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.

6. The Expo

The Expo opens

The Expo lasts up to three or six months according to its category. The scope of the event and its millions of visitors require very tight logistics, careful coordination and an extremely busy calendar of events and activities. During this period, the organising team may be composed of 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 must 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 Specialised Expos.

For World Expos, the registration dossier must be submitted to the BIE at least five years before the opening date. For Specialised Expos, the recognition dossier must be submitted 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 officially begins preparations for the event, including:

  • Planning, building and operating the site
  • Sending out, through diplomatic channels, official invitations to governments and international organisations 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 optimise their participation to the Expo.
  • Developing the theme and implementing related activities
  • Planning and organising the programs related to city development, culture, and events
  • Finalising special regulations and implementing them
  • Finalising communication and promotion plans and implementing them


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

  • The Executive Committee, to present the advancement of Expo preparations
  • The Rules Committee, to present the special regulations of the event
  • The Information and Communication 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. Election

BIE Member States vote for the host country

At the end of the bidding phase, 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.

Voting procedure:

  • In the case of one or two candidates, the right to host an Expo is awarded to the country that obtains a simple majority of votes for or against.
  • If there are more than two candidates, then a proposal must receive a two thirds 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 two thirds majority is required for a non-Member State candidate to win the right to host an Expo.

Selection criteria:

  • The feasibility and viability of the Expo project, as assessed by the Enquiry Mission.
  • The 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 continues to work closely with the BIE to formalise the Expo project.