I was one of many speakers participating in the conversation about bringing the World’s Fair to Minnesota. The breadth of perspectives on the potential benefits was quite diverse. Speaker topics ranged from economics, global branding, talent, academic, innovation etc. The session concluded with a Q&A format exploring the key steps, challenge and obstacles for hosting the fair.
Some of the challenges identified:
- US withdrew from the Expo community over global politics. There has not been an expo hosted in the USA since, so policy has to be reversed to pursue
- There is a international bidding process where cities compete to win the fair. MN is targeting 2023 vs one of the more contest years like 20 or 25. The bid process has begun already both with the IEB and with other cities that have moved further down the process for other years
- There is concern over funding – some expo’s have lost money
- There is concern over the location – with a state wide fair, would their be multiple destinations
- There is concern over the infrastructure – this creates a great opportunity to invest in improvements in road, air and rail for the state
- There is concern over repurposing the structures after the fair – again, with planning, expos have revitalized areas of cities and created new buildings repurposed for trade, innovation, education, etc creating new regional assets
At this time the community has been meeting about one a month to develop the conversation and gain feedback into the process. Stay tuned as plans develop.
See more speakers from the event: https://www.pinterest.com/davidiwilliams/umn-economic-development/