Universal Exhibitions

What is an Expo
An Expo is a global event that aims at educating the public, sharing innovation, promoting progress and fostering cooperation. It is organized by a host country that invites other countries, companies, international organisations, the private sector, the civil society and the general public to participate. Due to the diversity of its participants, from top decision makers to children, Expos offer a multifaceted event where extraordinary exhibitions, diplomatic encounters, business meetings, public debates and live shows take place at the same time. For the international community : Expo is a dialogue platform for progress and cooperation For the general public : Expo is an educating and entertaining experience For the host country : Expo is a tool for nation branding and development For participants : Expo allows international outreach and economic opportunities.

What is the BIE
The BIE is the Intergovernmental Organization in charge of overseeing and regulating all international exhibitions that last more than three weeks and are of non commercial nature (“Expos”). Today, 4 main types of Expos are organized under its auspices: World Expos, International Specialized Expos, Horticultural Exhibitions and the Design Triennale of Milan. BIE’s mission is to guarantee the quality and the success of these world events, protect the rights of their organizers and participants and preserve their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. BIE does this by: _Choosing the host countries of future Expos _Providing candidate and host countries with expertise in event management, national branding and public diplomacy _Regulating the organization of the event and making sure the host country and all participants respect the Convention of the BIE and the rules of the Expo From the 31 countries that created the BIE in 1928, the Organization has grown to 168 Member States, as a result of the success and the appeal of Expos. The BIE Member States take part in all the decisions of the BIE and they strive to continually improve the quality of Expos. The headquarters of the BIE are located in Paris.
Source: official BIE website bie-paris.org

The BIE was created in 1928 and started its activity in 1931. Its mission is to guarantee the quality of Expos and protect the rights of their organizers and participants. Since its creation, the BIE has placed education, innovation and cooperation at the core of Expos, thus changing their reason for being. From showcases of industrial innovation, they have become global discussion platforms aimed at finding solutions to the biggest challenges of humanity. Over 50 Expos have been organized under the auspices of the BIE and their success attracts new Member States each year. Today, 168 countries are members of the BIE.

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY An Expo brings the whole world together to find solutions to a fundamental challenge of humanity. This challenge is the theme of the Expo. In practice, how is this theme adressed? First, all participants are either given an exhibition space or the opportunity to build a pavilion. In these spaces they can showcase their experience, innovations and ideas regarding the theme. In addition, conferences, workshops, debates as well as diplomatic and professional meetings are organized. This allows participants to exchange ideas, come up with solutions and develop new cooperation ties. Thanks to this intellectual stimulation, Expos set guidelines for the future. GENERAL PUBLIC An Expo is an experience that combines entertainment and education and offers a wide variety of exhibitions, activities and shows. With its innovative architecture, the Expo site is an attraction in itself. But the interactive exhibitions, the ground-breaking technologies that are showcased and the Expo’s intense cultural program ensure a truly unforgettable experience. HOST COUNTRY Because an Expo is one of the few events able to attract world leaders and decision makers as well as millions of visitors, it is a unique opportunity for a country to strengthen its international image and position itself as a key player in the international arena. An Expo is also an extraordinary way to foster development. The event boosts the improvement of infrastructures, transportation networks and housing capacity. It generates employment and job creation and improves the global business and investment environment of the country. This local and national development is also boosted by an accurate re-use of the Expo site. After the event, the site is transformed to fit with the economic, social and cultural needs of the area. PARTICIPANTS Expo hosts invite countries, international organisations, the civil society and companies to participate to the event and be a part of the exhibition through their own pavilions and dedicated spaces. This gives participants a unique stage to present their achievements, culture, products etc. to an international audience. This has an impact on their international image but also on the development of their activities. Expos allow countries to strengthen their cooperation ties with the host country and other participant countries, as well as promote their local products. Companies can expand their markets by participating to the organization of the event, meeting with other companies and investors and engaging with a new audience. Expos also offer a stage to International Organizations and the civil society to raise awareness on the causes that they defend.