International Horticultural Exhibitions

We are responsible for approving the world’s finest horticultural exhibitions. Upholding the very highest standards, we ensure that approved exhibitions benefit growers and visitors alike by inspiring greater appreciation of ornamental plants. Drawing on experience acquired over generations, we provide organisers with expert guidance to create world class spectacles that live long in the memory.

With a mandate agreed by an international convention, we have been approving and regulating International Horticultural Expos, with our partners BIE (, since 1960.  Enthusiasm for such expos has continued to grow with millions of people visiting expos hosted all over the world.  Recent successes over the last two years include the horticultural expos in Suncheon 2013 (South Korea) and Qingdao 2014 (China) which each attracted over 4 million visitors.  We have already approved five expos between 2016 and 2022 in Europe and Asia.  Overall visitor numbers are likely to exceed 30 million people in total.  Billions of dollars will be spent on developing these international spectacles that have the ability to stimulate the development of whole cities and transform the international reputation of host cities.  Each expo lasts for 6 months and sites range from 50 to over 900 hectares in size.  Each one is carefully regulated, steered and monitored by AIPH.

AIPH approved exhibitions help to green cities across the globe in order to enhance the environment as well as local and national economies. With every exhibition further awareness is created surrounding sustainability and environmental issues as well as the horticultural and landscaping industry.

The current programme for AIPH approved Expos is shown below:

 2016  Expo 2016 Antalya  (A1)  23 Apr – 30 Oct  Turkey  Antayla
 2016 2016 Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition (A2/B1) 29 Apr – 16 Oct China Tangshan
 2018-19 Taichung World Flora Exposition (A2/B1) 3 Nov 18 – 24 Apr 19 Chinese Taipei Houli District, Taichung
 2019 International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing (A1) 29 Apr – 7 Oct China Yanqing County, Beijing
2021 Expo 2021 Yangzhou (B1)  8 Apr – 8 Oct China Yangzhou
 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere 2022 (A1) The Netherlands Almere

International Horticultural Exhibitions are an amazing vehicle for promoting the power of horticulture in the modern world.  They contribute to the promotion of productivity in all sectors of horticulture and the use of horticultural products, as well as the general public’s appreciation of this industry. International Horticultural Exhibitions also promote world-wide cooperation in professional horticulture.

Exhibitions are used to communicate with the public, governments and within the horticulture industry itself.  They are also important tools for the host city and country in terms of prestige, gaining importance at an international level, strengthening its brand, and promoting a new image (green city, tourist city, innovative city, etc.) in the context of modernisation, innovation, cultural and scientific development.

The fascinating aspect of a Horticultural Expo is its uniqueness in convening a global issue (pollution, CO2 emissions, future generations and environment) to a diverse global public through the languages of ‘green’, culture, diplomacy, entertainment, science, technology and architecture.

The general structure of a Horticultural Exhibition is shown in Figure 1.

exhibitions-Floraide1. Repositioning of the image and brand of the city/country by strengthening national identity and international relationships

Floriade 20121, in The Netherlands, has contributed to the international brand awareness of the region and in that respect has had promotional value. The contact with the diplomatic network (embassies) brought Greenport Venlo and the region to international attention. Floriade Dialogue 2009-2012 contributed to improve the international awareness of the territory. It was an international platform and network, bringing together international professionals within the field of science, business and government to discuss topics such as adequate and safe food production, responsible use of natural resources and green architecture and business.

After the Expo in 2013, Suncheon2 has been recognised as the ecological capital of South Korea, as a green city role model and one of the most liveable cities in the world (Silver prise at the 2010 LivCom Awards, UNEP – United Nations Environment Program).

Xi’an3, China, thanks to the International Horticultural Exhibition in 2011, has been recognised as a new ecological city, decorated with large areas of water and green trees. It has become a city with flourishing economic development and advanced science and technology.

In 2010, Taipei4, the 7th city to host an International Exhibition in Asia, was a demonstration of the characteristics and accomplishments of Chinese Taipei in technology, environmental protection, humanity, and arts. Eleven corporations received the “Green Energy Award” and eleven gas stations received the “Greening and Beautification Excellence Award”. Moreover, while TIFE (Taipei International Flora Exposition) was in session, representatives from AIPH member states, various governments, and cities, sister cities, enterprises from various countries, and famous gardens from around the globe, totalling 30 countries, 60 cities, and 92 institutions, came to visit or participate in international competitions held in the Global Garden Area and indoors. TIFE was successfully marketed through press and broadcast media. TIFE attracted foreign visitors, which greatly improved the international image and recognition of Taipei City. Organising this event was an opportunity for Taiwan to enhance its international rank and reputation.

Thailand5, with the A1 Royal Flora in 2006, gained the image of being a leader in agricultural products promoting exports and tourism.



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2. Generate a new source of revenue

In Suncheon6 2013 (South Korea), new businesses were developed in the green sector (solar energy, sustainable garden development, electronic transportation) and new industries grew (landscape architecture, floriculture, eastern medicine, beauty industries).

A total of 75 famous enterprises participated in the TIFE in Taipei. TIFE introduced promotions with 500 partner stores in Taipei City and 185 partner hotels throughout the nation to increase the occupancy rates and bring about substantial economic benefits.

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3. Promote industrial progress in the field of horticulture and landscaping through an exchange of horticultural knowledge

In Chiang Mai7 2006 (Thailand), thanks to the expo, they developed the Horticultural Knowledge Centre, useful for exchange of knowledge and technology among horticulturists around the world; promoting Thailand as a hub for horticultural production and exports (fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs). Five years later, with the A2/B1 Exhibition, international Symposia were organised and hosted 4,500 participants and presented a forum for academics and researchers to exchange their knowledge and experiences in horticulture.

The expo in Taipei 20108 provided onsite microclimate reports, supported by the cutting-edge technologies of the Central Weather Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communication. It was the first expo that planned the pavilion of dreams that integrated high-tech, culture and art:

The 65” Multi-view Naked Eye Stereoscopic Display
The largest smart controllable liquid crystal glass
360° panoramic
Huge FleXpeaker

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4. Promote awareness of sustainability and environmental issues

Expo in Suncheon 20139 is also known to be an environmentally-friendly expo because of the introduction of new techniques in recycling within the expo grounds:

Recycling of trees: trees that were left after deforestation or in danger of being disposed of were moved to the Expo grounds. The trees that have found a new home are growing strong

Recycling of rocks and boulders: most of the large rocks and boulders found on the Expo grounds were supplied from the Expo construction sites and other construction sites near Suncheon and have become excellent materials to decorate the Expo grounds

Environmentally-friendly compost, earthworms: the compost used to grow flowers and trees, was made by mixing micro-organisms and waste

Reed fences: made by weaving reeds taken from Suncheon Bay, providing warmth for the cold construction site. The reed fences were much cheaper than the zinc-plated counterparts, and the 2.5 metre-tall reed fences can be recycled and made into natural fertilisers after the Expo

Dream bridge/the Container Bridge10: built using 30 abandoned shipping containers, preserved the structural properties of the containers which act as a shelter from the rain and sun

The garden exhibition was composed of natural objects such as trees, flowers and rocks, with only a limited number of facilities needed to be constructed, there was no need to dismantle or remodel the expo grounds after the event. It was planned to serve as an ‘Eco-belt’, by connecting the downtown area of Suncheon city to the Suncheon Bay Area.

For the expo in Taipei the City Government team authorised the Foundation of Taiwan Industry Service to conduct carbon emission surveys.

The results show that the total carbon emissions during TIFE 201011 totalled around 144.6 thousand tons, most of which came from transportation (inside and outside park areas, and international transportation), accounting for around 73%. The data were estimated with reference to carbon emissions during large events in different countries, of which transportation also accounted for the majority. Therefore, the traffic control measures and encouraging the use of public transport were truly effective energy-saving strategies.

In addition, TIFE12 practised energy-saving and carbon reduction form inside out. There was the utilisation of renewable energies, including the solar photovoltaic power generation in the three pavilions of the Xinsheng Park Area and the wind power generation in the Dajia Riverside Park Area. Inside the 14 pavilions were energy-saving and water-conserving equipment, too. There were the low-carbon transportation tools, including the hybrid low-floor shuttle buses planned for TIFE featuring reduced gas consumption and emissions, Luxgen’s electrical cars and intra-park green buses. With the further reduction of 811.1 thousand tons of carbon emissions as a result of the energy-saving and carbon reduction proposal introduced by individual departments and offices of the Taipei City Government.

The pavilion of the New Fashion (FE EcoARK)13, was built with 1.25 million recycled and treated PET bottles:

  • It’s the world’s most eco-friendly structure certified with the LEED platinum status
  • The world’s only structure built with 100% recycled PET materials
  • The world’s first large-span, carbon neutral, experimental structure
  • It features the world’s sturdiest, most lightweight, translucent screen
  • The world’s first structure combining PET walls with LED lights
  • The world’s only building able to self-produce building materials to minimise pollution generated from transport.

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5. Strengthen capability to organise international, multi-cultural events

Before the Exhibition takes place, the country hires experts in the field of project management. A clear example is Antalya14, the next Recognised Horticultural Exhibition, the organisers are dealing for the first time with the preparation of this world-event and they’re acquiring more expertise in the field.

Organisers for Royal Flora Ratchaphruek15, starting in 2006 with the A1 expo and continuing for the second time in 2011 with the A2/B1, increased their capability to organise a World-Class exhibition in Thailand, creating the world’s leading Tropical Horticultural Exhibition with a significant trading ground for agricultural technology and unique international plant specimens by promoting the potential of Thai garden plants.

Organising the Deaflympics16, in Taipei 2010, was an invaluable chance to begin a dialogue with the world of sport.

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6. Attract a large number of people and promote eco/green tourism industry

A proof of this is given by Expo Xi’an 201117 which attracted approx. 15,700,000 visitors and Expo Taipei 2010, with its 9,000,000.


In Venlo 201218 (The Netherlands), 54% of the tourist entrepreneurs in the region realised more turnover than in 2011, 95% of the hotels in the region had more turnover than in 2011 and the number of foreign guests in the region increased by 17% (versus a nationwide increase of 3%)


In Rostock 200319, a large number of tourists arrived in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (Rostock’s region): 51% of visitors came from other regions / abroad and 49% were internal visitors (29% of which were from Rostock and 20% from the region). They integrated the outside sites to the park; this was to make the hidden treasures of Rostock, related to its art and culture, accessible for tourism and local recreation. The visitors could obtain information on site in a particular pavilion, especially set up for this purpose20.

During the Royal Flora in 2011, 86.4% of entrepreneurs in hotel and accommodation sectors earned higher revenues, 36.67% for food centres and restaurants’ entrepreneurs and 100% of van and bus entrepreneurs earned higher revenues.

Suncheon Bay in 2013 from a local tourist attraction turned into an international, world-class, eco-tourist destination.

In Xi’an 2011 the turnover of hotel accommodation increased 23.5% on the previous year and the turnover for the catering industry grew 24.3% with an increase in total retail sales of social consumer goods of 18.6%.

The total number of visitors in Taipei21 grew by 26.67 % in 2010 (year of the expo) and by 9.34% the next year (the expo covered the period 2010-2011), and continued the next year, 2012, with +20.11%.

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20 For further information: IGA 2003 Rostock. Abschlussbericht zur grunen Weltausstellung am Meer, page 93

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7. Generate demand of goods or services related to the “green” area

The demand for plants throughout Taiwan increased as a result of TIFE 2010 (Taipei International Flora Exposition), driving growth of the flower industry. Export flowers in 2010: USD 149 million +35% from 2009 (USD 110 million).

8. City development: develop parcels of land by installing new infrastructure (tunnels, high ways) and other improvements (develop parks, green spaces, and play grounds)

The IGA 2003 (Germany) facilitated the construction of the Warnow Tunnel, the western feeder road for the A20 motorway and the HanseMesse Rostock, the reconstruction of the main train station and the urban railway station Lutten Klein, as well as many residential improvement measures in the neighbouring boroughs. The reed hall house turned into a meeting point for social and cultural events. The ship “Dresden22” has returned to its old mooring, after complete refurbishment and modernisation by IGA GmbH. The German pavilion has been reutilised at the Federal Horticultural Show 2005 in Munich. The park stage had only been planned for one season but was set up again subsequently for further cultural events and concerts. 11 of the 22 gardens of nations remained after the event as beauty spots for visitors. During IGA 200323, in Germany, new connections have been made, linking Rostock to the new motorway A20 to Hamburg and to the A19 to Berlin. Moreover during the preparation of IGA, the main station was redeveloped, the interurban railway and bus station Lutten Klein opposite the IGA grounds was set up and the inner city tram network was extended. It is very important to notice that the Macklenburg village Schmarl was redeveloped even if not integrated in the IGA grounds, this shows how, thanks to the Exhibition, a lot of areas could be renewed.

After the expo the Innovation Tower at the entrance to the Floriade 2012, and the transparent “Flora Villa24”, are used as representative company headquarters. The site is now a high value business park. Moreover, 200 million EUR were invested in infrastructures in the region, such as the highway between Germany and The Netherlands.

In Suncheon 2013, the expo site has been transformed into an ecological garden filled with trees and flowers. The Expo grounds act as an eco-belt to protect Suncheon Bay. The nation’s first Personal Rapid Transit system is an environmentally-friendly and uniquely enjoyable way to convey up to six people in each pod from the Garden Expo site to Suncheon Bay25. Moreover, they built the Dream Bridge of recycled containers and high-tech IT gardens have been created, the facilities of which utilised eco-friendly energy. Moreover they are implementing some health policies, for instance, by developing the Carbon Level Monitoring Systems in order to reduce city carbon levels.

Chiang Mai’s exhibition area has been developed into a comprehensive learning and research centre in agriculture for the benefits of all people, not only academics and students, but also farmers and the general public.

The expo park in Xi’an has now turned into an ecological environmental protection site for sustainable use. They created a movie-themed park, with new movie production facilities, 5D cinema and other first-class entertainment facilities.

In Taipei 2010, the pavilions have been renovated and some of them are offices or host today large exhibitions. They can be rented by public and private organisations as a venue for cultural activities. Some of the pavilions turned into exhibition centres or museums (e.g. museum of Mongolian and Tibetan Cultural Relics and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum). Dajia Blue Highway has been improved and is still operating, the same for the Flora Tunnel and the pedestrian bridges.

During Pacific Flora 2004, in Japan26, a new road was opened near the venue from around Hamamatsu station. 70% of the venue turned into a public park.

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23 For further information: IGA 2003 Rostock. Abschlussbericht zur grunen Weltausstellung am Meer, page 11-12

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9. Create jobs and new opportunities

According to a survey, in Suncheon 2013, 11,000 green jobs were created.
In the framework of the Floriade27 disadvantaged people are helped to rejoin the labour market and trained for a new future. This has led to a substantial government saving to benefits of ca. 1.4 million EUR in 2012. At the end of the Floriade 60% of these people is moved on to a new job.

In Taipei 2010 the employment rate increased with 23,244 (person/year) additional jobs.

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10. Cooperate and share their ideas in particular areas

In Floriade 201228, some countries took Greenport Venlo as an example in the development of their own food production (this is specifically the case in Russia). This offers new business opportunities and forms of cooperation for companies from Venlo region, particularly in agro-technology and logistics. Moreover the visit of Qingdao to Floriade 2012, has led to a trade mission of Venlo to this Chinese region

11. Educate and involve citizens

Suncheon 2013 was also recognised as a Citizen’s Expo. The municipality involved people from the region to design gardens. Moreover they named some students as the ambassadors of the venue and hired volunteer workers from the neighbourhood.

An important initiative was carried out during IGA 2003, Germany: the ‘Green Class Room’, in which associations from the region were involved, for the first time at a horticultural show, to offer an educational program at all levels of age. The evaluation of the project showed that it was important to address the needs of all the senses for successful environmental education. Where there was something to touch, feel, taste, smell or observe, the event went well and involved everybody29.

29 For further information: IGA 2003 Rostock. Abschlussbericht zur grunen Weltausstellung am Meer, page 65

12. Promote innovation in the horticultural sector

In Xi’an 201130 (China) thanks to the expo, they promoted a green low-carbon idea with new horticultural techniques. With the introduction of state-of-the-art engineering methods, they built a new ecology repairmen and construction of drainage basin around the two rivers Chan and Ba. This led to the prise “Chan Ba Ecological Zone as the most popular destination for Conference in the year 2009-2010 in China”.

In Chiang Mai, after the closing of the Expo, in 2007, they created a learning centre of horticulture and Thai traditional culture

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13. Boost the economy

Taipei’s31 Economic benefits during Expo TIFE 2010: NT$43.068 billion, including investments of around NT$13.591 billion from the government and private enterprises. Operational benefits: NT$17.678, and industrial related results of both benefits combined that totals NT$11.799 billion. With the investment from the government and private enterprises deducted, net benefits of TIFE come around NT$29,477 billion.

For Suncheon 2013, the expo represented 679 billion won of added value, with a production stimulation of 1332.3 billion won.

In Royal Flora 201132 (Thailand) the gift shops and souvenirs’ entrepreneurs earned a higher revenue, with +40% in December, +30 % in January and + 25% in February. Moreover the number of vehicles and passengers at the bus terminals in the airport was 4 times more than the previous year, and the number of passengers passing through the airports in the northern regions increased by 24.5%.

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14. Change politically, socially, environmentally and economically

The previous examples show that every country has experienced a visible effect in its political, social, environmental and economic areas, visible in the infrastructures, transport, communication system, new job opportunities (in particular in construction and services), tourism and entertainment. Hosting an International Horticultural Exhibition has a positive effect all round.

The objective and role of AIPH in approving International Horticultural Exhibitions

Our objective for international horticultural exhibitions (Expos) is to promote the products of the horticultural industry to the general public, businesses and governments.

Our role is to ensure expos are successful through a robust approval and monitoring process and through regulating the number of permitted expos.

Successful expos will:

  • Increase global appreciation for horticulture in terms of its benefits to individuals and societies.
  • Stimulate the increased use of plants to improve the health and wellbeing of society, the enhancement of the environment and the strengthening of economies.
  • Clearly demonstrate society’s need for horticulture and the role it plays in linking people with their environment.
  • Bring together horticultural excellence from different countries to promote the best knowledge and practice from all over the world and to celebrate cultural and horticultural diversity.
  • Promote productivity and international co-operation in professional horticulture

The role of AIPH is defined within the AIPH Regulations for International Horticultural Exhibitions and in accordance with the Charter and Regulations of AIPH.

In accordance with Article 4.B.2 of the International Convention Relating to International Exhibitions (Signed at Paris on November 22nd, 1928, and Supplemented by the Protocols of May 10th, 1948, November 16th, 1966, November 30th, 1972 and the Amendment of June 24th, 1982 and the Amendment of May 31st, 1988) AIPH has been given international responsibility for the approval of international horticultural exhibitions.

Within the rules of the Convention the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) is permitted to grant recognition to A1 horticultural exhibitions approved by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), provided that there is an interval of at least two years between such exhibitions in different countries and at least ten years between events held in the same country; due to be held in the interval between two registered exhibitions.

The process and timescales for making an application to host an international horticultural exhibition are defined in the AIPH Regulations for International Horticultural Exhibitions.

Members, governments, cities and exhibition organisers interested in making an application should contact the AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe, at

Applicants will be asked to present their proposal to the AIPH Marketing & Exhibitions Committee and to complete a questionnaire as provided by the secretariat.

Download International Horticultural Exhibitions Questionnaire

AIPH recognises five different categories of Horticultural Exhibitions.  The following table summarises the main differences between each of them.

Categories Official Name Duration Minimum Exhibition Area Application
A1 Large International Horticultural Exhibitions 3 – 6 months 50 Ha 2 – 6 years before(BIE recognition required)
A2 International Horticultural Exhibitions– Short Duration 8 – 20 days 15,000 m2 More than 4 years before
B1 Horticultural Exhibitions with International Participation – Long Duration 3 – 6 months 25 Ha 7 – 3 years before
B2 Horticultural Exhibitions with International Participation – Short Duration 8 – 20 days 6,000 m2 More than 2 years before
A2/B1 Horticultural Exhibition with International Participation – Long Duration 3 – 6 months 25 Ha 7 – 3 years before

The following exhibitions were AIPH approved:

Category A1

Year Country City Name
2012  Netherlands  Venlo  International Horticultural Exhibition Region Venlo Floriade 2012
2006/07  Thailand  Chiang Mai  Royal Flora Ratchaphruek
2003  Germany  Rostock  IGA
2002  Netherlands  Haarlemmermeer-Amsterdam  Floriade
1999  China  Kunming  International Garden Festival
1993  Germany  Stuttgart  IGA
1992  Netherlands  Zoetermeer  Floriade
1990  Japan  Osaka  International Gardens and Greenery Exposition
1984  United Kingdom  Liverpool  International Garden Festival
1983  Germany  Munich  IGA
1982  Netherlands  Amsterdam  Floriade
1980  Canada  Montreal  –
1974  Austria  Vienna  –
1973  Germany  Hamburg  IGA
1972  Netherlands  Amsterdam  Floriade
1969  France  Paris  –
1964  Austria  Vienna  –
1963  Germany  Hamburg  IGA
1960  Netherlands  Rotterdam  Floriade

Category A2, B1 and B2 

Year Country City Name Category
2014 China Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition 2014 A2/B1
2013 Korea Suncheon Suncheon Bay Garden Expo A2/B1
2011/12 Thailand Chiang Mai Royal Flora Ratchaphruek A2/B1
2011 China Xi’an International Horticultural Exhibition A2/B1
2011 Germany Koblenz Buga B1
2011 Italy Genua Euroflora A2
2010/2011 Chinese Taipei Taipei Taipei International Garden and Horticulture Exposition A2/B1
2009 Germany Schwerin Buga B1
2009 Japan Shizuoka Hamanako Flower & Garden Fair B2
2009 Korea Kkotji Korea Floritopia A2
2008 Canada Quebec Les Jardins des Floralies int. B1
2008 Canada Quebec Quebec en Fleurs int. B2
2007 Germany Gera (G) Buga B1
2006 China Shenyang Shenyang A2/B1
2006 Italy Genova Euroflora A2
2005 France Dijon Florissimo B2
2005 Germany Munich Buga B1
2004 Japan Hamamatsu Pacific Flora A2/B1
2004 France Nantes Floralies Nantes 2004 A2

During the AIPH Expo Conference in March 2015 AIPH launched a guide for the organisers of International Horticultural Exhibitions.

The aim of the publication is to give expo organisers a Guide on how to organise International Horticultural Exhibitions by providing useful information, facts, figures, tips and ideas.

This Guide addresses primarily organisers with less experience in International Horticultural Exhibitions. Countries with a tradition in organising Horticultural Exhibitions may use this book for knowledge exchange and are kindly requested to provide their experience to improve continuously this guide and share it with organisers of future Horticultural Exhibitions.

The Guide provides an overview of the different categories of Horticultural Exhibitions (A1, A2, B1, B2, A2/B1) with a particular focus on the A1 and A2/B1 categories.  The importance of BIE approval fro A1 expos is also explained.

A good amount of the book considers the Feasibility & Application, two important steps that need to be considered for each Horticultural Expo. It discusses management organisation and their responsibilities, looking after stakeholders, partners, sponsors; the planning and how to start; the importance of the logo, motto and theme of the exhibition; the right people to target; the attendance projections; the design and architecture of the site; and the international and national participants with the annexed competitions.

In the section Operations the organiser will find advice on how to manage guest hospitality and facilities.  In the following section the Marketing & Communication campaign is defined: when to start and how, people involved and the different phases of the promotional campaign.

In the final part of the book the focus is on the legacy of the expo and what is going to remain for future generations? How did the organisers manage sustainability? What about international relations? And other questions will be answered.

In the attachment of the guide we list the various best practices and motivations of hosting an Expo in a city/country and all the economic, social and environmental benefits related to it.

Guide will be available soon.

The first AIPH Expo Conference was held in Paris in March 2015.  Details can be viewed at  During the conference, which is open to anyone organising or interested in organising an international horticultural exhibition, current organisers present progress reports on their expos and delegates have the opportunity to hear internationally recognised expo experts to provide further help in ensuring successful expos.

Download presentations:

For details of the next AIPH Expo Conference or for sponsorship opportunities please contact the AIPH Secretariat at