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The former General Manager of Expo 2015 Milan, Pietro Galli, shared his wealth of experience with delegates at the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Horticultural Expo Conference at Expo 2016 Antalya in Turkey on 28th September. Expo Milan welcomed 21.5 million visitors over its 6 month duration and 30% of these were from outside Italy. 140 countries participated around the theme of food.

Delegates at the AIPH conference, hosted by Expo 2016 Antalya, were able to learn from the experience of Milan as they prepare to organize or participate in future International Horticultural Exhibitions. Getting people to visit is the most important aspect to any Expo and Milan addressed this through extensive market research before the event. They questioned 25,000 people and defined clear market segments that would be used to direct their future marketing and ticket sales. Only 20% of tickets were sold at the gate and 55% were ‘pre-paid’ having been purchased by re-sellers, according to Mr. Galli.

Deputy Secretary General of Expo 2016 Antalya, Mucahit Sengul, shared the lessons he has learned in the organization of the A1 AIPH-approved Antalya Expo which will close on 30 October after a 6 month duration. Despite the challenges facing the Turkish tourism industry this year the Expo has attracted over 3 million visitors so far with strong levels of international participation, second only to the Osaka Expo in 1990.

AIPH Senior Consultant, Sven Stimac, presented on ways to ensure good quality international participation at an Expo and this was followed by an expert panel on the subject. The need to be able to demonstrate a return on investment to participants was clear and this may be different for different countries.

Delegates heard progress reports from the Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition currently running in China as well as future expos:

  • 2018-19 Taichung World Flora Exposition, Chinese Taipei. (A2/B1)
  • 2019 International Horticultural Exposition Beijing, China (A1)
  • 2020 Australis, Gold Coast, Australia (B)
  • 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere, Netherlands (A1)

An application for a B Class International Horticultural Exhibition in Yangzhou, China in 2021 was presented and later approved by AIPH members. The municipality of Hatay in Turkey also expressed its interest in potentially hosting an Expo in 2021.

Chairman of the AIPH Marketing & Exhibitions Committee, Kevin Chung, reiterated the importance of these expos for raising awareness of the need to green cities and for supporting national horticultural industries.

Commenting on the conference AIPH President, Bernard Oosterom said “AIPH believes that International Horticultural Exhibitions are a great way to share with your country and the whole world the importance of plants. We see ourselves as ‘the world’s champion for the power of plants’ and we want every person who visits one of our approved Expos to be inspired, informed and invigorated by plants. Households have the opportunity to learn how to use plants in their lives and cities have a place to come to discuss and develop new ways for using the green landscape better for their own citizens and for the environment.”

Read more on the topics discussed at the conference at

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Rachel Wakefield

Communications Executive and Associate Editor
United Kingdom