Fabrizio Cattaneo and Dino Zandonella Necca

Since March 2020, most glass industry events have either been cancelled, postponed or held virtually. With Vitrum 2021 scheduled October 5-8, 2021 at the Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, event organizers are hopeful that the global vaccine rollout will make an in-person gathering possible. Organizers held a virtual meeting last week to give a preview of the show’s new offerings and to field questions from the industry.

Dino Zandonella Necca, Vitrum president, began the preview by speaking to the pandemic situation. He said that while cases have been high recently in some countries, the vaccination program is bringing good signs of recovery.

“We have the great expectation that by beginning of summer everything will be completely different,” he said.

Vitrum 2019 has 11,816 visitors and 267 total exhibitors. The exhibit area increased by nearly 11% compared to 2017.

Vitrum director Fabrizio Cattaneo then spoke about added value the organizers have brought to the show for 2021. The show will provide additional opportunities for exhibitors to showcase their technologies. The show will have 12 themed pathways to help visitors identify exhibitors relevant to their interests.

“This is an exhibition of the whole industry, not just construction but from the raw material to the final product,” said Cattaneo, adding that the theme for 2021 is “Glass is…the qualities of glass.”

Organizers also have launched a Vitrum Life Portal that will also exhibitors to increase brand exposure. The platform can help companies edit content for the show. In addition, Vitrum will host a Glass Week event which will offer tours and other events and activities in Milan. It’s open to both exhibitors and attendees.

“It will allow them to see Milan much more than in the past,” said Cattaneo. “…We’re working to make the 2021 edition the best on ever. That’s our aim.”

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to add the human touch again after a longer period of isolation,” said Zandonella Necca. “This is a free moment for us to express ourselves and for the whole industry to be united … I think with the pandemic we learned we have to stay together and be united to go on. Otherwise, by staying separate in this particular moment, there is no path for us in the future.”

In response to a question about how the pandemic could impact the event, Zandonella Necca said the organizers are monitoring the situation and will adapt if necessary.

“We won’t jeopardize the health of anybody. We’ll make a decision according to what is happening at the time,” he said.

Cattaneo added that GIMAV and the Vitrum organizers are working with the event venue to introduce a force majeure clause into their contract.

“We are asking exhibitors to confirm their participation at this time but we’re not asking them to pay the amount for registration yet. That’s the way we’ve deciding to protect you. We don’t want to link you with any sort of contract,” he said.