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steinexpo 2023: The partnerships report

Helping hands on the road to success

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As early as 1990, a unique trade fair with a unique selling point was born from an idea. And almost 33 years later, steinexpo has lost none of its appeal.

While other trade fairs are still struggling with the consequences of the last few years, the current level of registrations for steinexpo 2023 is even higher than the comparable level for the last time the fair was held. More than 260 exhibitors representing around 370 brands have already booked their participation. This means that almost 90% of the available space has been allocated.

It is an extraordinary success, to an extent the organisers did not expect. A valuable lesson learned from the ongoing crises and challenges of the past and present ultimately is that it shows who you can rely on when the going gets tough. Not only have the technical and conceptual partners of steinexpo remained loyal, but they even increased the intensity of their cooperation.

Joint strength – The joint opening of steinexpo with all partners by buzzer has become a tradition. This year with even more “helping hands” and new faces. Photos: gsz
Joint strength – The joint opening of steinexpo with all partners by buzzer has become a tradition. This year with even more “helping hands” and new faces. Photos: gsz

So it’s high time to let them speak for themselves. Below are reports in the steinexpo partners’ own words on the role they play as technical and conceptual partners, what makes steinexpo special for them and what they look forward to most at the upcoming trade fair.

The fact that the fair is increasingly able to distinguish itself on an international level is also reflected in the partnerships. But let’s first take a look at where it all started. Because steinexpo could already count on the backing of the Federal Association of Mineral Raw Materials (MIRO) at its first event in 1990.

Walter Nelles, Deputy General Manager and Spokesperson of the MIRO Management Board, reports:

“MIRO has been the conceptual sponsor of steinexpo from the very beginning. Immediately after the fall of the Wall, representatives of the former BVNI (Federal Association of the Natural Stone Industry) and the owner of the Stein-Verlag of the time, Wilhelm Jösch, put their heads together and ‘invented’ steinexpo. The idea was that companies from the East and the West in the natural stone industry and the supplier industry should come together at an ‘industry event’.

The BVNI working group on ‘Mining and Mineral Processing Technology’, a body in which natural stone companies and the associate members of the association have been working together since 1981, welcomed this idea of a ‘performance show’ at German level. Showcasing exhibits in a large quarry, i.e. ‘on site’, and of course the demonstrations of the machines were particularly fascinating.

Despite the numerous brands that are now represented, you feel at home and every exhibitor invites you to talk shop – even just for small talk, by the way, because people from the industry know each other – it’s like a get together of the big family Stone. Six long years have passed since the last steinexpo. We expect that there will be a lot of new equipment to see.

It will also be of interest to see how the push towards digitisation initiated by Covid-19 has been implemented in practice and how it is being accepted. Energy efficiency and its implementation will also be a hot topic. And, of course, lots of handshakes with old acquaintances and new friends again.”

The big family Stone gets together …

In the beginning it was the BVNI (Association of German Natural Stone Industry), the predecessor association now known as MIRO (Association of German Mineral Raw Materials), who backed this fledgling, and at the time completely unusual trade fair.

The European Aggregates Association (UEPG), the Construction Machinery and Building Material Plant Association of the Association of German Machinery and Plant Manufacturing (VDMA) and the Association of the Construction Industry, Environmental Technology and Mechanical Engineering (VDBUM) later added their support.

Joachim Schmid from the VDMA – construction machinery and building material plants reveals:

“The steinexpo is an extremely well organised demo fair where those interested in the industry can see and get close to the machines in real life. We promote this event in our network and organise a supporting programme in close coordination with Geoplan to make steinexpo attractive for visitors and to present the construction machinery sector for what it is: an exciting industry of the future. We started working together in 2008, and the decisive factor at steinexpo is of course its live character. This is where practical experience meets. There is an awful lot happening right now when it comes to the digitisation of the machines, and we are very excited to see what useful features we will be shown at the event.”

Dieter Schnittjer, Member of the Board and Managing Director of VDBUM Service GmbH, explains:

”We have been supporting Geoplan’s impressive concept for organising and running steinexpo for two decades. We have an on-site information stand on the safe use of machines and equipment in the construction process. We very much look forward to the professional networking discussions on site at the event with trade exhibitors and all other interested parties – to find out which services we as association can use to meet the challenges of the industry together with our members.”

This is where practical experience meets

Over time, a sounding board was created that promoted the steinexpo idea in the raw materials and building materials industry, in recycling, in the construction industry and in the world of construction machinery and building material plants. With the entry of the German Demolition Association in 2021, the demolition technology segment was finally fully manifested.

Andreas Pocha, Managing Director of the German Demolition Association, tells us:

“We are a professional technical and conceptual partner of the trade fair because we would like to draw our members’ attention to this very interesting and useful fair and encourage them to visit it. After our official support at the last edition had to be cancelled due to the Corona virus, this time it will be ‘serious business’ for the first time. The character as a demonstration fair gives this trade fair a unique selling point that makes it interesting for all those who prefer to see machines live and in action There are enough other trade fair stands where the highly polished machines are merely ‘standing around’.

What we look forward to most is the atmosphere and the participants, whether they are there for professional reasons or for a private outing. It’s just nice to be able to meet everyone live and in person again.”

The increasing internationality of the trade fair is now also reflected in the partnerships. The UEPG (Union Européenne des Producteurs de Granulats), the European aggregates association in Brussels, has been a technical and conceptual partner for a very long time and provides support using this platform – with well-known assistance.

Dirk Fincke from UEPG:

Together with our German member, the Federal Association of Mineral Resources (MIRO), we would like to strengthen the European component of steinexpo and the potential for this. We have been present at the opening for several years. And the president of our association even had the honour to give an opening speech. It is especially in times like these that we need innovative solutions for more energy and material efficiency, recycling, biodiversity, electrification of machines, renewable energies and alternative fuels. Not only does the steinexpo offer solutions by offering catalogues and machines on exhibit, but also the opportunity to directly test machines and equipment in practical conditions.

We particularly look forward to exchanging information with companies from our industry and our partners in the fields of mechanical engineering, equipment, (renewable) energy, biodiversity and environmental management. Because we are happy to take both the concerns and possible solutions with us to Brussels in order to exert constructive influence on European legislation.”

The newly acquired official partnership of steinexpo with IMA Europe (Industrial Minerals Europe, Brussels) represents another milestone in successful international industry cooperation.

Ignacio Gentiluomo, Communication Officer, IMA Europe, reports:

“IMA-Europe is looking forward to take part in the steinexpo 2023. As the voice of the European Minerals Industry in Brussels, we want to get closer to our members and the industry as a whole. The steinexpo is a great opportunity to set an example for cohesion in our industry and showcase the best of the European mining industry.

The industrial mineral industry stands more for sustainability, responsibility, occupational safety, and the implementation of ecological, technical future visions than many ascribe to us. The steinexpo is a place to make this more visible to everyone and for scientific exchange and interesting networking at regional, European, and international levels. We want to support this and contribute through our partnership.

IMA-Europe’s members have participated and updated us on this event for a long time, and this year we finally decided to join in, too. As the decisive EU voice of industrial minerals producers and importers, we couldn’t miss this chance to meet with companies, authorities, and the broader value chain. We look forward to seeing everyone in August, demonstrating how we are helping and representing industrial mineral companies from Brussels.”

The trade fair started its journey 33 years ago …

Even after such a long time, this trade fair has lost none of its popularity. Quite the opposite: It becomes clear that it is the implementation of precisely those ideas that originally led to the creation of the fair that ensure the trade fair is and remains successful:

The unique “on-site” atmosphere where industry professionals from all sectors of the raw and building materials industries come together and experience the achievements of the industry live in each other’s company. And also get to “get a taste” of things to come. It is for a good reason that the pay-off line of this year’s steinexpo is “Quarry Vision”. In the visionary exhibition area of the same name, visitors can take a peek at tomorrow’s ideas during the duration of the trade fair.


Please visit the trade fair’s website for up-to-date information on the 11th steinexpo.

www.steinexpo.de and on Instagram at: @steinexpo_official

About steinexpo

As the biggest and most significant stone quarry demonstration exhibition on the European continent, the steinexpo had its premiere in the Nieder-Ofleiden stone quarry in September 1990. The trade fair is held in a three-year cycle. By means of impressive live demonstrations against the backdrop of a magnificent stone quarry, manufacturers and dealers of building and processing machinery, utility vehicles and heavy vehicles as well as plants for the extraction and treatment of materials put their performance capabilities on display. The recycling of mineral building materials represents another focus point. The steinexpo is organised by Geoplan GMBH, Iffezheim.

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