The communication of the European Union pavilion at Expo 2015 Milano

Two years after the most incredible experience that the city of Milan had ever witnessed, and personally the best professional time of my life, I was asked to present some insights about the communication of the European Union pavilion at Expo Milano 2015. Exactly in a time where “communicating Europe successfully” seems a make or break topic to decide the future of the Union, I was happy to take a step back and think about what was great, and what could be improved about our efforts at this world stage event which welcomed over 21 million visitors in 184 days.

This content is drawn from the evaluation report that the European union task force produced (by an independent contractor) after the event and it will be presented at an event in Milano about the heritage of Expo in April 2017. I always welcome feedback and thoughts on everything I write, so feel free to contact me!

The communication of the European Union pavilion at Expo 2015 Milano

‘Communication impact’ can be conceptualised as the capacity of a given communication initiative to reach the target group and produce an ‘effect’ on its attitudes, beliefs and/or behaviours. This section examines the extent to which the EU succeeded in reaching the targeted audiences and whether the visitor experience contributed to improving their knowledge and perception of the EU pavilion at Expo 2015 Milano.

The EU aimed to use its presence at Expo Milano as an opportunity to communicate with EU (and non-EU) citizens showing them a friendly face of the EU and getting closer to their hearts. This differed from the more ‘formal’ and ‘institutional’ participation of the EU in past Expos and in massive communication activities in general. Therefore, the pavilion’s main attraction (visitor experience) was designed to reach all kinds of visitors, but especially families with children and young people, and involve them in an entertaining and emotional experience that talked about the EU and its food-related policies. The expected result was that people emerged from the visit with a more positive attitude towards the EU and greater awareness of its actions in the food and nutrition realm.

Most articles saw the pavilion as part of the EU’s new communication strategy; an attempt to bring a sense of closeness and unity between European institutions and citizens. At the same time, it was described as trying to raise awareness of EU policies. Moreover, the pavilion was described as different from other Expo structures, which tended to focus more on architectural design rather than depth of content. The EU pavilion’s ‘unexpected’ message of hope and cooperation, symbolised by bread and Alex and Sylvia’s story, was seen as a refreshing alternative from the ‘Europe of the bureaucrats’, a much needed reminder of the institution’s original mission and aims.

The aim of focusing on families with children and youngsters was grounded in the idea that many of the younger generations take the EU ‘for granted’ and, to some extent, are indifferent towards it. During the preparation phase, it was understood that the Expo offered a unique opportunity to communicate with this type of audiences and show them how the EU is present in their daily lives and what are the values it promotes. This approach was in line with the political guidelines for the Commission 2010-2014, where President Barroso recognised that there was a need to rekindle “a passion for Europe, a new pride and feeling of connection between the EU and its citizens”. This understanding continued under the next Presidency when Jean-Claude Juncker emphasised that trust in the European project was at a historic low and that it was critical to rebuild bridges in Europe to restore European citizens’ confidence.

The EU pavilion showed an important capacity to attract ‘spontaneous’ visitors (about two thirds of visitors) i.e. people who had not planned to visit the pavilion in advance, and this was partly due to the promotional actions by volunteers. In effect, according to the survey of visitors, almost 15% of total visitors went to the pavilion because of the work of volunteers, which were deemed by the pavilion as their key on-site ambassadors. The volunteer programme was an important topic of discussion in national and local media. The high number of applications to the programme (which doubled the number of posts available) and the interest among young people received particular attention. In fact, young people in general, and volunteers therein, were described as the true protagonists of the EU participation at Expo.

Visitors registered and recall the main messages conveyed in the EU pavilion, in particular those of ‘cooperation’ and ‘working together’. The EU pavilion also generated an interest in the EU and conveyed positive feelings about it, especially among visitors with pre-existing ‘fairly’ positive and ‘neutral’ views of the EU. But the pavilion did not necessarily provide visitors with an increased understanding of EU policies and how it realises the goals/values promoted in the pavilion (cooperation, peace, teamwork, etc.).

A central element of the EU presence at Expo Milano was the media strategy, which involved the development of the EU pavilion’s online presence (social media and website) and relations with the press. The objective of this was that the EU presence in Milan obtained high level coverage in online and traditional media and therefore reached visitors to the Expo, but also those who could not attend the exhibition. The EU pavilion had, in particular, a strong social media performance that contributed to creating a ‘buzz’ around the EU presence at the Expo, as well as develop a ‘digital food hub’ i.e. a digital community of people interested in following / discussing food policy with the EU. Throughout the duration of the Expo, the communication team was not only capable of developing this community, but also maintained a growing interest towards the EU’s social media activities.

On Facebook, the EU’s pavilion profile was not only the most followed one during the whole duration of the Expo (with even more followers than Italy and Germany, which received the award for “Best Pavilion”),but also worked as a platform to communicate on food policy by various EU institutions. The EU pavilion’s Twitter account was very successful too, reaching also the top 10 of best performing pavilions (in May and June 2015 it was the second most followed account, after the Italian pavilion one). On Instagram, the EU pavilion reached foodies and graphics’ enthusiasts and engage them in photo-based calls to action. For the communication team, this was the most successful social media platform, which reached the initial target of 2,000 followers very quickly (end-June 2015) and grew outstandingly till the end of the Expo.

Media coverage was especially high prior to the Expo opening on 1 May 2015, but continued to be relatively good during the next six months. The EU pavilion’s preparation phase received extensive press coverage in the Italian printed press, online newspapers and blogs, and in national radio and TV programmes. Repercussions obtained in the press were mostly positive, with articles focusing on the EU’s ‘innovative’ communication strategy, the educational content of the EU pavilion, and the EU’s attempt to increase dialogue with citizens. The scientific/policy events and the volunteer programmes also received satisfactory levels of media coverage.

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Keep calm and get a communication student to therapize you

Somehow unexpectedly, at least three students (that I know of) are now in the process of writing their Master Thesis about the digital communication of the European Union pavilion at Expo Milano 2015.

Why do I say unexpectedly? Because, it is a very specific project which requires a lot of research behind the scenes. But hey, it was a very successful project both in terms of numbers and innovation and a totally disruptive communication idea for a European Union institution.

As flattering as this was, being interviewed by students on the work I do has been incredibly enlightening. I got literally “therapized” by one of these students who I recently met. Apart from being absolutely sure that this girl will go places, I was utterly impressed with her level of attention to details, analysis and the ability of choosing the very right questions.

Finding out that someone has read each and every post you wrote (and I mean this literally) puts you under pressure.

“So I noticed your strategy changed between 2013 and 2014 and I could definitely notice a different hand writing new content around October of that year…” Gulp…

“Also why in a number of Facebook comments I saw no reactions while I saw firms responses on other issues…” Double gulp…

“Yes, I have been following you on social media, trust me I do my homework…” Triple gulp

It was something in between an interview and a parliamentary hearing, especially when you are asked to justify things you haven’t actually paid much attention to.

Whenever you get an external view on your work you capture some things you normally wouldn’t in your own mindset.  Or perhaps you wouldn’t have the courage to admit to yourself. I have recently experienced some big changes and I see every day how this affects my work, my thoughts and my life. We all need, every now and then, to change our mindset and do something out of the ordinary or we end up getting stuck in a rut and kill our creativity. Flexibility and the desire to create beautiful things is the bread and butter of what we do and it is very hard to keep this desire alive when things get “too comfy.” Stability can be your worst enemy if it doesn’t bring new challenges.

We have got to be open to criticism and think that not all we do is perfect and accept good advice from those who demonstrate, with their actions, that they deserve our attention and professional respect.

To cut a long story short, do get a student to write about your work. It’ll step up your game. Guaranteed

communication_student

#MyExpo2015 Awards – Best Content Centre

My Expo 2015 Award for Best Content Centre goes to the German Pavilion.

TheIR exhibition focuses not only on pioneering projects and solution approaches from politics, business and research, but also on the great dedication from society at large. With many surprising examples, ideas and its motto “Be active”, the Pavilion seeks to awaken the joy each individual can find in taking action and making a personal contribution. The Pavilion is therefore in many ways an invitation to its visitors to join in.

The exhibition takes visitors on a journey covering the basics of nutrition. In six rooms that each focus on a different area, the German pavilion creates awareness of nature as the basis of our nutrition and, at a multitude of stations, presents solutions and ideas from Germany for food security in the future, many of which are unusual and surprising.

Fascinating technology made in germany

Innovative technologies also play a major role in the German Pavilion. The “SeedBoard” in particular is an entirely novel and surprising exhibition experience as it gives visitors the opportunity to discover the topics and contents in a very individual way. It is a personalised “Field of Ideas” with which visitors can call up media, start films or navigate through a variety of con- tent formats. The pavilion visit thus becomes a very personal adventure which, at the same time, makes it possible to directly experience fascinating technology made in Germany.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Cardboard + hansd

Research container

The German Pavilion offers a view into some of its most innovative research projects working on solutions for securing our food supply in the future. Several containers integrated into the pavilion façade allow visitors to take a look “inside” the work currently going on in these projects with their new ideas and solution approaches.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre Cardboard

A playing field for children

Children also have many possibilities to join in and be active in the exhibition. In addition to dedicated children’s thematic stations, there is also a special route waiting just for them where they can set off and look for tomatoes for a tomato sauce, and, in doing so, learn a lot about nature and our food.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre (3) German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre (4) German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre (10)Water Clean + unpolluted

As the source of all life, water is an extremely precious commodity and needs to be handled carefully. This room displays ideas and solutions for the efficient supply and environmentally friendly usage of this vital resource.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre Squid and OctopusSoil: Fertile + productive

Soil is the basis of our nutrition and a complex ecosystem that supplies plants with all the nutrients they require. Protecting and maintaining soil is therefore essential for food security in the future – and the theme of this room.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre

Climate: Stable + life-sustaining

Climate plays a crucial role in the profitability of agriculture. Using project examples from Germany, the exhibition shows how the necessity of greater harvests can be harmonised with the necessity of sustainability and climate protection here.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre (9)

Biodiversity: abundant + precious

The variety in nature is our insurance against changing environmental conditions. Understanding, preserving and making use of this diversity is one of the greatest challenges of our time. This room offers insights into exciting ideas and solutions created in Germany.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre (11)

Food: Secure + sustainable

What would we like to eat in future? What expectations do people have of food production today? In this room, visitors are confronted with these questions in the midst of the great diversity of food that is produced and consumed in Germany.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - Content centre Food Secure and sustainable

My Garden of Ideas

This is a place full of ideas and activities, a colourful and vibrant place in which visitors can discover new and surprising things all over the place. It shows how our ideas and actions can have a positive effect on the way we deal with nature and on our food.

German Pavilion Expo 2015 - My Garden of Ideas

Expo, giornalismo e social

Ho avuto il piacere di fare due chiacchiere con Cinzia Boschiero sul lavoro svolto dal padiglione dell’Unione europea a Expo Milano e sulla posizione del Community Manager. Ringrazio Cinzia e vi invito alla lettura del pezzo

In questo nostro viaggio sul  giornalismo ai tempi dei social, non poteva mancare una puntata dedicata a uno degli eventi, anzi l’Evento, che più deve fare i conti con la comunicazione: e cioè Expo 2105.

E lo facciamo con un collega Marco Ricorda che al Padiglione Europeo  ha la responsabilità della comunicazione digitale. Allora Marco, spiegaci bene cosa fai ad Expo, e perché ti definisci  un “community manager”? Una parola impegnativa…

“Sì, una parola impegnativa. In quanto questo ruolo viene spesso confuso con altri ruoli, attinenti alla gestione dei social. Io invece come community manager del Padiglione Europeo,  in un ufficio proprio davanti all’Albero della vita a Palazzo Italia,  mi occupo di gestire la comunicazione digitale del nostro progetto…

Senti, ti interrompo un attimo e approfitto del tuo particolare osservatorio. Come sta andando Expo 2015?

“Benissimo, io sono impressionato da questo oceano di gente che vedo sempre dalla mattina alla sera. E’ una marea. Io mi aspettavo un flusso altalenante. Invece è un flusso  continuo e bellissimo con punte di 250 mila visitatori al giorno.  La parola che mi piace usare è: contagioso:  un flusso contagioso di gente. Soprattutto queste scolaresche  fantastiche, con bambini  anche delle scuole elementari, che apprezzano lo stare insieme. E poi gli educatori, i maestri, che a loro volta  rilanciano  il fattore educativo di questa esposizione”

Bene, tornando al tuo ruolo dicevi che ti occupi di gestire la comunicazione  digitale del Padiglione europeo.  E  che lo fai come Community manager.  Perché questo ruolo è così importante?

Perché ormai la comunicazione digitale non utilizza più i social  come mezzi di  trasmissione e  di informazioni già pubblicate, Non fa cioè broadcasting,  ma vuole creare e consolidare  una”comunità di utenti”.  Nel nostro caso una comunità interessata a ciò che l’Unione europea fa  a proposito dei temi di Expo, su tutto ciò  quindi che implica la nutrizione del pianeta”.

Ma com’è questo progetto?

“Il progetto ha una caratteristica particolare.  Mi spiego. Forse non tutti sanno che l’ Unione europea non ha un ufficio, un riferimento fisico.  C’è la Commissione Europea, il Parlamento e  il Consiglio europeo, ma non puoi telefonare all’Unione Europea. Noi siamo quindi il primo vero progetto comunicativo  interistituzionale. Siamo qualcosa di unico.  E solo la piattaforma che  fornisce Expo ci permette di parlare a nome di tutti. Dunque io gestisco le community di tutta l’Unione europea e non solo delle singole istituzioni…”

Okay. Banalizzando per i non addetti, tu a Expo  sei il raccordo  tra Unione europea  e tutti coloro che sono interessati alle sue iniziative sulla nutrizione del Pianeta. Va bene, ma prova a spiegarci come lavori. Se hai una notizia fresca che dal Padiglione Europeo  vuoi far arrivare a tutti, cosa fai?

“Beh,  in realtà il grosso del lavoro è già stato fatto. Arrivare a un avvenimento come Expo richiede un grande allenamento… Dunque sono diversi mesi che sto creando comunità, soprattutto con gli altri padiglioni dei paesi dell’Unione Europea, per creare canali di comunicazione rapidi.  Faccio un esempio: voglio far sapere  ai nostri utenti di una  visita ufficiale al nostro padiglione? Bene, ricevuta questa informazione,  la giro subito con i nostri  social alle comunità che abbiamo  già creato.   Ormai si è creata una attesa. Abbiamo 50mila fans su Facebook che sanno di cosa parliamo e si aspettano che questi contenuti vengano forniti  in tempo reale. Siamo anche molto forti su  Twitter dove naturalmente la comunicazione è più immediata, meno ricca di parole, ma l’effetto bilaterale è molto più potente. L’utente twitter si aspetta subito una risposta”

Ogni Social ha suo pubblico?

“Sì, certo, e il pubblico viene chiamato appunto comunità. Su Facebook è molto importante l’aspetto visivo. Un post su Facebook senza una bella foto non raggiunge  tutta la comunità.

Su twitter invece il flusso informativo deve essere più regolare, frequente, ma non deve essere uno spam. Dunque ti avvicini  a persone che sono abituate a ricevere un flusso costante di informazione,  ma a loro discrezione. Su Instagram l’elemento visivo è ancora più importante che su Facebook. Il testo è un complemento, ma l’essenza dell’immagine deve dire al visitatore cosa può aspettarsi da una  vista al nostro padiglione o da altre iniziative. Dunque ogni comunità ha metodi di comunicazione diversi e questo per noi è molto  importante da capire e da riutilizzare”

Bene, tante opportunità. Quali sono invece gli svantaggi lavorando sui social?

“In realtà, io ci trovo solo dei vantaggi. Gli elementi negativi sono così pochi che spesso vengono messi sotto il tappeto. Lo svantaggio maggiore  è soprattutto la scarsa controllabilità  dei social. Noi abbiamo una nostra  hashtag che però non ci difende da una eventuale valanga di twitter mirati a bloccare il tuo canale d’informazione. Qui siamo ancora vulnerabili, ma ci stiamo attrezzando rapidamente”.

Ultima cosa:  qui parliamo spesso di come i social stanno cambiando il giornalismo, tu che sei in prima linea cosa ne pensi?

Penso che tutti gli operatori dell’informazione devono adattarsi. Si andrà sempre più a digitalizzare a e velocizzare  la nostra informazione: e  soprattutto gli utenti saranno sempre più esigenti nel riceverla.  Una informazione  rapida, digitale e condivisibile in tempo reale. Questa è una esigenza  più del pubblico  che del fornitore di informazione, ma solo i fornitori che si adatteranno possono  sopravvivere al cambiamento.  La sfida è soprattutto a livello televisivo. Giornali on line e radio hanno fatto grandi passi avanti. Ma a livello televisivo si può fare di più integrando la dimensione social con quella televisiva per raccogliere in maniera  efficace il cosiddetto feed back. Molte televisioni sportive sono già  avanti, avendo anche la possibilità  di raccogliere le sollecitazioni di un  pubblico  molto passionale.

Per l’informazione  molto bravi sono anche i colleghi  di Al Jazeera  che  offrono un  ottimo esempio al riguardo: nell’integrazione cioè  tra social e tv.  Il riscontro  con l’utente è un tesoro per il giornalista e soprattutto  per il conduttore televisivo”.

#MyExpo2015 awards – Best Concept

My personal award for Best Concept at Expo 2015 Milano goes to the Monaco pavilion. It was one of the first pavilions I have visited and even after experiencing them all, I kind of struggled to find others that would embrace such a strong concept in a relatively circumscribed space. The reason for the success of this pavilion is the combination of innovative design and architecture, a great visitor’s experience related to the themes of Expo through edutainment and an important post-Expo heritage project.

Furthermore, one of the strong points of this pavilion is the excellence displayed by their staff. Professional, stylish and very well-prepared. This is not an easy task in the scorching hot summer of Milan and when seeing over 200.000 people every day… However, you’ll never see their staff out of line. This is a distinguished sign towards the quest of perfection when branding and presenting the image of a state to the world.

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THE HANGAR OF IDEAS: VIRTUAL VOYAGE THROUGH THE THEMES AT EXPO

The entire Monaco pavilion has the goal of becoming a hangar of ideas. The space includes eleven distinct exhibition stations created entirely with wooden shipping crates to symbolize the projects that will be ready to be “shipped” around the world thanks to Expo 2015. Each station presents a different theme related to environmental protection, from sustainable fishing to deforestation, the jellyfish invasion and ocean acidification, as well as cooperative initiatives in Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Mongolia. The whole area combines the appearance of a typical warehouse with a maritime atmosphere: in fact, the pavilion uses sound effects reminiscent of the waves crashing on the beach, highlighting Monaco’s strong connection to the sea.The interior walls of the containers will conserve their original colours and the floor will stay grey and rough, reinforcing the idea of the world of transport and hangars.The entire exhibition area was designed as a free-flow space to reflect the multiplicity of points of view that exist around the themes of ecology and recycling. Visitors can select from different entrances and cross through the areas in different ways, moving freely through all of the interactive thematic stations.After the exhibition hall, visitors can then visit the restaurant area: the purpose of the architectural style is to maintain a totally continuous effect, and here the wooden crate theme returns once again.But then the atmosphere changes: we are no longer inside a warehouse but instead in the middle of a typical Monegasque market.

JELLYFISH INVASION

Recent scientific research has demonstrated a significant increase in the presence of jellyfish in the world’s oceans caused by the negative impacts of humans in the environment. In several areas this increase has caused interruptions in electric power plants, as well as damage to fisheries and tourist destination beaches. Visitors to this station have the possibility to expand their knowledge of this species through diverse multimedia supports. The visitor will be greeted by infographics presenting the consequences of the invasion in an approachable and intuitive manner, emphasizing how overfishing may contribute to the proliferation of jellyfish, which in turn could result in the end of fishing.

TRANSFORMING THE MONACO PAVILION INTO A TRAINING CENTER IN BURKINA FASO

As I mentioned earlier, one of the reason I award the Monaco pavilion for Best Concept is their post-Expo heritage. The pavilion, completely transformed (building and equipment), is at the heart of an ambitious sustainable development project, entirely autonomous for the benefit of the Burkinabe Red Cross and the countries of the Sahel region. The complex of 6,5 hectares consists of the transformed pavilion, accomodations, meeting rooms, dining area, sports fields, a nautical rescue training area, a vegetable farming zone and a solar panels field. The center will provide training in first aid and vocational training. It will also accommodate gatherings, events and conferences. 85% of the pavilion functions are retained. The building meets the norms for the High Quality Environmental Standards (HQE).

To raise awareness about this project, the Communication Team of the pavilion came up with a brilliant idea. Making different Expo 2015 Milan pavilions build a Lego model of a container. Nineteen containers were actually used to create a part of the structure. Containers are the most commonly used mean of transport in the entire world and a universal symbol of exchange and multiculturalism, representing for us a concrete example of creative recovery. To highlight this creativity, the Monaco pavilion thought to “friendly challenge” other Expo pavilions inviting all of them to build the little container. All the videos were displayed during the official event of the Red Cross of Monaco last 12 September, to present the Second life of Monaco Pavilion that will be dismantled and rebuild in Burkina Faso as a training centre for the local and the monegasque Red Cross.

Social media treasure hunts that work

The Social Media Team of Expo Milano provided their Communication Network with another beautiful gathering, this time hosted at the lovely atmosphere of the Bio-Mediterrenean Cluster.

As usual, this was a sensational opportunity to interact with all the professionals involved in the field of communication in the biggest event of 2015, in an attempt to create a space to interact, exchange ideas and bring about inspiration for content.

Apart from the usual customary eating and drinking, the Expo team organized a pretty entertaining treasure hunt. Ten captains were named (I was sooooo honoured to be one of them :)) and respective teams. Every team had its own hashtag (in our case #teamlampedusa). A riddle was published on Twitter with a clue. If the team got the right answer, a second riddle was published and so on…until the final riddle.

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You know, community managers are quite competitive people. Always trying to get more followers than others, more likes, more engagement and obviously this treasure hunt could not have been more awesome.

Ah I almost forgot…we actually ended up last in the treasure hunt…but had massive fun at the Greek pavilion. The photos below speak for themselves! 🙂

#MyExpo2015 awards – Best Communication

My personal award for Best Communication at Expo 2015 Milano goes to the Russian Pavilion

Why? Three words:

  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Engagement

The communication team of the Russian pavilion is doing an outstanding job in promoting their activities, their brand and encourage people to visit them. Considering their followership and their visitors’ count, I guess their communication is totally working. Apart from the simple investment in communication outreach, their efforts in branding their presence at Expo displays some pretty unique features that definetely make them stand out from the crowd. This happens in an enviroment where already thousands of very capable communication professionals have gathered. Ergo, I take my hat off in front of this team’s terrific effort and results.

Innovation

Being innovative means being either unique or the first to do something. The Russian pavilion have done that with Russia Expo 2015 TV. which is a pretty awesome and effective idea. Often conducted by Masha, their TV is very interactive. It is not just broadcasting the activities of the pavilion but it engages with visitors, guests, VIPs and, most importantly with many other Expo stakeholders (Expo organizers, other pavilions and partners). This product does requires a bit of effort, a dedicated audiovisual expert… and a lot of personal touch but overall it is an absolutely great channel and the return on investment is pretty interesting. Keep it up!

Creativity

The quality of their images is always great and artistic. I think they have the best Instagram account at Expo… (after the one of the European Union pavilion :)))))))) Their photographer is absolutely outstanding both at getting natural reactions and poses from the visitors but also in creating more arty and appealing images of their pavilion…and especially their cute and beautiful mascotte Mishka

Mishka_Expo_Russia

 

Engagement

Always “sul pezzo” no matter what. You tag them – they react. You mention them – they react. You think of them – they think you back 🙂 This way of working on community management takes great dedication, but this seems not to have discouraged their super engaging, fun and informal attitude. For me, they are the best comms team and it’s beautiful to see it’s a team of only women. ExpoRussia2015_InstagramA true example of women in management. Keep up the good work! Apart from their digital work, their communication staff organizes lots of networking event in their beautiful terrace, which certainly help bridging digital with traditional networking activities.

 

There are three more months to go and three more months to do amazing things!

ExpoRussia2015_Instagram_engagement

#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.
Kazakhstan_pavilion_expo_milano

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!

 

Astana_Day_Expo_Milano

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!!!

Viners4Expo

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.

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