What is the World Expo? Expo 2010 Shanghai, China – Explained in Plain English
The Expo 2010 Shanghai China is essentially a World’s Fair. At this Fair, 189 countries build structures, called “pavilions,” to showcase the architecture, style and theme of the pavilions, as well as present displays, presentations, and a variety of programming inside the pavilions. There are also many organizations and corporations that participate in the Expo by building pavilions related to their own special interests.
The main purpose of the Expo is to showcase whatever it is that each country has to offer with hopes that people or corporations from other countries will be impressed and decide to conduct business in that country.
For example, Switzerland has a pavilion that showcases their diversity, the Swiss Alps, and the high quality of life in Switzerland. Cuba will highlight what they are famous for; cigars and cocktails. I think you can guess what you will find in the corporate sponsored pavilions.
The architecture, the themes, and the displays inside of the pavilions are all designed to promote the benefits of the various countries. Basically, the countries are trying to “brand” or “sell” themselves to the rest of the World with hopes that it will translate into more opportunities for their countries.
Although the amazing architecture of the pavilions alone would justify a visit to Expo 2010, people can also see Kung Fu shows, parades, musical performances, and plenty of additional entertainment. The location of Expo 2010 covers more than 2 square miles and is located on the shores of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. The Expo runs from May 1, 2010 through October 31, 2010.
The World Expo is similar to the Olympic Games in some ways. They’re both global in scale and cities from around the world compete to become the host city for the events. The Olympics are held every 2 years, but World Expo is every 5 years. The World Expo actually runs for 6 months, much longer than the Olympic Games.
The city chosen to host a World Expo will get similar benefits as a city that hosts the Olympic Games. Some of the benefits include worldwide exposure, improved global status, revenue form tourism, and city-wide improvements to handle the millions of expected visitors. Many people say that the costs and expenses involved outweigh any benefits that might arise from the event, but that is a debate I will leave for another time.
The theme of the Expo is “Better City, Better Life,” and many of the themes are focused on sustainability, better quality of life, and other positive, urban growth messages. Expo 2010 really presents a good opportunity to learn from other countries, to see what they focus on, what they think is important, and how they deal with various issues.