#MyExpo2015 Awards – Best Visitor’s Experience

Today we are officially at half Expo. After visiting it all, I decided to award my personal favourite efforts in five different categories:

  • Best Visitor’s Experience
  • Best Communication
  • Best Concept
  • Best Design
  • Best Surprise

Every week I will be awarding one pavilion for being the best in each category. I look forward to hearing your comments on my choice and exchange opinions on this wonderful event. Stay tuned!

And now…

My personal award for Best Visitor’s experience at Expo 2015 Milano goes to the Kazakhstan pavilion

With their theme  “The Land of Opportunities” the fantastic colleagues of this stunning pavilion are doing a terrific job both in promoting the young and vibrant society of their country and to promote Expo 2017 Astana. The professionalism of their staff, the cure and attention for details, the neatness of every single inch of this experience makes it an absolute “must do and must see” of Expo Milano. It is a compact museum that brings together science, art, history, and culture to illustrate the country’s wealth and the Kazakh identity.
Already from the start with their breathtaking sand-drawing show, visitors get a hint that something great is coming up. In the first hall, an artist explains the country’s long history, creating images using colored sand.
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Next is a hall covering six topics: agronomic expertise; the country’s natural resources, its use of water; new sustainable agricultural techniques; and, aquaculture, or aqua farming.

Just an idea of what can be seen in the Kazakhstan pavilion: there’s an aquarium with sturgeon from the Caspian Sea, from which caviar comes, of course. There’s also the chance to taste fermented mare’s milk, to consider the potential of flying drones, and admire a display explaining the history of apples, which all derive from the ancient Kazakh variety. Another unexpected delight: a device that wafts the delightful fragrance of wild tulips from Kazakhstan, these too being the progenitors of all our modern varieties.
The displays in the Kazakhstan Pavilion conclude with the 3D cinema, which is fitted out with seats that move with the on-screen action. Wearing special glasses, visitors will watch animated videos on the natural wonders of Kazakhstan, as well as its economic prowess. A country enjoying rapid economic growth, Kazakhstan will, in 2017, host EXPO-2017, which will focus on the theme: Future Energy.
Leaving the exhibition, visitors can directly enter the Kazakh restaurant and sample the country’s specialties in an elegant and welcoming setting.Follow them on social media, they are doing amazing stuff! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I can’t wait to see (and possbly be at) Astana 2017!

 

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The first Vine meet up was awesome…and there will be more!

Just one word: Wooooowww!!!! Yes, wow!!!! What an incredible day. Not only we did something for the first time but we consolidated some incredible friendships with some amazing people!!!

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The first Italian Vine meet up took place at the World Expo in Milan last Saturday 25 July. It all started with a simple idea: getting creative people together. After meeting the Social Media Team of Expo Milan, we started a one-day journey that we’ll never forget

Thanks to two great viners @Misssteppi and @NathanJayD we brought together influential Italian viners at Expo and visited the site. JackBenny, FuoriTempoOfficial, MickyCardi, LaylaMarrouk, Andrea Mantegazza, Fabio Il Cazzinaro

We firstly visited the Brasil pavilion, which with its amazing installation it’s an amazing source of content. Based on its theme “Feeding the world with solutions,” the Brazilian pavilion uses the metaphor of the network, in terms of flexibility, fluidity and decentralization, showing the relationships and integration of different topics that combined, make it the global leader in food production.

FTfoto | www.ftfoto.it Viners4Expo_padiglione_Brasile

Step 2 was one of my favourite places in Expo: the Russian pavilion. The super professional and kind stuff, the great visitor’s experience and their awesome terrace made it a unique visit. Russia’s Pavilion proposes a supremely multi-functional building of contemporary design and an example of striking and memorable craftsmanship. Its elegant wooden façade, the semi-transparent ground floor interior and its green rooftop, together create a harmonious suite of spaces that are easily accessible to visitors. Inside, the Pavilion is divided into a series of open spaces and viewing platforms in the tradition of classical Italian gardens. In the upper part of the building are hanging gardens reminiscent of Babylon, whilst the highest point of the Pavilion structure is the sloping serpentine of the vegetation-clad rooftop, symbolizing the boundless fields of Russia. This unique architectural and decorative element gently rises upwards, offering a 30 meter-long canopy that merges the building harmoniously into the natural surroundings, a space for special events and a superb vista across the Exhibition Site.

 

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After the awesome visit at the Russian pavilion, we headed off to Palazzo Italia. The architecture, with its casing and volumetric joints, takes on the appearance of an urban forest of branches where visitors can experience and discover impressive views. Its four blocks lay out real urban scenes that surround the large central square, which acts as a place of welcome and a symbol of community, the starting point of the exhibition. Again, the concept of the tree is revisited here, with a crowning glass canopy made of solar panels. With its roots resting on the ground and branches and upper foliage lifted aloft, the building-tree offers an indoors exhibition route, a journey of discovery on all four levels of the exhibition area that leads right up to the rooftop terrace, and from there, back down, on a new and different path, to the central square. The cement produced by Italcementi is photocatalytic: on contact with sunlight, it catches air pollutants and converts them into inert salts, and the mortar uses 80% recycled aggregates.

Continue reading “The first Vine meet up was awesome…and there will be more!”

A strong message by the European Union and the World Food Programme at Expo Milano

On 19 July, it was a true pleasure for me to be part of the inauguration of the Family Meal exhibition here at the European Union pavilion at Expo Milano.

The exhibition aims to raise public awareness about hunger – the world’s most solvable problem. The compelling images and stories demonstrate how people’s lives can be changed through food assistance that is provided in various innovative ways including vouchers and cash, offering both choice and opportunity to entire communities. It consists of a series of powerful photos taken by renowned photographer Chris Terry, as he travelled across three continents to explore EU-financed projects run by WFP. He visited families receiving food assistance in Ecuador, Chad, Niger, Jordan and Myanmar/Burma.

WFP Family Meal

These families’ circumstances are considerably more difficult than those faced by the average European – they represent tens of millions of refugees forced from their homes because of conflict and millions more living in extreme poverty and on the frontline of climate change around the world. While they have temporarily lost the ability to provide enough food to remain healthy and enable their children to grow to their full potential, WFP can step in to help – thanks to EU humanitarian assistance.

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Five countries, three continents, one universal custom: sharing a meal with family members. Chris Terry’s pictures reveal that our desire to share is one of the most essential ingredients, not only for the family meal, but also for a zero hunger world. It is a joint meal at lunch or dinner time that brings families together, everywhere in the world.

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EXPO Milano 2015 is a global showcase of innovative and shared solutions to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone in ethical and sustainable ways. The area of food assistance and nutrition represents about half of ECHO’s humanitarian assistance, amounting to a total investment of €535 million in 2013. Bringing families back to the dinner table is a priority for the EU, WFP, and us all.

I was truly stunned by the introductory speech of Klaus Sorensen, Director General of DG ECHO of the European Commission, which thoroughly integrates the message the European Union at Expo Milano is trying to communicate to citizens here and all around the world: We cannot take global challenges for granted.

It is our main goal to address those, especially the younger generations, which take the historic achievements of the European Union for granted: Peace, freedom, equality. Values that my grandparents did not know during their youth.

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The same goes for DG ECHO and the WFP who make a significant effort in communicating how a world with 800 million undernourished people and rising obesity is both paradoxical and unsustainable.

I am managing the digital communication of our pavilion and it is truly impressive to see how citizens express so much interest in what the EU does in the field of nutrition. This is because they are properly addressed via digital communication and social media. People care about their future, and it is our duty to reach out to them in the most efficient way.

Follow the hashtag #FamilyMeal for further updates

A chat over Expo Milan with #‎EUinAusInterview‬

The European Union Delegation to Australia has a new amazing Web Editor, Media and Social Media Editor, Alia Papageorgiou.

She interviewed me for their newsletter about my work and the activities run by the European Union pavilion at Expo Milano. Check out our chat and don’t forget to follow her!

Here is their piece. I’d love to read your comments!

Are you visiting Italy this European summer? Then why not stop by ‪#‎Milan‬ and the EU Expo 2015 pavilion. We didn’t want to tell you why, so we asked our man on the ground, Marco Ricorda (pictured with former Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik) the Community Manager for the EU Pavilion to tell you why you should visit. ‪#‎EUinAusInterview‬

Q. Who are you?
A. I’m Marco Ricorda, the Community Manager for the European Union Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 the biggest event of 2015 and the largest ever event on food and nutrition.

Q. What do you do?
A. I manage the digital and social media presence of this project. Not only do I perform the editorial part of the digital output of our pavilion but I invest a lot of time and energy in networking with the other participants at Expo, community managers and communication professionals. A lot of digital work but also lots of walking.

Q. What’s happening in Milano this year?
A. Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition that Milan has been hosting from May 1 to October 31. Over this six-month period, Milan becomes a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. In addition to the exhibitor nations, the Expo also involves international organizations, and expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area.

A platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future, Expo 2015 will give everyone the opportunity to find out about, and taste, the world’s best dishes, while discovering the best of the agri-food and gastronomic traditions of each of the exhibitor countries.

Q. Best coffee at the EXPO?
A. The Coffee Cluster is a real paradise for coffee lovers and people enthusiastic about how different cultures work, perceive and appreciate coffee. However, as a fellow Italian, I have to say that nothing is better than an Illy espresso, once, twice, maybe three times during the day and honestly, considering our intense working hours, it’s both a pleasure and a need.

Q. Best food?
A. This is a hard one, because the food at Expo is pretty amazing and competition is fierce in the kitchen. If I was forced to choose three menus, I would recommend Angola, Korea and Uruguay

Q. Best gelato?
A. I was impressed with the gelato at the Israel pavilion. It is just sublime. I totally recommend the rose-scented fiordilatte with pistachios. Ideal for the hot Italian summer

Q. Is it near that fantastic statue giving the stock exchange the middle finger?
A. Mmm… not really

Q. What do you think of the stands/booths/expo participations?
A. It’s an amazing display of architecture, technology, entertainment and education all at once. Some pavilions like Brasil, Germany, Qatar have really created and amazing architectural feat while others have invested more work and energy in their visitor’s experience like Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Japan or the Emirates pavilion. The European Union pavilion has a pretty amazing visitor’s experience where we screen “The Golden Ear” the story of Alex and Sylvia. A tale of how tradition and innovation need to cooperate to sustainably face the challenges for the future of the planet.

Q. Which one seems to be the most unique/different?
A. I was totally impressed by Kazakhstan. They managed to create a unique exhibition combining great architecture, innovation, technology and an incredible visitor’s experience with a 3D cinema.

Q. Does there seem to be specific EXPO Tourism?
A. Totally. Expo is bringing a lot of people to Milan. Apart from Expo itself, due to this world exhibition Milan has grown enormously in terms of offering cultural events, new gastronomical options and simply being awesome

Q. Dates of the EXPO please
A. From 1 May till 31 October

Q. What’s the best way to promote awareness of EU policy? How does that happen every day at the expo?
A. We have organised over 200 conferences and events on food policy, food science and sustainability. All issues related to the theme of Expo Milano which is “feeding the planet, energy for life.” On top of that, after the screening of “The Golden Ear”, the story of Alex and Sylvia, visitors arrive to our digital content centre where, via interactive touch screens, they can get more information about what the EU does to promote a more sustainable planet.

Q. How’s the weather?
A. Amazing, sunny and pleasant

Q. Most high profile guest so far?
A. Michelle Obama, David Cameron , Angela Merkel

Q. How’s Milan handling the extra traffic?
A. Very well, simply by encouraging the use of public transport and implementing solid sharing-mobility initiatives. Not only bikes and cars are now regularly shared by the Milanese, but now even scooters.

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Expo 2015 Milano – consigli per gli utenti

It was absolutely wonderful to meet the people behind the Facebook Group “Expo 2015 Milano – consigli per gli utenti“. A true hub of information, facilitating people to fully enjoy the beauty of Expo Milano 2015 and an active community of enthusiastic visitors at the biggest ever event on nutrition.Expo_consigli_per_gli_utenti

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss communication challenges and opportunities and have a productive exchange of opinions over the potentials of institutional communication towards citizens.

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An amazing Social Media Happy Hour!!!

Take a few minutes to think about the daily routine of a Community Manager at Expo Milano: running up and down the Decumano, answering hundreds of mails in a record time, posting on Facebook also during lunch break, collecting every kind of business card…This is why sometimes we need a moment to relax, to do some networking and to have fun or, as I like to phrase it, to bridge to online with the offline

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It was an honour and an awesome experience to the Expo 2015 Milano Social Media Happy Hour with all the Community Managers of the first real Social Media World Expo! It was a great and interactive event meant to bridge digital with traditional networking in the biggest event of the year.

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During the event we ran two competitions awarding Austria at Expo Milano 2015 as the favourite pavilion by all community managers and the Dominican Republic Pavilion as winners of our Instagram photo competition. Congratulations to both and to all the participants! View the full Storify of the event

The occasion was also picked up by Italian national press:
ANSA.it http://bit.ly/1HPMLol
Il Tempo Quotidiano bit.ly/1HPMLol

Photo credits Valentina Macciotta