With the Beijing Olympics in 2008 we saw just how capable China is at hosting a global event.
Now, just two years later, they’re gearing up for World Expo to be held in Shanghai from May 1 – October 31 and it promises to be greater than any expo before it. Nowadays held every five years, World Expos have taken place since the 1851 Crystal Palace exhibition in London and countries continue to compete vigorously to host them. They provide an opportunity to showcase the host country and participating nations in an accessible way. Nothing has yet matched the ability of world expos to enable people to experience a range of cultures in a dynamic environment.
More than 190 countries and more than 50 international organizations have registered to participate and China expects to receive almost 100 foreign leaders and millions of people from across the world to come and visit the World Expo. At the expected 800,000 visitors per day, that makes approximately 70 million visitors expected.
The event will showcase the best dynamic and engaging events that each country has to offer, and are held in magnificent pavilions designed, in general, by architects from the featured country (there are a couple of exceptions, such as the United Arab Emirates which has selected famed British architect Foster + Partners).
The pavilions also serve to promote business events in the dedicated VIP area’s that seek to highlight each nation’s capability in key industry sectors, help to boost trade and two-way investment, and expand institutional and person-to-person links.
And, with pretty much every country in the world trying to get a piece of the Chinese trade-pie, it’s not surprising why so much effort is being made by so many.
The images below are not an exhaustive representation of all pavilions, but they serve to demonstrate some of the most spectacular and are a good cross-section of participants throughout the world.