GIC 2024: Optimism, innovation and investment in Italian concrete sector

Figure: Mediapoint & Exhibitions

Figure: Mediapoint & Exhibitions
GIC 2024, Europe’s largest exhibition and conference exclusively for the concrete industry, buzzed with record-breaking participation at Piacenza Expo in Italy, 18-20th April. The event hosted 263 exhibitors, up from 234 at the previous edition in 2022, while visitor attendance soared. Over 6,000 visitors from Italy and abroad descended on the halls of Piacenza Expo for GIC 2024, compared to around 5,000 in 2022.

“The growth in visitor numbers is certainly exciting, but what truly matters is the quality of interactions at the event – and we put considerable effort into ensuring that the right people attend to help exhibitors expand their businesses,” explained Fabio Potestà, director of Mediapoint & Exhibitions, the company behind GIC

"Many of our exhibitors are highly selective about the events they participate in and find that GIC's laser focus on the concrete industry makes it easier to raise awareness and make valuable connections compared to more general construction exhibitions," he continued.

In fact, a survey conducted at GIC revealed that 72% of exhibitors believe specialised exhibitions such as GIC foster higher quality interactions with visitors compared to general construction events.

Underlining its significance in the industry, GIC 2024 received the support of more than 60 trade associations from across Europe. Alberto Truzzi, president of ASSOBETON (the Italian national trade association of manufacturers of concrete products, components, and structures), said: “GIC is an important and reference event, where concrete producers, machinery producers, users, customers, and designers can meet up. We are happy to be part of this entourage and to have excellent relations with GIC, which is an opportunity to do business and create culture.”

Optimism in the European and Italian concrete markets

Despite slow growth in the European construction sector, there was a positive mood at GIC 2024. 90% of exhibitors surveyed expressed optimism regarding the future growth of the European concrete market over the next five years, driven in part by the pressing need to renovate aging concrete infrastructure and the financial support offered via the NextGenerationEU initiative.

Demonstrating support from the Italian government, GIC 2024 received an official visit from Elena Murelli, member of the Italian security commission and senator for the Emilia-Romagna region, where Piacenza is located.

"There have been many accidents in Italy [in recent years] concerning bridges, roads, and railways, and so the development of new technology and maintenance of infrastructure is very important,” Murelli commented during her tour of the exhibition. “We are investing a lot in Italy with our new minister [for transport and infrastructure] Matteo Salvini and have a lot of money from the NRRP [National Recovery and Resilience Plan] we are using to build new infrastructure and guarantee the maintenance of existing infrastructure – and drive innovation across all aspects.”

45% of GIC exhibitors surveyed said NRRP investments are already boosting demand for their offerings. While 20% acknowledged they have yet to see the full impact, they remain hopeful about the opportunities the NRRP may bring.

Determination to reduce concrete’s environmental impact

Alongside infrastructure renewal, GIC exhibitors cited sustainability as the other main opportunity for growth in the European concrete industry. Companies offering solutions for reducing emissions and recycling materials reported a surge in adoption, reflecting an increasing understanding of the environmental impact of the concrete industry and a strengthening resolve to improve it.

A significant majority (57%) of exhibitors said that sustainability is now their customers’ top concern. Looking ahead, an even larger portion (86%) believe that sustainability will be even more crucial for winning new business in the coming years.

Nevertheless, there is still some scepticism about the achievability of environmental targets and several exhibitors stressed that sustainability needs to be delivered as part of a package of benefits, including greater longevity, and lower cost.

Raft of product launches at GIC 2024

Besides increased participation numbers, the unveiling of new products at GIC 2024 added to the event's excitement, showcasing innovations across various sectors of the concrete industry.

Mapei introduced its CUBE System, a novel admixture designed to accelerate the reaction process for low CO2-emitting precast and ready-mix cement, which is typically slower than in standard cement and requires additional chemistry in the mix. By expediting the reaction process, Mapei’s CUBE System promises to make low-carbon cement a more practical choice for construction projects.


Mediapoint & Communications S.R.L.

Corte Lambruschini

Corso Buenos Aires, 8

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16129 Genova/Italy

+39 0105704948

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