The 1928 Paris Convention

The 1928 International Convention put order in the domain of international exhibitions by regulating their frequency and defining rights and responsibilities of organisers and participants. In order to ensure the application of this treaty, the Bureau International des Expositions was created.

Then, two protocols – the first signed in 1948 and the second in 1966 – came to amend the Convention in the critical domain of exhibitions frequency.
In order to consider the jurisprudence issued from BIE's forty years of existence and following the economic new asset (acceleration of progress pace, reduction of traveling time, entry of new countries on the international arena), a deep revision of the 1928 Convention became urgent.

This revision was initiated in 1965 and concluded on November 30th 1972 with the signature of the protocol, which came into force on June 9th 1980.

Finally, two new amendments became necessary in order to update the Convention and mostly to redefine the exhibition categories: they were signed on June 24th 1982 and May 31st 1988.

The 1928 Paris Convention, amended and modified by the different protocols, currently governs the organisation of international exhibitions.

Download the Convention Text


The Library of BIE

The Library of the Bureau International des Expositions is a source of high-quality information on international Expos as it is composed of some 5000 works dating back to 1851 until present day.

The memory of the Exhibitions is thus conserved by the BIE for the essential purpose of being able to transmit past experiences onto future generations.

The collection of works deal with the organization of international exhibitions since 1851. You can find books, reports, catalogues, illustrated works of memorable moments, etc.

All the works in the library may be consulted by the general public upon appointment by telephone ( +33 1 45 00 38 63 ) or by email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

In order to facilitate research at the library, you may consult the reference guide, available at the end of this page.

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The Library of BIE

Who we are

The BIE is the Intergovernmental Organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating all international exhibitions that last more than three weeks and are of non commercial nature ("Expos"). Today, 4 main types of Expos are organised under its auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano. 

Learn more about the BIE Expos

Our mission is to guarantee the quality and the success of these world events, protect the rights of their organisers and participants and preserve their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. We do this by:

  • Choosing the host countries of future Expos
  • Providing candidate and host countries with our expertise in event management, national branding and public diplomacy
  • Regulating the organization of the event and making sure the host country and all participants respect the Convention of the BIE and the rules of the Expo

Learn more about the process of organising an Expo

From the 31 countries that created the BIE in 1928, the Organisation has grown to 168 Member States, as a result of the success and the appeal of Expos. The BIE Member States take part in all the decisions of the BIE and they strive to continually improve the quality of Expos. The headquarters of the BIE are located in Paris.

Learn more about how we work

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