7. Post-Expo

The host city develops its post-expo plan

The closing of the Expo is the beginning of a new life for the area. A team is created to ensure the good management of the post-expo plan and make sure the site is transformed to fit the development needs of the region.

The BIE accompanies countries in this post-expo phase and verifies that the plan presented during the preparation of the Expo is being properly implemented.

Furthermore, once the Expo closes, the city joins the AVE (Association of Cities and Regions Hosting an International Exhibition), a network of all the cities that have hosted Expos to exchange ideas and experiences.

6. Expo

The Expo opens

The Expo lasts 3 to 6 months according to its category. The scope of the event and its millions of visitors imply very tight logistics, extreme coordination and an intense calendar of events and activities. During this period, the organizing teams can go up to several thousand people, including volunteers.

4. Registration or recognition of the Expo project

The BIE "registers" or "recognises" the Expo

After the vote, the future host country has to formalise its Expo project by submitting a complete and definitive implementation plan for the Expo. This formalisation is called "registration" for World Expos and "recognition" for International Expos.

The registration of World Expos must take place at least five years before the opening date. In the case of International Expos, the recognition must take place at least four years before the opening date.

The registration or recognition dossiers must address:

  • Legislative and financial measures
  • The legal status of the Expo organisers
  • The development of the theme (theme selection, its definition, its development, applications)
  • The duration of the Expo
  • The master plan of the site
  • The financial plan
  • A preliminary promotional and communication plan (national and international)
  • Post-Expo plan
  • The commercial strategy of the organisers

The dossier must be accompanied by the Expo's general regulations, the participation contracts that will be addressed to the future participants, the documents establishing and guaranteeing compensation in case of cancellation and any special regulations regarding the theme, the financial and material conditions for participation and the measures to minimize participation costs.

5. Preparation and implementation of the Expo project

The host country implements its Expo project

It is only after the registration or the recognition of an Expo project that the host country can officially begin developing and implementing the event, including:

  • Planning, building and operating the site
  • Sending out, through diplomatic channels, official invitations to governments and international organizations to participate to the Expo
  • Working with participants and establishing the Participation guide. The host country will be in regular contact with the BIE Member States in order to optimize their participation to the Expo.
  • Developing the theme and implementing related activities
  • Planning and organizing the programs related to city development, culture, and events
  • Finalizing special regulations and implementing them
  • Finalizing communication and promotion plans and implementing them


During this phase, Expo organizers are required to report regularly (twice a year) to the different BIE bodies:

  • The Executive Committee, to present the advancements of the Expo preparation
  • The Rules Committee, to present the special regulations of the event
  • The Communication and Information Committee, to present the Expo communication strategy
  • The General Assembly, to present an overall progress report. BIE Member States may make recommendations or ask for certain measures to be taken in order to ensure the smooth running of the Expo.

3. The vote

The BIE member states vote for the host country

At the end of the bidding phase, the BIE Member States vote for the host country by secret ballot during the BIE General Assembly. Each Member State has one vote and priority is given to candidatures submitted by Member States.

The voting procedure:

  • If there are only two candidates, then the right to host an Expo is given to the proposal that obtains the most votes.
  • If there are more than two candidates, then a proposal must receive a 2/3 majority in order to win in the first round. If no proposal receives a 2/3 majority in the first round, the proposal that receives the least amount of votes is eliminated. This procedure carries on until there are only two candidates left. The host country will then be elected by simple majority.

This procedure applies to Member States only; a 2/3 majority is required for a non-member state candidate to win the right to host an Expo.

The selection criteria:

  • Feasibility and viability of the Expo project, as assessed by the enquiry mission.
  • Appeal of the theme: BIE Member States will assess the quality of the theme according to its universal interest and whether it will allow them to participate actively to the Expo.
  • Consideration of bilateral relations: the relations between the candidate country and the BIE Member State (not only existing relations but projected relations as well) can influence a Member State's decision.

After a country wins the right to host an Expo, it must continue to work closely with the BIE and carry out the steps required by the BIE rules and regulations.