well, as the market, both in Italy and worldwide, has climbed over the top and is now moving downhill.The tough recent years are almost forgotten and opportunities have multiplied.Dario Corbetta will talk about this extensively in his speech.

 

I can tell you that our biennial exhibition – the only industry event in Italy, as I said – has a peculiar feature, i.e. it is organized by an industry association, Acimall, which is the trade unions of entrepreneurs in this industry.It’s a non-profit association on a mission to invest its experience and expertise in the definition of a real “marketplace” where demand and supply can meet effectively, an international showcase, a global review where the Italian industry is in the forefront, but together with all the most important players from several countries around the world.

 

Our exhibition is not an end, it’s a means to an end, a vehicle to contribute to the success of an industry that ultimately enables the manufacturers of furniture and millions of wood-based goods to improve the lives of their end users.

 

Fifty years of history, we said.Fifty years of changes, commitment, vitality, which have resulted into the exhibition we are presenting today and you will not miss to visit next May.An exhibition that, in 2016, at the latest edition, hosted 441 exhibitors on a net exhibition area just abobe 29 thousand square meters, visited by 17,145 operators (exceeding 41 thousand visits in total), 29.1 percent from abroad.The past edition showed the effects of the virtuous circle we have launched: you will all remember the 2012 edition, definitely the less “brilliant” in our history, for many reasons.We learned the lesson, deploying an extensive campaign to bring more international players to Milan from all over the world, which resulted into a sharp increase in visitor figures in 2014 – also following the comeback of a few market leaders –, so we convinced many exhibitors that Xylexpo was a “must”.In 2016, with all global leaders attending, things went very well on both sides, with excellent results for the number and quality of exhibitors and visitors.

 

And how many will be there in May?We are quite optimistic, as we believe that this “virtuous circle” will keep generating positive effects: the current status of registrations is clear and shows a good trend.Until January 16 we finalized the participation of 300 companies for a total net surface of 30,000 square meters, compared to the final result of 29,400 square meters in 2016.

 

Consequently, we decided to add a fourth hall, as communicated by our press office a few weeks ago, to meet increasing demand by many exhibitors, not only big groups, but also small and medium businesses.

 

As a result, we will adjust the distribution of product categories and place market leaders in each hall:in hall 1 there will be Biesse Group and Barberan, in hall 2 Scm Group, in hall 3 HomagGorup and Cefla, in hall 4 Weinig and Ima Group.Past solution categories are outdated, as more and more companies, I daresay all of them, have a huge and diversified catalog, addressing small woodworking handicraft workshops up to industry giants that process hundreds of panels at every working shift:also in this respect Xylexpo has made progress, creating a consistent “continuum”, while highlighting the specific features of some industry segments in dedicated areas inside the halls.

 

Let me go back to visitors to say that this year we have confirmed the decision we made in 2016 to set a price of 15 Euro for the admission ticket, while offering free entrance for preregistered visitors on www.xylexpo.com; this is a valuable piece of information that is worth stressing.

 

For the third time, our “Xylexpo Award” will be back with its proven formula, a jury of academic and research representatives, plus a new category, so this year there will be four.“Primary operation and solid wood processing”, “Panel processing” and “Finishing” have been added with “Tools”, to acknowledge the peculiarity and richness of an essential element for the overall effectiveness of any technology.

 

We have worked and are still working hard to offer an exhibition that meets the expectations of our industry.Such commitment is also extended to side events and initiatives.Hall 4 will host Xylexpo Arena, a “conference room” inside the exhibition, launched in 2010 to offer a place for confrontation, discussion and in-depth analysis.This area will feature meetings, presentations, events where exhibitors are in the forefront, together with institutes, research centers and other organization with interesting things to say to our industry.

 

And of course, we will also celebrate and stand together for some “networking” at the second edition of “The Night of Xylexpo”, a gala evening on the second exhibition day, May 9, for the official distribution of Xylexpo Innovation Awards.

 

So, before I give the floor to director Dario Corbetta, let me thank you all for your attention and I am looking forward to meeting you from May 8 to 12 at FieraMilano-Rho.