- Expo (exhibition)
Expo (short for "exposition", and also known as World Fair and World's Fair) is the name given to various large public exhibitions held since the mid-19th century. They are the third largest event in the world in terms of economic and cultural impact, after the
FIFA World Cupand the Olympic Games.Fact|date=July 2008 They have been organized for more than one and a half centuries — longer than both the (modern) Olympic Games and the World Cup. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palacein Hyde Park, London, in 1851 under the title “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. The “Great Exhibition” as it is often called was an idea of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such, it influenced the development of several aspects of societyFact|date=July 2008 including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism. Also, it was the precedent for the many international exhibitions, later called “World’s Fairs”, which were subsequently held to the present day.
The main attractions at World's Fairs are the national pavilions, created by participating countries. At Expo 2000 Hannover, where countries created their own architecture, the average pavilion investment was around € 13 million.Fact|date=July 2008 Given these costs, EU governments are sometimes skeptical about participation as tangible benefits are often assumed not to outweigh the costs. Effects are often not measured, however. An exception was an independent study for the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2000. This research estimated the pavilion (which cost around €35 million) generated around € 350 million of potential revenues for the Dutch economy. It also identified several key success factors for world exposition pavilions in general [Tjaco Walvis (2003), "Building Brand Locations",
Corporate Reputation Review, Vol.5, No.4, pp.358-366] .
Since the signing of 1928
Convention on International Exhibitions, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE; English: "International Exhibitions Bureau" or "Bureau of International Expositions") has served as an international sanctioning body. BIE-approved fairs are divided into a number of types: "universal", "international" or "specialized". They usually last between three and six months.
A brief history of the World's Fair
World's Fairs originated in the French tradition of national exhibitions, a tradition that culminated with the
French Industrial Exposition of 1844held in Paris. It was soon followed by other national exhibitions in continental Europe, and finally came to London where the first real international exhibition was held.
Since their inception in 1851, the character of world expositions has evolved. Three eras can be distinguished:Fact|date=July 2008 the era of industrialization, the era of cultural exchange, and the era of nation branding.Or|date=July 2008
The first era could be called the era of 'industrialization' and covered, roughly, the period from 1800 to 1950. In these days, world expositions were especially focused on trade and famous for the display of technological inventions and advancements. World expositions were the platform where the state of the art in science and technology from around the world was brought together. The world expositions of 1851 London, 1889 Paris, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893, 1900 Paris, 1904 St. Louis and 1915 San Francisco exhibitions can be called landmarks in this respect.Fact|date=July 2008 Inventions such as the
telephonewere first presented during this era. An important part of the Expo's current image stems from this first era.
Cultural exchange (1939–1991)
1939 New York World's Fairand the 1949 Stockholm World's Fairrepresented a departure from the original focus of the expositions. From then on, Expos became more strongly based on a specific theme of cultural significance, and began to address issues of humankind. They became more future oriented and ' utopian' in scope. Technology and inventions remained important, but no longer as the principal subjects of the Expo. Tomorrow's World (New York, 1939) and Sports (Stockholm, 1949) are examples of these 'new' themes. Cross-cultural dialogue and the exchange of solutions became defining elements of the expos. The dominant Expo of this era arguably remains Montreal's 1967 Expo67. At Expo 2000in Hannover, a program called 'Projects Around the World' brought together sustainable initiatives and solutions from all over the globe. Expo 2005of Aichiwas probably the most thematic Expo to date.
Nation branding (1992–present)
From Expo '92 in
Sevilleonwards, countries started to use the world expo more widely and more strongly as a platform to improve their national images through their pavilions. Finland, Japan, Canada, Franceand Spainare cases in point. A large study by Tjaco Walvis called "Expo 2000 Hanover in Numbers" showed that improving national image was the primary participation goal for 73% of the countries at Expo 2000. In a world where a strong national image is a key asset, pavilions became advertising campaigns, and the Expo a vehicle for 'nation branding'. Apart from cultural and symbolic reasons, organizing countries (and the cities and regions hosting them) also utilize the world exposition to brand themselves. According to branding expert Wally Olins, Spainused Expo '92and the 1992 Summer Olympicsin Barcelonain the same year to underline its new position as a modern and democratic country and present itself as a prominent member of the European Unionand the global community.
Today's world expositions embody elements of all three eras. They present new inventions, facilitate cultural exchange based on a theme, and are used for city, region and nation branding.
Categories of World Expositions
Presently, there are two types of world expositions: registered and recognized. Registered exhibitions are the biggest category events. Previously, registered expositions were called “Universal Expositions”. Even though this name lingers on in public memory, it is no longer in use as an official term. At registered exhibitions, participants generally build their own pavilions. They are therefore the most extravagant and most expensive expos. Their duration may be between six weeks and six months. Since 1995, the interval between two registered expositions has been at least five years. The next registered exposition will be
Expo 2010in Shanghai.
Recognized expositions are smaller in scope and investments and generally shorter in duration; between three weeks and three months. Previously, these expositions were called "International or Specialized Expositions" but these terms are no longer used officially. Their total surface area must not exceed 25 ha and organizers must build pavilions for the participating states, free of rent, charges, taxes and expenses. The largest country pavilions may not exceed 1,000 m². Only one recognized exhibition can be held between two registered exhibitions. [Based on:
There is also a third category of Exposition - the International Garden Exposition, which is a joint
BIEand International Horticultural Association-sanctioned 'garden' fair, where gardens and garden pavilions take the form of a participant's representation.
"Registered Expositions", or, Universal Expositions
Universal Expositions encompass universal themes that affect the full gamut of human experience, and international and corporate participants are required to adhere to the theme in their representations. Universal expositions are usually held less frequently than specialized or international expositions because they are more expensive as they require total design of pavilion buildings from the ground up. As a result, nations compete for the most outstanding or memorable structure—recent examples include
Japan, France, Morocco& Spainat Expo '92. Recent Universal Expositions include Brussels Expo '58, Montreal Expo 67, Osaka Expo '70, and SevilleExpo '92. Sometimes pre-fabricated structures are also used to minimize costs for developing countries or for countries from a geographical block to share space (i.e. Plaza of the Americas at Seville '92).
The only Universal Expositions to be held without BIE approval were the 1939-1940 and the 1964-1965 New York World's Fairs. The sanctioning organization at Paris denied them "official" status because these Fairs did not comply with BIE rules in place at the time, namely the one limiting the duration for Universal Expositions to six months only. Both fairs were held through two six-month periods over two years. The Fairs proceeded without BIE approval and turned to tourism and trade organizations to host national pavilions in lieu of official government sponsorship. However, a large number of Governments did participate in both world's fairs.
Frederick Pittera, (a producer of international fairs and exhibitions and author of the history of world's fairs in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Comptons Encyclopedia), was commissioned by Mayor Robert Wagnerof New York City in 1959 to prepare the first feasibility studies for the 1964 New York World's Fair. The Eisenhower Commission ultimately awarded the world's fair bid to New York City against several major USA cities. The 1939-1940 world's fair was held at Flushing Meadow on 1216 acres while the 1964-1965 fair used only 646 acres (about the size of N.Y.C. Central Park) in the same location.
Since the turn of the century, the BIE has moved to sanction expos only every five years; with the 1980s and 1990s overflowing with expos back to back, some see this as a means to cut down potential expenditure by participating nations. The rule may apply to all expos, or it may end up that Universal expositions will be restricted to every five years or so, with International or Specialized expositions in the in-between years for countries wishing to celebrate a special event.
"Recognized Expositions" ,or, International or specialized expositions
International expositions are usually united by a common theme—such as Transportation (Vancouver
Expo '86), or, 'Leisure in the Age of Technology' (Brisbane Expo '88). Such themes are narrower than the wider scope of Universal expositions.
Specialized and international expositions are usually smaller in scale and cheaper to run for the host committee and participants because the architectural fees are lower and they only have to rent the space from the host committee, usually with the pre-fabricated structure already completed. Countries then have the option of 'adding' their own colours, design etc. to the outside of the pre-fabricated structure and filling in the inside with their own content. One example of this is
China, which invariably has chosen to add a Chinese archway in the front of its pre-fabricated pavilions to symbolize the nation ( Expo '88, Expo '92, Expo '93).
The 2008 International Exhibition will be hosted by
Zaragoza, Spain with the theme "Water and the Sustainable Development".
Expo 2012 will be held in
Yeosu, South Korea, with the theme "The Living Ocean and Coast: Diversity of Resources and Sustainable Activities”/ [http://www.expo2012.or.kr/]
International Garden Expositions
Recent international garden expositions include
Osaka1990, (or 'Hana-haku', the Flower Exposition), Japan, Kunming( People's Republic of China) 1999, and Royal Flora Ratchapruek ( Thailand) 2006.
List of expositions
List of hitherto official world expositions (Universal, International/Specialised, International Garden) according to the Bureau International des Expositions [ [http://www.bie-paris.org/main/index.php?p=257&m2=253 BIE Web Site ] ] and ExpoMuseum: [ [http://www.expomuseum.com ExpoMuseum - The World's Fair Museum ] ]
* 1851 London (
* 1855 Paris (
* 1862 London (
* 1867 Paris (
* 1873 Vienna (
* 1876 Philadelphia (
* 1878 Paris (
* 1879 Sydney (
* 1880 Melbourne (
* 1884 New Orleans (
* 1889 Paris (
* 1893 Chicago (
* 1896 Nizhny Novgorod (Russia)
* 1896 Budapest (
Brussels( Belgium) and Stockholm ( Sweden)
* 1900 Paris (
* 1901 Buffalo (
* 1901 Charleston (
* 1904 St. Louis (
* 1905 Liège (
* 1915 San Francisco (
* 1915 San Diego (
* 1933 Chicago (
* 1935 Brussels, (
* 1937 Paris (
* 1939 New York City (
* 1939-1940 San Francisco (
* 1958 Brussels (
1960 Seattle( United States)
* 1962 Seattle (
* 1964 New York (
* 1967 Montreal (
* 1968 San Antonio (
* 1970 Osaka (
* 1974 Spokane (
* 1982 Knoxville (
* 1984 New Orleans (
* 1985 Tsukuba (
* 1986 Vancouver (
* 1988 Brisbane (
* 1990 Osaka International Garden Exposition (
* 1992 Seville (
* 1993 Daejeon (
* 1998 Lisbon (
* 1999 Kunming International Garden Exposition (
* 2000 Hanover (
* 2005 Aichi (
* 2006 Royal Flora Ratchapruek (
* 2008 Zaragoza (
* 2010 Shanghai (
* 2012 Yeosu (
* 2015 Milan (
Future potential expositions
2017 or 2018 will see a recognized exposition. Bidding may begin as early as 2012 for this smaller sized exposition.
2020 will see a sanctioned registered or 'Universal' category exposition. Bidding may begin as early as 2011 for this larger sized exposition.
There are citizen efforts in American cities with the intention of bringing a World's Fair back to the
Houston- "Energy and Exploration: A Vision for the Future" [ http://www.houston2020.org]
New York- "Showcasing the World" [http://www.freewebs.com/nycexpo2020/]
San Francisco- “Interculture: Celebrating the World’s Cultures while Creating New Ones through Interaction and Exchange.” [http://www.2020worldsfair.com/]
Los Angeles- "Pacific Rim and Gateway to the World", according to Jonathan Beutler
Philippinesis also possibly bidding for the Expo 2020.
Manila- "Manila, Celebrating Light and Life" [http://www.expomuseum.com/2020/]
* It is unlikely that Manila will be chosen as future World Expo site, as Quezon City, Philippines was chosen to host the 2002 Recognized Expo edition in 1998. Due to the 1997 Economic Breakdown, Philippines failed to host the event. [http://www.geocities.com/yosemite/3712/n060698.html]
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia also proposes to host an Exposition in 2020 [http://www.foundationexpo88.org/captaincook.html]
Media reports [http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/who-stole-our-mojo-asks-sydney/2007/06/30/1182624239547.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2] also suggest that
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia may bid for the Australian 2020 time slot. Copenhagen, Denmark, is also considering whether to bid for the Expo 2020.
After the fair
The majority of the structures are temporary, and are dismantled at the end of the expo. Towers from several of these fairs are notable exceptions. By far the most famous of these is the
Eiffel Tower, built for the Exposition Universelle (1889), which is now the most well-known symbol of its host city Paris. Surprisingly, some then contemporary critics wanted the tower dismantled after the fair's conclusion.
Other major structures that were held over from these fairs:
The Crystal Palace, from the first World's Fair in London in 1851, chosen because it could be recycled to recoup losses, was such a success that it was moved and intended to be permanent, only to be destroyed by a fire (of its contents) in 1936.
Centennial Exposition's main building still in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, and serving as the new home for the Please Touch Museum.
*The World Heritage-listed
Royal Exhibition Buildingin Melbourne, constructed for the Melbourne International Exhibition (1880).
*The main buildings of
Expo '98, in Lisbon, were completely integrated in the city itself.
Brussels, the Atomiumstill stands at the site of the 1958 exposition. It is an 165 billion times enlarged Iron-Atom shaped building.
Space Needlein Seattlewas the symbol of the 1962 World's Fair, and the US pavilion from that fair became the Pacific Science Center. The Seattle Center Monorailstill operates daily.
Unispherein Queensstill remains from the 1964 World's Fair
Other outstanding exceptions:
*The remains of Expo '29 in Seville where the 'Plaza de España' forms part of a large park and forecourt, and many of the pavilions have become offices for Consulate-Generals.
*An elevated railway with trains running at short intervals was built for the
Milan1906 expo. It linked the fair to the city centre. It was dismantled in the 1920s.
*The aquarium of Milan Expo '06 (1906) was built for the fair and after 100 years is still open and was recently renovated.
*The ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health), was settled in Milan during the Expo '06 and had the first congress in the Expo pavilions. In June 2006 the ICOH celebrated the first century of life in Milan.
*The pavilions of Expo '92 in Seville had been reconverted into a
technological squareand a theme park.
M. H. de Young Museumin San Francisco's Golden Gate Parkwas a survivor of the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition until it was replaced with a larger building.
Palace of Fine Artsis all that remains from the 1915 San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition. This can be seen on the fair grounds near the Golden Gate Bridge.
*San Antonio kept intact the
Tower of the Americas, the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Convention Center from HemisFair '68.
*Among the structures still standing from Expo 67 in Montreal are
Moshe Safdie's Habitat 67, Buckminster Fuller's American pavilion, and the French pavilion (now the Montreal Casino).
Sunsphereremains as a figure in the Knoxville skyline, left from the 1982 World's Fair.
*The Museum of Science and Industry in
Chicagois housed in the one of the last remaining building of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, which had been the Palace of Fine Arts. The intent or hope was to make all Columbian structures permanent, but most of the structures burned, possibly the result of arson during the Pullman Strike. Another survivor is the Norway pavilion, a small house located at a museum in Wisconsin. However, the foundation of the world's first Ferris wheel, which operated at the Exposition, was unearthed on the Chicago Midway during a construction project by the University of Chicago, whose campus now surrounds the Midway. Finally, a third remaining building is the Maine State Building, now housed at the Poland Springs Resort, in Poland Springs, Maine.
*The Skyneedle, the symbol tower of Brisbane's World Expo '88, as well as the Nepal Peace Pagoda of the Nepalese representation, now at the transformed World Expo '88 site South Bank Parklands, and the Japan Pond and Garden from the Japanese representation, now at the Brisbane Mt Cooth-tha Botanic Gardens remain from
Expo '88in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
*A particular case is the EUR quarter in
Rome, built for a World's Fair planned for 1942, was never used for its intended purpose, because of World War II, and today hosts various offices, governmental or private, and some museums.
*The "American Theatre" on the Brussels Expo in 1958 is now frequently used as a television studio by the VRT.
*The home of Satsuki & Mei Kusakabe, built for the 2005 Expo in
Aichi, remains operating at its original site in Morikoro Park and is a popular tourist attraction.
Some World's Fair sites became (or reverted to) parks incorporating some of the expo elements, such as:
Audubon Park, New Orleans: Site of New Orleans's World Cotton Centennialin 1884
*Jackson Park, Chicago and the Chicago Midway: Site of the 1893 Columbian Exposition
*Nashville: Tennessee Centennial Expo
*Forest Park, Saint Louis: Home of the Saint Louis
Louisiana Purchase Expositionof 1904
Panama-California Exposition (1915)& California Pacific International Exposition (1935)
Century 21 Exposition
*Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York City: Site of both the 1939/1940 and 1964/1965 New York World's Fairs
Montreal: Expo 67
Expo Memorial Park, Osaka: Expo '70
Expo '88: now represented with the South Bank Parklands[http://www.visitsouthbank.com.au/]
*Seville: Expo '92
Lisbon: Expo '98which was divided in several structures, namely Pavilhão Atlântico, Casino Lisboa, Oceanário and Pavilhão da Ciência.
Some pavilions have been moved overseas intact:
*The Argentinian Pavilion from the 1889 Paris is now in
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
*The Chilean Pavilion from 1889 Paris is now in
Santiago, Chileand following significant refurbishment in 1992 functions as the Museo Artequin [http://www.artequin.cl/]
*The Japanese Tower of the 1900 World's Fair in Paris was relocated to Laken (Brussels) on request of King Leopold II of Belgium.
BelgiumPavilion from the 1939 New York World's Fair was relocated to Virginia Union Universityin Richmond, Virginia.
*The USSR Pavilion from
Expo 67is now in Moscow.
*The Sanyo Pavilion from
Expo '70is the Asian Centre at the University of British Columbiain Vancouver, BC.
*The Portugal Pavilion from
Expo 2000is now in Coimbra, Portugal.
Expo '58relocated many pavilions within Belgium: the pavilion of Jacques Chocolats moved to the town of Diestto house the new town swimming pool. Another pavilion was relocated to Willebroekand has been used as dance hall Carré [http://www.carre.be] ever since. One smaller pavilion still stands on the impressive boulevard towards the Atomium: the restaurant "Salon 58" in the pavilion of Comptoir Tuilier.
Many exhibitions and rides created by
Walt Disneyand his WED Enterprisescompany for the 1964 New York World's Fair(which was held over into 1965) were moved to Disneyland after the closing of the Fair. Many of the rides, including " it's a small world", " Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", and " Carousel of Progress" (since moved to the Walt Disney World Resortand updated), are still in operation.
Disney had contributed so many exhibits to the New York fair in part because the corporation had originally envisioned a "permanent World's Fair" at the Flushing site. That concept instead came to fruition with the Disney theme park
Epcot, an extension of the Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando, Florida. Epcot has many of the characteristics of a typical Universal Exposition: national pavilions, as well as exhibits concerning technology and/or the future, along with more typical amusement-park rides. Meanwhile, several of the 1964 attractions, relocated to Disneyland, have been duplicated at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Occasionally other bits and pieces of the Fairs remain. In the
New Yorksubway system, signs directing people to Flushing Meadows, Queensremain from the 1964-5 event. In the Montrealsubway at least one tile artwork of its theme, "The World of Man", remains. Also, a seemingly endless supply of souvenir items from Fair visits can be found, and in the United States, at least, can often be bought at garage or estate sales. Many of these events also produced postage stamps and commemorative coins. The 1904 Olympic Gameswere held in conjunction with the St. Louis Fair, although no particular tie-in seems to have been made.
* [http://labs.lib.csufresno.edu/SpecialCollections/?page_id=18 Donald G. Larson Collection on International Expositions and Fairs, 1851-1940] , from the website of
California State University, Fresno
* [http://www.expomuseum.com/ ExpoMuseum] , an online world's fair museum
* [http://www.suchmuchmedia.de/e/wfs A lot of World's Fairs presented by a lot of photographs]
* cite web |publisher=
Victoria and Albert Museum
title= Exposition Posters
work=Paintings and Drawings
* cite web |publisher= University of Maryland Libraries, Digital Collections
title= A Treasury of World's Fair Art and Architecture: A Digital Archive, 1851-1986
work= essays, images, virtual exhibits, postcards and ephemera
* [http://www.foundationexpo88.org/expofaqs.html Expo FAQs]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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