Expo Milano, My 20/CENT on a quick tour
Beginning of September, in the context of my new project Panntor and thanks to UKTI (United Kingdom Trade Investment), I had the opportunity to visit the universal exhibition Expo Milano 2015.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of this year’s exhibition, here is a reminder. More than 140 participating countries showcase their technologies to offer concrete answers to a vital need: guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium.
Over 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area, the Expo Milano expects to welcome e 20 million visitors over a period of 6 months (the exhibition started on May 1st and will end on October 31st)
Just one word: impressive
You might think it’s a simplistic description, but to depict the different pavilions, and the entire exhibition, the word “impressive” fits perfectly.
- The scale is massive: for someone who wants to visit the exhibition, a few days might be necessary. There are queues to enter some pavilions (security issues, and quality of the tours obviously prevail) and just the scale of the event requires you to reserve more than a day
- The event combines B2B and B2C: visitors can just go and visit for pure entertainment. It’s even a perfect family event if you ask me. But this kind of event is also perfect to create new business contacts through events at a country pavilion. My visit was a perfect example of that.
- On operational side, I was surprised by two elements:
- The controls can be compared to the ones you experience at an airport. But these security checks don’t take too much of your time compared to what you could expect.
- First time I experience a wifi network that is functioning so well on an event. Usually, the trade fairs I visit announce that wifi is available, but in most cases getting a connection to their network is tedious and practically impossible. At Expo Milano, after registering of course, the network is smooth and powerful. Obviously there are more important things in life than having wifi, but I was impressed as it was the first show I ever visited that delivered the promise “wifi available on the exhibition area”. Maybe some organizers of trade fairs can check how the system of Milan works.
I couldn’t see all, but am glad I visited these pavilions
Austria: a very calm and peaceful environment. Once inside this pavilion, you wouldn’t believe how quiet it was compared to outside.
France: well presented, and showcasing the French production, with at the end a chauvinistic employee telling me how ‘proud they are to have the best and most beautiful pavilion of the Expo’.
USA: an impressive display of vertical farming, using movable panels.
Vatican: very sober, and what you can expect from the Holy siege.
Angola: one country that impressed me with its concept. The presentation was very educational, but the more you advanced through the pavilion, the more impressive it got. Nice touch to put women forward if you ask me.
Belgium: the aspects I expected with speculoos, beers, chocolates, … it was a bit too predictable but then again I am biased
Hungary: I had to go through very quickly, but the different crafts were well represented
United Kingdom: this beehive and garden were quite pleasant to visit
Russia: showcasing historical elements, and also a big homage to Russian scientists. The restaurant recreating the look and feel of the Orient Express was a nice experience, and the food too
Kazachstan: host of the next World Exhibition in 2017 was offering visitors constant music and singing it seemed.
If you feel like visiting the expo, you still have a chance but hurry as it ends soon.
Expo Milano, http://www.expo2015.org/en/index.html