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Behind the Scenes

Go behind the scenes at Cersaie, the world's largest tile tradeshow in Bologna, Italy.

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-Welcome to Cersaie. I'm Lacey Howard, and today, I'm here in Bologna, Italy to show you the best and the brightest designs at the world's largest tile show. Let's get going. -For architects, designers, retailers and media, Cersaie is the place to spot the hottest new products and trends in tile. For the 2008 show, 90,000 professionals from around the globe descended on Bologna to get a taste of what's up and coming in the world of tile. Inside the Cersaie Complex, more than 20 buildings vie for attention---- Each one housing hundreds of exhibitors. Who knew so many tile manufacturers even existed? Good thing I have 3 days. Hopefully, I can see it all. Everywhere I look, people are bustling, pouring in and out of booths, exclaiming over this or that design, taking notes and photos, pricing orders, and like me, just trying to take it all in. Of course, when I hit the wall and it all gets to be too much, it's time for a coffee break. After a quick shot of espresso, I'm onto the next building and the next feast for my eyes. Note to self---- If my feet fail me, I'm hopping on the trolley. For the media contingency, the Italian Trade Commission offers a press conference---- In Italian. Lucky for me and my high school Spanish, there are translators to help us all communicate. The headphones are back during one of the mini after-dark social events that are a part of Cersaie. Tonight, there's a huge cocktail party and an award ceremony at Bologna's historic Palace of King Enzo. These folks sure do know how to liven up a trade show, but the night life isn't the only interesting part. -Here at Cersaie, we've seen some amazing products, but we've also seen some really creative, lighthearted designs that show just how flexible tile can be. -From furniture to animals to orbs to food, vendors come up with all-new ways to display their tiles and catch the eyes of passersby. Some of these designs created just for fun, show how versatile tile can be. Style-wise, tile is going the way of modern fashion with metallic colors and geometric designs that features circles, squares, polygons and more. Other tiles mimic their partners in surface coverings. You could choose tiles that look not only like stone but also wood and fabric. Tile is also taking over as a wall covering. From florals to foliage, wallpaper may have made its match. And, thanks to new technology, tile is now thinner, lighter weight and environmentally friendly. I hope you enjoyed Cersaie 2008. Arrivederci!