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Main Topic: A Huge Expo With Emphasis on Service

Hosts: James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

Expo 2010 With the World Expo in Shanghai, China, Talk of Asian Marketing decided to pay a visit! We have been frequently visiting Shanghai, so no big surprises in the city. The scale of the Expo, though, was breath-taking. A mere nine months ago a multi-hectare space opened on the East of the city. Visits a few months later showed the rapid progress of each country's pavilion and the infrastructure of internal roads, fencing, restrooms etc. Advertising reached UK so people had heard of the event but it was really pushed in China where interest and involvment was high. Chinese investment in the whole event was massively clear and left an impression, as no doubt intended, of a China capable to host and excel in managing a world-class event.

Expo logo Plenty of vendors sold tickets for the event, from local retailers to ticket booths around the Expo site. Visible piles of cash in the ticket booths made clear the number of attendees going through the gates each day. Queues started outside - just to get into the site and continued inside to access the area with the pavilions and then for each pavilion itself. China quickly reminds any visitor about what it means to have more than 1.3 billion of the world's population. Humanity is everywhere. The expo is no exception with queues for the most popular pavilions stretching beyond the six hour mark.

Queues where carefully managed with barriers, sprinklers to cool people (remember that 40+ degree celcuis heat) and police to direct flow. Observation suggested most attendees were local - there were few "white" faces and little language other than mandarin and other local dialects being spoken. It was clear this was an event making a statement to the local population: China is a international, cutting edge, capable nation. This perception was reinforced through the meticulous organization from the infrastructure through to staff contact. Restrooms (typically renounded for their unique and awful qualities) were plentiful, clean and fully stocked with paper, soap and towels.

Free water points were liberally distributed along with stands for purchasing other drinks and snacks. Information points were strategically positioned and staffed with carefully selected students who desplayed good capability at giving information in English. Even the police were prestine and very well trained - answering local's and other questions - sometimes even in English. The impression was one of "wow" and easily left visitors dissapointed by the simplicity of participating countries offerings.

China invested massively in making a statement through the event . . .

The Show:

Length: 33 minutes. Download MP3 15.0MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer CamConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Queues everywhere at the Expo.
Vid. 2) Some running, and some marching--very organized at times.

Bottom Line:

  • Exhibition site is vast and was quickly developed.
  • The majority of visitors appears to be local Chinese.
  • The event was dominated by the huge Chinese pavilion.
  • On site infrastructure is very impressive
  • Visitor and employee contact is well scripted to create good service.
  • The event appeared to be a significant statement of China's place on the global stage.
  • Publicity and benefits provided a benchmark to other cities competing for such star-events.
Category: Podcasts

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