Quadrum Saca, the most important trade fair for the frames sector was born 28 years ago in Bologna, for the purpose of creating a highly-specialised commercial event for frames, mouldings and related machinery.
Saca (that was the event's original name) was met with considerable interest by wholesale traders, frame-makers and frame-making companies, art gallery owners for it filled a considerable gap in the international trade fairs sector (being the first of its kind) and was appreciated both by visitors and exhibitors. The decision to give the fair an extremely vertical-oriented structure was a wise one, since this structure is the most suitable for the fair's market sector.
Before Saca, global frames and mouldings manufacturers lacked an ad hoc event for their sector and were therefore forced to build spaces (often small and marginalised) to meet the buyers and present their product lines within the context of the larger, less specialised events in which frames and mouldings were just accessories or “supporting roles” for other types of products. Saca changed this by casting frames in the “leading role”. So far Quadrum Saca is the only event in which all the production stages of a “picture” are portrayed, beginning with mouldings and ending with the complete frame, including a wide choice of machines to build picture frames and passe-partouts.
In 1991 a new product category section was introduced, the final, most important bit for a frames fair: graphics. There came posters, reproductions and bills from all over the world. Once again this choice proven to be the right one, and in a matter of years graphics bloomed from a simple review to an autonomous exhibition hall on par (as regards visitors and exhibition space) with the older, “core” sectors Frames and Technologies and Accessories, the former dealing with mouldings and frames and the latter to machinery and technologies for picture frames and passe-partout processing.
In 2001 Saca accepted the offer of a group of exhibitors and incorporated an important event (established and run by the same group) held at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. The whole event's name changed to Quadrum Saca to highlight this new synergy.
In 28 years the event grew and the number of exhibitors, exhibition space and visitors increased until Quadrum Saca became the world's top event in this sector. Every year 300 companies, half of which non-Italian (hailing from 29 countries), and 9,000 visitors (3,000 non-Italians, from 84 countries) attend the event. One can hear almost every language spoken in the world, and see products from all the five continents, in the halls of Quadrum Saca. This event is a tour of the world, the world of creativity, technology and design.
For the event's 28 year long streak of successes honours must be paid to the continuous and efficient international promotion activity carried out by the sales/commercial staff in the other trade fairs of this sector, together with massive advertising campaigns on the most important Italian and foreign magazines of this sector. Promotional activity spreads the word of Quadrum Saca in the world. As of today, the event's mailing list includes 27,000 recipients, with 12,000 non-Italians. Buyers (art gallery owners, architects, designers, frame-makers, artists, retailers and wholesale traders) all receive by mail a “personal card” that grants them free-of-charge access to the event plus information on Quadrum Saca's main events.
Quadrum Saca is not just an exhibit. Indeed, it contains culture, design and technical review/research. Ever since the beginning, the event has hosted and promoted several initiatives that furthered development of the frames, mouldings and graphics sectors by inviting major international artists, members of fine arts academies and other leading figures of publishing and architecture to cooperate with the exhibitors. This process of integration of different skills, and experimenting with materials, exploring different aesthetic and functional variants for finishes, profiles and colours gave birth to innovative ideas and frames prototypes, some of which actually went into production.
Among Quadrum Saca's special initiatives it is worth mentioning Premio Cornice, a prize competition born to exalt the “picture frame” viewed as a matching of graphics and a frame and the talent needed for such a match. Participants (mostly exhibiting firms) were asked to match a frame with a graphical work chosen among several different subjects (abstract drawing, classics, still life, flower pictures, landscapes, ethnic/tribal drawings, etc.) from various geographic areas. The end result was an extraordinary art gallery ripe with unique works, a concrete token of how a frame and the work it holds can support and give value to each other in an infinite array of combinations.
For 28 years Quadrum Saca has followed and sometimes driven the evolution of the picture frame as a product. It did so by lending space to let the sector's operators voice and show their needs and by helping demand meet supply in any possible way. The most famous examples of this are the exhibit's banquets, reserved for foreign visitors, with about 1,000 sector professionals participating to them each year. Exclusive locations have been chosen as the background for commercial meetings between professionals and frames, mouldings, graphics and machinery makers from all over the world.
Listening to the market, following its evolution and helping business development... this has always been Quadrum Saca's mission, pursued, in the last 28 years, by being always on the move and ready to add to its repertoire new products and accessories that played key roles in distribution, production and sales policies of this sector. This is why over the years the traditional sectors (frames, mouldings and machineries) have been joined by graphics, frame customisation products, gift goods, furniture accessories and the whole hobby and craft sector, from fine arts to decoupage.