AIPH approved the first Floriade in Rotterdam in 1960. Since then there has been a Floriade in The Netherlands every ten years. Millions of people have experienced these events which have helped to demonstrate the importance of plants to the environment and society. Since then there have been twenty A1 International Horticultural Expos, like the Floriade, around the world and twenty other Expos of different categories approved by AIPH.

From 2018 to 2022 there are eight new Expos coming up in seven different countries all of which have the opportunity to expose millions of people to the importance of greening cities and using plants. For AIPH these Expos are important as vehicles for promoting plants. We focus on showing what plants can do for consumers and policy makers but it is up to the industry to capitalise on these opportunities. Growers produce plants, but far from being a commodity product, plants add real value to real lives and landscapes. It is in the interest of growers to make every International Horticultural Exhibition and genuine horticultural success. These are a showcase for what you produce and the organisers of all of these exhibitions will be very happy to take your advice on how to ensure they reach new and higher levels of horticultural excellence.

These Expos bring horticulture, greening and the landscape in general to national and international prominence but they are not some kind of free marketing for the industry. Some Expos do not have much effect on their local horticulture industry whereas some do. The Expo in Taipei in 2010 gave a new and greater status to horticulture in the region and the city introduced new greening policies, that still stand today, as a direct result. Expos are a tool and how they work for your business will depend on how you use them and how much you get involved.

Cities and governments spend millions on making these Expos that typically cover at least 50 hectares. Some cover much larger areas, like the upcoming Expo 2019 Beijing in China which is allocated over 900 hectares. These are serious and significant events that take many years of planning. Work is well underway now in preparing for the next Floriade, in Almere in 2022 but also keep an eye on the Exhibition Calendar on the AIPH website for all the other Expos in different countries and use these as tools to define your businesses and your products as critical solution providers for people, cities and the environment well into the future.

Rachel Wakefield

Communications Executive and Associate Editor
United Kingdom