I attended the Expo2023 World’s Fair January 27, 2014 advisory meeting hosted HGA offices in downtown Minneapolis. Today’s meeting welcomed two speakers that had a great deal of involvement in the 2010 Shanghai World’s Fair.
This was a great opportunity to hear about the challenges and benefits faced by the organizers and allow for open Q&A from the 40 – 50 attendees from Minneasota how are actively supporting the Expo2023 bid for Minnesota. Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, opened the event sharing an update on the bid progress, that builds towards summer of 2016. He also discussed the progress Mayo / Rochester is making towards their 10 year plan for Destination Medical Center (DMC) and lastly covered introductions of the speakers.
The first speaker was Ning Shao, Minnesota’s Trade Representative for China. He talked through the fund raising efforts around the World’s Fair and Minnesota’s participation and corporate involvement and sponsorship. The Fair ultimately reached over 73 million attendees internationally.
The Second speaker was Irene Xin, she worked extensively on the expansion and improvement projects for the Shanghai airport in preparation for the World’s Fair. Given that the airport was already massive and handling a large amount of international travel, then modifications and enhancements to handle the sheer size of the crowds attending the 2010 Expo was extensive. All transportation systems in the city had to undergo enhancement and integration to facilitate the flow of traffic.
Several key insights to the overall discussion and Q&A of the event.
1. Given the large scale infrastructure enhancements, the funding and construction need to start now in preparation for Expo 2023.
2. Shanghai extensively transformed the city. Old riverfront industry was removed and older neighborhoods where moved in large scale to make the land averrable. This completely transformed into a new downtown center for the city. The fair buildings where built to be repurposed after the event and become vital business and lifestyle centers for the city.
3. The economic benefits from both the tourism, international branding, and new city assets set the stage for increased growth and prosperity of the city and region ongoing.
4. Significant about of international B2B ventures where spawned from the collaborations around the World’s Fair.
5. World’s Fair is about being a part and a leader in the global community and on the international stage of business.
More pictures of the event can be found in the International photo gallery: