Coined the International meeting point of the global ceramics industry, the 2018 edition of UNICERA welcomed more than 84,000 visitors—a clear indication of growth and strength in the ceramics world market. 

“The expansion of the fair advanced the industry’s growth and the industry’s growth advanced the fair,” said Aydın Eșer, CEO of the Trade Association for Sanitary and Building Supplies (TİMDER). “Thus, we have become an important player in the world. We’re trying to make the UNICERA Fair a significant center of attraction for the world.”

Held at CNR Expo, located in Istanbul, Turkey, with an aim to increase the number of domestic and international visitors as well as the number of participants, organizers say the location of this year’s fair contributed to record-breaking attendance.

“CNR Expo Istanbul is located at only three hours flight distance to 2.5 billion visitors making it one of the most central fair locations in the world which have contributed a 25% increase in the number of international visitors,” said Cem Șenel, general coordinator of CNR Holdings, organizer of the fair.

Hosted in collaboration of CNR Holding’s organization, Istanbul Trade Fairs as well as the Turkish Ceramic Federation (TCF) and TİMDER, UNICERA is Turkey’s biggest expertise fair, showcasing the latest products and trends in ceramic, bathroom and kitchen.

“UNICERA, the most prominent representative of the Turkish Ceramics Industry, which offers considerable advantages in design, product quality, and price, put ceramics and everything about ceramics to the service of buyers from the USA and 130 countries at its exhibition area expanding with new participants each year,” said Șenel.

According to the results of the Turkey Export Contribution Index, Turkey’s construction ceramics sector is the country’s most valuable industry economically, followed by wearing apparel and the furniture industry. 

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Șimșek opened the fair with great optimism, praising the ceramic industry for its added value and indicating the continuation of full support from the Turkish government. “Focus on research and development, branding, design, and export. We, as the government, will continue to give you all the support you need.”

Turkey Remains a Powerhouse for Ceramics

As it stands, Turkey ranks third for ceramic tiles in Europe, and UNICERA is one of the two largest ceramic fairs in the world.

 “We are the [third] best for ceramic tiles and we’re the biggest manufacturer and exporter of medical equipment in Europe,” said Erdem Çenesiz, CEO of the Turkish Ceramic Federation. “In vitrified production, we’re in the leading position. If we continue this growth, we will rise to first place within the next 10 years.”

Taking these rankings into consideration, Șimșek’s opening remarks and support also came with encouragement to increase the growth of domestic sourcing. Specifically, he set a goal of increasing the ceramic industry’s export number of 1 billion dollars by 10% more within the year. “I find this increased rate rather modest,” he said. “You can raise this number even higher. The industry has great build-up. Crown it with design and produce goods with greater profit.”

Already marketing tremendously in France, Spain, Italy, UNICERA is now targeting growth in the USA, Germany, Russia, Africa, Asia and Far East countries, says Ceyda Erem, CEO of CNR Holding.

The key to this continued market growth? Research and design and innovation, says Șimșek. “To get further in the competition worldwide, R&D and innovation are essential. You buy companies from Italy for your brand recognition. This is extremely important. Focus on more R&D, prioritize innovation, export more and we will always be here to support you.”

Tile Trends and Designs

Leading brands showcased what will be on trend for ceramic and porcelain tile in 2019 at UNICERA. Spanning across nine exhibit halls, key industry players displayed their products in expansive booths—many welcoming visitors with traditional Turkish coffee, tea and hospitality.

Among the leading brands at the fair, Ege Seramik, Kale, Yurtbay, Vitra, Sera Nova and QUA Granite presented innovative products created with advanced technology.

Speaking further to the innovative trends found in the exhibit halls were 10 design sessions led by designers from the U.S., Italy, Spain and Germany and Denmark.