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Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere Go to photo
Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere

SaMoTer 2020: The heart of construction industry starts beating in Verona, Italy

LECTURA Press brings you an exclusive Interview with the CEO of Veronafiere, Giovanni Mantovani, about the upcoming SaMoTer trade fair and news from the Italian construction sector.

Can you name a few general facts about SaMoTer trade fair?

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SaMoTer was first held at Veronafiere in 1964 and is now a triennial b2b show - a landmark event in Italy and one of the most important in Europe in the construction machinery sector. It covers a strategic industrial chain that has been severely affected by the long global economic crisis that began in 2008.

At that time, Veronafiere decided to make its own contribution to help re-launch one of the strategic sectors for the Italian economy and employment. SaMoTer repositioned itself on the market, rewriting its future in synergy with companies, sector associations and institutions, and this decision has reaped its rewards.

SaMoTer has been held together with Asphaltica since 2014 - the exhibition dedicated to technologies and solutions for road paving, safety and infrastructures organised in collaboration with SITEB-Italian Roads and Bitumen. Furthermore, 2020 will see the debut of ICCX Southern Europe, an event focusing specifically on the prefabricated concrete sector in Southern European. This means that the show is increasingly transversal, complete and international, as well as having an eye to the future and innovation.

Were you satisfied with the previous event, SaMoTer 2017?

The 30th SaMoTer in 2017 was an inevitable turning point after more than 8 years of continuous recession in the building and construction sector. We realised, as the direct organisers of the event, that we had to implement a precise change of pace if SaMoTer was to continue sustaining company business at this specific time and ensure that every euro invested by our exhibitors saw returns during the show.  

Consequently, we implemented a series of activities to recover lost positions and SaMoTer 2017 was the starting point for a path to upgrade the show that rewarded us by attracting 455 companies from 25 countries and more than 53,000 sector operators from 77 countries to the event.

Such success was equally achieved thanks to becoming an increasingly tailor-made event, founded on sharing intentions with companies and trade associations.

How many visitors and exhibitors do you expect this year?

We never hazard any forecasts before the last day of a trade fair, a little out of superstition but above all because data concerning visitor entrances are validated by an external certification institute. I can say that we are confident of achieving a good outcome because the SaMoTer team is working extremely hard. The Italian construction machinery market has started up again and companies have joined our project for 2020.

Customer satisfaction in 2017 indicates that 81% of exhibitors considered the return on investment to be positive and 94% were satisfied with the contacts generated during the trade fair. Today, in early October, at six months from the opening day, we have already recorded +39% for registrations and +66% for exhibition space, with important returns and confirmations and many negotiations that are still in progress. Not to mention that ICCX Southern Europe will involve about one hundred additional exhibiting companies.The SaMoTer 2020 is expected to be visited by record number of media representatives and visitors as well as exhibitors.

What can the visitors expect at SaMoTer 2020?

There is a great deal of interest in the sector over the next SaMoTer. We must emphasise that there are many innovations in the pipeline. First and foremost, the change of date from February to March: manufacturers were very keen on this change, which will also allow us to enhance outdoor and demo areas. Companies and visitors will also benefit from the first of a series of upgrading projects involving the facilities in our exhibition centre, including the completely re-designed Re Teodorico Entrance and the new "E" Gate with 5 lanes dedicated to logistics.

SaMoTer 2020 will also be our first exhibition to benefit from the change in axis of the Exhibition Centre's show area, from the traditional East-West layout to North-South. The aim is to enhance accessibility and integration between infrastructures and services. And to facilitate visiting operator flow, we have also arranged the show halls in a more optimal manner by product area. As regards initiatives and content, the 31st SaMoTer will welcome the debut by ICCX Southern Europe.

Another innovation is the appointment with B2Press next 23-24 January - a meeting between companies and the Italian and international trade press. We are obviously working closely with Italian and European industry associations, together with our delegates, to attract high-profile buyers to Verona and thereby enhance the international status of the event.

What is the main thematic focus of the upcoming fair?

SaMoTer identifies a focus topic for every edition: The focus in 2017 was hydrogeological instability - which is unfortunately still very topical in Italy, not the least in light of the impact of climate change.  In 2020, on the other hand, the main themes will be technology, innovation and efficiency. These are three aspects driving growth that cannot be overlooked as regards development in the sector.

Smarter, more powerful, precise and sustainable machines will be vital from an economic and environmental point of view. Looking into the future, companies hope to see an increase in the strategic nature of smart technologies in coming years: predictive maintenance is acknowledged as one of the most important, while electrical engines, on the other hand, will be the field achieving the most growth.

What is the meaning of the motto #followthebeat?

SaMoTer 2017 had this claim: “The heart of construction equipment pulses in Italy”. The campaign achieved excellent results and it was decided to continue in the same direction in order to highlight the dynamism and continuous evolution of a pulsating and lively sector keen to continue growing. Hence the motto #followthebeat.

How important is the digitalization of processes in the construction industry?

The Industry 4.0 revolution is also having an impact on the world of construction machinery and SaMoTer is the preferential observatory for a better understanding of construction sites of the future. The programme of appointments and educational activities that always accompanies the exhibition will also focus on the fact that almost all operations associated with earthmoving and building sites can be carried out using sophisticated technologies.

Human beings and vehicles are by now interconnected through digital interfaces and machines interact with other machines to produce data stored in the cloud that in turn allows progressive automation of processes, efficiency improvements and the safe management of the most hazardous jobs. Innovation is therefore one of the main levers when purchasing new construction machinery, as also confirmed by the SaMoTer Observatory's most recent survey investigating the evolution of the machine fleet in Italy over the decade 2008-2018.

Can you describe the position of Italian construction market amongst the European/World ones?

The situation in Italy can be outlined most appropriately by starting from the data analysed by our Observatory. Overall investments in the global construction sector came to more than 7,000 billion euros in 2018 and Italy stands fourth in the European rankings, with a total value of around 139 billion euros. After years of severe recession that halved the construction-related market in Italy since 2008, we are witnessing a gradual recovery.

A 3.5% increase in investments is expected by the end of 2019, worth 4.8 billion euros, followed in 2020 by further growth of 3.3 billion (+2.4%). In the residential sector, building renovation and energy redevelopment projects continue to make a significant contribution to operations activity and even civil engineering benefiting from the resumption in public sector investments is starting off again after a long period of contraction.

How do you visualize the future of the construction industry?

I am sure people will find many ideas on show here in Verona 21-25 March while visiting the exhibition halls. I am sure that the innovations and previews featured by international machinery builders will indicate to everyone the way ahead for successfully tackling the great challenges awaiting the future of the construction sector. As already mentioned, I believe that economic and environmental sustainability, combined with increasingly smart technologies, will be the main aspects we will find in our homes as well as in the machinery used to build them.

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Trade show overview

SaMoTer is a large international construction equipment trade fair hosted every three years in Verona, Italy. The visitors have an opportunity to explore or examine innovations and technologies from all construction equipment sectors, from earth moving to demolition. The first edition was held in 1964, being dedicated to earth moving machinery. The last SaMoTer edition (30th) was hosted together with Asphaltica and Transpotec Logitec shows in 2017 and attracted 84,000 visitors from 86 countries and 780 exhibitors.

Source: LECTURA Verlag GmbH; Patrik Eder

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