Planning and Organization

Brief Summary of the page

Planning and organizing an Expo

Organizing an exposition is a complicated process, it involves careful planning and management:

  1. Making a time schedule start from preparation to the end of the Expo
  2. Having a detail planning of the Expo.
  3. Invitation of exhibitors
  4. Construction of the Expo
  5. Management of an Expo
  6. Problems arisen in the Expo and related improvements


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Time Schedule of the 5th China International Garden & Flower EXPO

Mar 17 Hand over the Expo from Guangzhou to Shenzhen.
Apr 1 First conference of Expo
Apr 8 A Logo of Expo was confirmed
Apr 11 A company responsible for the Expo invitations was chosen
Apr 15 A company responsible for land reconstruction was chosen
Sept 20 Sign-in of ten thousands people for promotion
Dec 31 deadline for signing up Outdoor Exposition and application for approval of Outdoor Gardening Plan
Feb 1 - May 31 Outdoor Gardening Construction
Sept 20 Expo preview
Sept 23 - March 23 Exhibition period
March 23 - Apr 2 Clearance period


A Flow chart representation of the Time Schedule:

17-03-2002: Hand over the Expo from Guangzhou to Shenzhen
01-04-2003: First conference of Expo
08-04-2003: A Logo of Expo was confirmed
11-04-2003: A company responsible for the Expo invitations was chosen
15-04-2003: A company responsible for land reconstruction was chosen
20-09-2003: Sign-in of ten thousands people for promotion

31-12-2003: Deadline for signing up Outdoor Exposition and application for approval of Outdoor Gardening Plan

From 01-02-2004 to 31-05-2004: Outdoor Gardening Construction
20-09-2004: Expo preview
From 23-09-2004 to 23-03-2005: Exhibition period
From 23-03-2005 to 02-04-2005: Clearance period

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Detail planning of the Shenzhen Expo

Decide the exhibition content

The Expo was designed to consist mainly of two distinct sections:

  1. Professional exhibition
  2. Commercial exhibition

Major exhibition Items include Foreign and domestic landscape architecture, gardens, flowers, rare stones, horticultures, environmental products and plantings.

Exposition displays the beauty and characteristics of Gardens from many countries. Different countries or cites make their own garden that reflects the style of landscaping and cultures which can promote tourism to those countries or cites.

Within the 100,000 m2 of garden space there are 2 Halls (Comprehensive Exhibition Hall and Professional Horticultural Exhibition Hall), 3 Areas (International Exhibition Area, Chinese Exhibition Area and Shenzhen Exhibition Area) and 4 Gardens (Wetland Plant Garden, Shade Plant Garden, Rock Plant Garden and Vegetable and Fruit Garden) of totally 120 main garden sites in the plan.


Location of the Expo

Before the planning of Expo, the chosen land originally consisted of many temporary factories and 50m3 deposited wastes, which included construction and reclamation soils and a lot of industrial wastes.

Therefore, the Shenzhen government wanted to change this abandoned land into a green-land before. On 17th March 2002, the Expo was handed over from Guangzhou to Shenzhen. The government decided to reconstruct the abandoned land to a park specialized for holding the Expo.

Why did they choose this location for Expo?

Convenient transportation

The location of an exposition should be convenient to both tourist and local people, so it must be near the major roads and have a good transportation. There should have roads which can connect the airport or rail stations to the exposition.

The Shenzhen EXPO is located at Shenzhen International Horticultural Exposition Park in Futian District. Shenzhen is a young city and vital city with great economic and social influence and Futian District is a suitable position that has intensive road system including the Shennan Avenue and the Coastal Highway. Therefore, many buses can reach there.

Kill two birds with one stone

Since the land was highly polluted, the government wanted to improve the situations as soon as possible by changing it into a park. At the same time, organizing an Expo has an important economic value to enhance tourism.

Why did they build a new park rather than using an established part to organize the Expo?

  1. Since the Shenzhen Expo will last for one year, using the established park for Expo will affect the local people to use this recreation facility.
  2. Shenzhen Expo will become a permanent theme park after the exhibition period, so a new park must be constructed in a way which meets the requirement of long term uses.

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Invitation of Exhibitors

Exhibitors should be invited to take part in the expo. Shenzhen EXPO had invited exhibitors including:

  1. Exhibitors from cities in China, such as Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
  2. Notable professional enterprises
  3. Social groups or individuals both at home and abroad
  4. Foreign countries, cities, organizations or institutions related to landscape architecture, garden flowers or environmental protection
  5. Exhibitors in similar exposition
  6. Exhibitors sign up through on-line application

The EXPO organizing committees then informed the exhibitors with the requirement of the EXPO. For example, outdoor exhibitors are required to specify the subject of their exhibit and to demonstrate local features in combination with the theme concept of the EXPO and they should make full use of modern garden technology as well as fully respect the local environment.

Procedures for exhibition application

Fill in the application form and send it via mail, fax or email.
A confirmation letter will be sent by Organizing Committee within 3 days
An exhibition agreement with regard to participation in Expo will be soon signed.
Exhibition plan should be presented to the Organizing Committee
including the theme of the gardening spot, description of construction, requirements and arrangements on culture and business
Commercial exhibition stands can be applied
like in the fields of flowers, gardening, landscape gardening, horticulture machinery area, biological products and technology.
An authorized representative of exhibitors should reconfirm their participation in Expo.

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Construction of the Expo

The exhibition area occupied 660,000m2 which was divided into four districts. There is:

Exhibitors came from 25 countries and 67 cities within which 10 countries and 39 cities took part in the construction of the park.

At first, the land was divided into 120 units, but the exhibitors thought that the area for their gardens was too small. Hence, the organizing committees finally divided the land into 90 units.

One of the characteristics of the garden area is that the land is ups and downs. This can reduce the interference between different gardens and it can integrate the gardens into the nature.

In order to have a successful exposition, the government invested 2.3 billion dollars to build the park within which 66 million dollars were used to install a solar energy generation system. The system was the largest in Asia.

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Management of the Expo

Human Resources

At the beginning, there were only 12 people to manage the park.
However, due to the increasing workload, the number of executives had been increased to 100 people.
Apart from executives, there are also a lot of gardeners, tour guides, security guards, and cleaners etc.
For example, during the golden week of National Festival, there were 170,000 visitors recorded which was highly labor-demanding.


Relationship with exhibitors

Exhibitors may quarrel with organizing committees or security guards, so a Coordinating Unit was set up to act as a bridge between them in order to cooperate well with the exhibitors.

Work with Custom Office

Shenzhen custom office was set up in the Expo garden and it offered inspections of the imported plants there. This largely shortened the time for inspection.

Creative designs

  1. Loud speakers which looked like natural stones could be found everywhere in the garden playing relaxing music.
  2. Environmental friendly cars are used to transport visitors from one garden to another or all over the exposition site.
  3. Tour guides are employed to introduce the features of plants and gardens.
  4. Pagoda, waterfall, artificial lakes and some other special architecture are built to suit the concept -- "People live in Harmony and Prosperity with Nature".
  5. In the night, there are laser shows in musical fountain and other performance in the open theatre.

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Problems arisen in the Expo and related improvements

Adaptation problems of plants

It is difficult to adapt to Shenzhen's environment for some plants which originally grew in colder regions such as Hebei, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Take a case as an example, pear tree from Hebei had died during transportation due to the hot weather. Thus, ice was needed to keep a low temperature during transportation. Another solution is to introduce the non-native plants in earlier time to Shenzhen in order to allow the plants to adapt to the environment in Shenzhen.

Inspection problems

The protected or rare species have to be inspected carefully and in detail by Shenzhen custom. Also, some species may bring infectious plant diseases to Shenzhen, so special checking is needed.

Skyscrapers interfere the natural environments

Some visitors complained that there are some skyscrapers near the parks affecting the scene of gardens. We think that a good garden design can improve the situations, for example taller plants can be planted to block the eyeshot of visitors on the skyscrapers.

Lack of money in promotion

Money is not enough to advertise the event widely, so they could only afford to have an advertisement in Phoenix Satellite Television. Thus, few Hong Kong people know it. The committee may try to raise more fund to improve the situation.

Annotation of plants is not enough

Some of the plants do not have an annotation in front of them so that the visitors cannot know more about the plants. The organizer may remind the exhibitors to give accurate annotation for plants in their garden. Moreover, the organizer should unite the naming and classification of plants, to avoid confusion which we can see this problem in both the garden and the checklist.

Lack of time in preparation

Time is not enough for a full preparation, so some plants cannot grow to optimal form. For example, some plants are too short and some bamboos do not grow well under such a short preparation time. In order to solve the problem, longer time should be used on preparation, maybe 3 to 4 years before the exposition.

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