The World's Fair Marketing Challenge

The World's Fair Marketing Challenge

Clearly, I haven't been keeping up with television technology lately.

It's great to see that Expo 2020 will not just be broadcast outside the local region, but be the highlight of a broadcasting advancement. Japan's HDK has announced they will broadcast Expo 2020 in 8K High Definition TV. (

One of the reasons I've always felt that Expos seem long forgotten in certain parts of the world while the Olympic Games and the World Cup stay in people's minds is this: The energy of sporting events emanates out of an elite central point to the masses around the world. The energy of a world's fair comes from around the world and is concentrated on a site open to anyone who can buy a ticket.

At the Olympics, a region play host to the countries of the world. At an Expo, the countries of the world host the citizens of a region in the form of varied pavilions. It's the variety of creative expression at an Expo that keeps me wanting to see what's next. We need to find a way to communicate that energy around the world.

One of the challenges to the "Expo" brand is this marketing concentration. We need to find a way to broadcast world's fairs, in a meaningful way, to people around the world. Expos create an immersive, idealized model of a world. We need to find a way to share that outside the site.

As a side note, broadcast television was introduced to Europe at the 1937 Exposition Universelle and in North America at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. It wasn't long ago that we mostly used standard definition television. Most of Expo 2005 (in Aichi, Japan) was still in standard definition, even though the Japan Pavilion at Expo 88 (in Brisbane, Australia) introduced an (analog) high definition screen. Less than ten years after Expo 2005, we have great high definition drone video of the site under construction. (


Inset image: A button from the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair.

Location (Map)

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