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Expo 2020 Edition – Pavilion marketing heads explain how they are selling the show

Photo by Dany Eid/Expo 2020 Dubai

We asked the people in charge of promoting a variety of pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai:

* How are you getting people to your pavilion?

* How will you measure your success?

* How are you aligning to the Expo’s themes?


HE Khalfan Mohamed Al Mazrouei

Director-general of the UAE Pavilion

The pavilion takes visitors through the epic journey of transformation and growth of the UAE in an audio-visual sensory experience. At the pavilion, all holders of Expo 2020 tickets will have seamless access through the Expo Smart Queue system. The system will give guests easy access through 15-minute time slots, and the ability to reschedule in case you would like to attend
another event.

We continuously monitor the daily capacities and review staff and guest satisfaction. Furthermore, we measure the non-interrupted experience of visitors through the monitoring of assets. We also keep a close eye on our social media impact; we measure the reach of our posts and keep evolving our approach to ensure reach.

Our stories talk about people from all walks of life and backgrounds who had many dreams that were realised when they connected with like-minded people who contributed their story. These stories woven together provide the visitor with a glimpse into a future that is being created as they walk through the pavilion. Every visitor has an opportunity to achieve their own dream and be part of the UAE story.


Lenka Marsalkova

Marketing and communications manager, Czech Republic Pavilion

The pavilion itself is the first thing that gets the attention of visitors, thanks to the cloud made of steel capillaries that shades the garden. It’s the largest hand-shaped steel sculpture in the world – we are talking about 17 tons and 9 kilometres of steel.

If we provide an opportunity for Czech companies that we present in the pavilion to develop their business activities after the Expo ends, and visitors leave the pavilion with a new experience – whether in the form of new knowledge and self-education, or just with a pleasant feeling from the visit – our mission at the Expo will be successful.

We are located in the Sustainability Zone and fit perfectly into this theme. We not only showcase technologies that present sustainability, but we also use them in practice. A perfect example of this is the technological core of the pavilion –
the ‘SAWER’ system, which produces water from the air using only solar energy and can create an oasis in the desert. We use the water produced by the SAWER to irrigate the garden around the national pavilion.


Isabella R. Jesemann

Managing director, Baden-Württemberg Pavilion

We rely on a range of different communication measures. The focus, however, is on press relations to promote the Baden-Württemberg House both in Germany and in Dubai and to attract international visitors on-site.

In addition to collecting data on visitor numbers, delegation and media visits, we measure the reach of our social media posts, communication and marketing activities, and publish detailed reports on them.

The Baden-Württemberg House is showcasing topics and solutions for all major Expo themes. Mobility is one of the flagship industries of our region. The bicycle, the automobile and the electric air taxi (on display as a 1:3 model in the Baden-Württemberg House) have all been invented in our federal state. Most of our exhibits also cover sustainability in a variety of forms, with our federal state being a pioneer in efficiency and green technologies in fields such as cycle-based bioeconomy, zero-emission mobility and clean energies. Last, but not least, the topic of opportunity also plays an important role in our pavilion. After all, we are the only region (among more than 190 nations) that has seized the opportunity to participate in Expo and to present our federal state to the world.


Kasititorn Pooparadai

Senior executive vice-president of Digital Economy Promotion Agency, director Thailand Pavilion

The Thailand Pavilion attracts all visitors at the first sight of its flower façade and golden arch. The immersive journey through Thai mobility offers them exceptional experiences including amazing exhibitions, special events, cute mascots, daily attractions, dances, live light shows, souvenirs and, last but not least, Thai food.

The visitors’ impressions and appreciation of our pavilion is an instant goal. In the meantime, developing trust and confidence among participating countries to promote Thailand’s investment, medical care and tourism are also expected.

Thailand welcomes all visitors with our hospitality and connects with the world through digital technology and innovation showcasing Thailand’s strength and potential in becoming a regional mobility hub.


Nicolas Bideau

Head of presence, Switzerland Pavilion

The Swiss pavilion’s exterior serves as an eye-catcher with its red carpet and mirrored façade. Inside, it offers visitors a unique encounter with Switzerland that appeals to all senses: a walk through a sea of fog. Then we leave the eternal Switzerland to present a lesser-known Switzerland, that of industry and innovation. And we end on a high note, with the opportunity to treat ourselves to a Swiss coffee and chocolate.

Providing that memorable experience is the only way to ensure a long-term impact on the visitors. If they remember our pavilion in 10 years’ time, then we have done our job. Of course, we also hope to generate more tourist nights in Switzerland, business opportunities for our partners and exchanges with the region for our universities.

We are bringing Swiss universities, start-ups and innovative companies to showcase their research and inventions through temporary exhibits and presentations in line with the Expo theme weeks.


Daniel van Otterdijk

Senior vice-president, chief communications officer,
DP World Flow Pavilion

Located at the Opportunity District, visitors can come to the DP World Flow Pavilion by parking at the Opportunity parking and taking the shuttle bus to the Sun Plaza. Alternatively, the Expo has dedicated a series of visitor trains from the Opportunity arrival plaza for visitors to hop on. Visitors can also grab a Careem bike to reach the DP World Flow Pavilion.

We took a bold decision to announce our refreshed brand at the Expo 2020, hoping to inspire people to understand how trade is a lifeline that affects our everyday lives. The DP World Flow Pavilion has been designed around the theme of ‘making trade flow’, where visitors will be able to understand commerce movements around the world using innovative technologies, and how this drives global economies. Our idea of success is to be able to inform people about the shifting sands that continue to change logistics and supply chains and how DP World continues to play an integral role through the use of tech and data to find smarter ways to move goods around the world.

We’ve designed the DP World Flow Pavilion with four main galleries – Mobility, Connectivity, Opportunity and Sustainability – all of which are designed to take our visitors on a journey that showcases how we move goods around the world, while also aligning with the Expo’s themes.


Nisreen Masri

Media and communications manager, USA Pavilion

We’re using all available channels to attract visitors to the USA Pavilion – primarily on
@usaexpo2020 on all platforms and www.usapavilion.org, Expo’s daily press briefing and all media outlets.

We aim to delight guests and share our American story.

The USA Pavilion theme, ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Future’, aligns with Expo 2020’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The USA has always been and continues to be the leader in innovation and mobility, and we tell the story of how freedom and inclusivity pave the way for a better future for all.


Anna Drozd

PR manager, Polish Investment and Trade Agency,
Poland Pavilion

Being the part of Expo 2020 Dubai, Poland presents creativity as its national feature, which gives the country its economic, scientific, cultural, and social success. The narrative in the Polish Pavilion is divided into five sections that share a common motif: ‘Poland. Creativity inspired by nature’. A visit starts at the ‘Polish Table’, where our guests are warmly welcomed by our amazing guides – students from Polish universities. The social media campaign, ongoing cooperation with journalists as well as the pavilion’s architecture with unique kinetic sculpture, our hospitality and smile – that’s how we encourage people to visit our pavilion.


Shabana Unni

Communications manager, The Netherlands Pavilion

Imagine creating 1200 litres of water from dry air daily and using that same water for irrigation and drinking purposes within the pavilion. Our story itself is very fascinating and automatically creates a sense of curiosity and attraction. We are creating a self-sustaining miniature ecosystem that can harvest its own water, energy and food. Together with the communications team in The Hague, Netherlands, we have developed a concrete 360-degree communications strategy that truly aids in conveying our message to the targeted audience (business partners, government organisations, knowledge institutions and daily visitors) in the Netherlands, Gulf region and beyond. We have an array of partners and sponsors who also contribute to promoting the pavilion through their channels.

Every small step and recognition are part of our achievement and success. We won the Best Sustainable Construction Award at the Big 5 Impact Awards this year and were also declared as one of the finalists in the Gulf Sustainability Awards. We also have a line-up of programming events at the pavilion, with the business lounge and auditorium already booked for more than 150 events related to these three core sectors. Our website and social media channels help us track information on click-rates, areas of interest, etc. All these and more add up to our qualitative and quantitative methods of measuring success.

The Netherlands Pavilion is all about sustainability, which is also one of the three main overarching themes of Expo 2020 Dubai. Our legacy is to leave a footprint of our ‘expertise in sustainable solutions’ that can change the world for a better future.


Kevin Partridge

Head of communications, Department for International Trade (DIT), UK Pavilion

We’ve encouraged visiting the UK Pavilion, in person and online (as the first participant with a virtual tour), through a variety of high-quality, engaging multimedia content. Across owned, earned and paid channels our targeted messages have reached specific audiences across Expo 2020, the UAE, Gulf region, UK and internationally to showcase the UK’s unique pavilion and programme. We are measuring success through tracking online activity, visits, words contributed to our Pavilion’s Collective Message and surveys through Ipsos Mori to determine the impact with our audiences.

Our theme, ‘Innovating for a shared future’, shows how we’re all connected and through collaboration we can develop new ways to approach the global challenges Expo 2020 is exploring.


Erik Linquier

Chairman of Cofrex, commissioner general, France Pavilion

The France Pavilion has invested considerably to ensure that the visitors’ experience is suitable for all audiences: first for young audiences and families with a treasure hunt on the esplanade by Sépand Danesh, and various artistic proposals such as Neil Beloufa, so that children can discover France at their own pace. We are also organising workshops, conferences, and panel discussions several days a month for adults, students and children in the fields of biodiversity, space, cities, climate, etc. Our entire agenda is available on our website. Finally, the France Pavilion is associated with partners who promote France outside the World Expo site, notably with JCDecaux in Dubai and Mediatransports in France, and all its media partners such as France Médias Monde, Radio France and TV5Monde.

The success of our participation is measured on different criteria: first on the attendance and especially on the satisfaction of visitors.

The France Pavilion echoes the theme of the Expo in all its event programming: for six months, we will highlight French solutions, innovations and ideas that accompany progress and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Mustafa Shamseldin

Chief marketing officer, Africa, Middle East and North Africa,
PepsiCo Pavilion

With 2 billion Expo 2020 Dubai branded PepsiCo products across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, digital and social media campaigns, global PR plans, and highlights on Expo 2020 Dubai’s website and visitor guide, we are set to draw crowds to our pavilions and AI-powered stores, ‘Pepsi Go’.

We measure our success through multiple factors. First is footfall to our pavilions, sales and revenues, consumer feedback, and share of voice online and in media. Second is its impact on our brands, the awareness behind our ‘Pep+’ goals, and our end-to-end strategic transformation, putting sustainability at the centre of how the business will create shared value
and growth.

‘The Drop’ promotes good water stewardship, emphasising Expo 2020 Dubai’s commitment to sustainability. ‘The Bolt’ ties in with the mobility theme, showcasing how science and innovation inspire performance and active lifestyles. ‘The Plus’ outlines how we can create positive change, in line with the opportunity theme.


Angie Mahran

Director of marketing and public relations, Egypt Pavilion

One of our main marketing strategy objectives was to raise awareness about the Egypt pavilion’s main attractions and the different seminars given by professionals in several sectors. We relied mainly on social media and our website to promote our pavilion’s story and main slogan ‘Legacy Empowering Future’. Our plan by utilising those platforms was to take the users through true journeys in Egypt past, present and future by creating different type of content that would engage the users and drive them to visit the pavilion and explore more about Egypt. We also launched PR campaigns before and after the official start of Expo 2020 to raise awareness about the pavilion’s main attractions, and we relied on the content generated by different visitors on social media expressing their experience inside the pavilion.

Our success is measured by the number of happy visitors that share their positive experience and generate positive word-of-mouth, the number of attendees to our seminars and the volume of organic coverage we receive from media outlets.

We align with the Expo theme by showcasing Egypt’s solid future vision and projects in different sectors and promoting the 100+ seminars being held inside the pavilion by professionals from different industries discussing the various types of developments Egypt is undertaking for a better future.


Lara Maggiore, marketing manager, Italy Pavilion

The Italy Pavilion is off to a great start, attracting up to 10,000 visitors per day. Our theme, ‘Beauty Connects People’, is capturing visitors from all corners of the planet wanting to experience a fascinating journey into Italian beauty: from arts to cutting-edge technology, from circular economy to sustainability, from AI to innovation.

The 3D replica of Michelangelo’s David sculpture is a revelation in the region, together with a never-seen cultural programme of 400 events.

To promote this exceptional offering, we have put in place co-marketing initiatives with more than 100 partners and sponsors, with international and local tour operators as well as a strong media relations strategy.

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