Specialised Expos as we know them today were established by the BIE in 1988. They are global events dedicated to finding solutions to precise challenges of humanity, such as ocean protection (Expo 2012 Yeosu) or the future of energy (Expo 2017 Astana). Their entertainment and intellectual ambition is the same as World Expos but the event is smaller in size and participant countries don't build their own pavilion but can customise a space provided by the organiser. They were created to allow a maximum number of countries to host and participate to an Expo.
They take place between 2 World Expos and last up to 3 months.
Specialised Expo Identity Card:
Trademark: Its engaging and immersive activities on the Expo theme
Who creates the event: A Specialised Expo is a national event hosted in a chosen city. In many cases, the event is organised by a city wishing to position itself on the international arena.
Who participates to the event: Countries, Companies, International Organisations, civil society, and NGOs are invited to participate by customizing a space provided and built by the host.
Who visits the event: The general public. Over 5 million people generally visit the event. 10 million people visited Expo 1998 Lisbon. The Expo is also visited by heads of States and heads of Governments.
Why: The goal of Specialised Expos, like World Expos, is to create an international discussion platform on a pressing world issue. This issue is the theme of the Expo. The Theme of International Specialised Expos is more specific than that of World Expos, such as The Living Ocean and Coast in Expo Yeosu 2012 and Future Energy in Expo 2017 Astana.
How: Specialised Expos offer a journey inside the Expo theme through emblematic architecture, exhibitions and numerous workshops, symposiums and conferences.
Size of the Expo site: Up to 25 ha
When: Specialised Expos are hosted between 2 World Expos and last up to 3 months.
Where: Specialised Expos can take place anywhere in the world, but BIE Member States will be given priority. There must be 15 years in between two World and Specialised Expos held in the same country.
The most recent Specialised Expo: Expo 2017 Astana (Kazakhstan)
Urban Impact: After the Expo, the site is transformed to fit the area's needs in terms of urban infrastructure, economic development and social offer.