Dr. Jian (Jay) Wang is Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and an Associate Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
World Expos are more than a platform for nations to promote their cultures and innovations; it is a stage for public engagement on a grand, global scale. They are by design to provide a mind-expanding experience to the broader public through real-world encounters, and are hence an important element of a nation’s public diplomacy effort.
The World Expo is arguably the single biggest showcasing event of a nation outside of its own borders. It is one of the few mass events that still commands worldwide attention. But unlike the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup, the World Expo is not a “media event;” rather, the spectacle is to be sensed and experienced by “being there.”