Thursday, June 3, 2010

World Expo

I could make a blanket statement that I was really disappointed in the World Expo. I could make a blanket statement that I think countries focused more on tourism and reaching the Chinese population who is known to be the next (or already current) big tourism market. But I shouldn’t because there’s far more of the Expo that I didn’t see than what I did.

Was I wowed by any new technology? Only in the Youth Innovation area and that was about computer games, mobile devices, etc. Nothing too far “out there.” Did I see anything where I learned more about sustainability or “Better City Better Life”? No.

The US Pavilion is an embarrassment. There are two films (one with Hillary Clinton and President Obama) and then there is a large room of corporate sponsor advertisements. Each sponsor (Microsoft, Pepsi, Dow, Dove, and, gee, the other ones are lucky as I’ve already forgotten them) has an area with an LCD screen. Some use it for blatant advertising and some try to have some sustainability information, but not much. Hopefully, most foreigners won’t recognize this “sponsorship” model.

Then, following the Disneyland model, to exit you have to walk through a large gift shop.

The other thing I realized is that I really was here to work. I spent another half day with the two winery clients in the DevNet Pavilion and seeing how we could improve their display.

Otherwise, there are just too many people and the lines are too long to get into Pavilions—1-3-5 hours long. Standing in line for hours is harder on the body than walking around for hours.

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