What goes into crafting a unique and thought-provoking pavilion at an Expo? This is the question explored by “Through the looking glass: exploring the visitor experience”, the 2024 edition of the Bulletin of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) released today.

Dedicated to the visitor experience in Expo pavilions, this year’s BIE Bulletin explores the tools and methods that participating countries use to enhance visitors' understanding, enjoyment, and connection.

Bringing together key figures and entities involved in commissioning, designing, realising, and reviewing Expo pavilions, the 2024 edition offers a range of experiences, and provides illuminating examples and analyses of how the visitor journey can be designed to spark creativity and inspire a sense of wonder and learning.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary General of the BIE, indicated: “With visitors able to choose from a multitude of experiences and exchanges throughout the Expo site, conceiving a pavilion is a task in creating real bonds and interacting with all senses. In tracing the story of Expo pavilions from some of the very earliest to those being planned for the future, this year’s Bulletin uncover key trends in scenography and exhibition innovation, while underlining the importance of accessible, engaging and people-centred content.”

Every year, the BIE Bulletin offers an array of expert viewpoints on a specific theme or issue arising from Expos. The contributions to the BIE Bulletin 2024 include:

  • From distancing exhibition displays to immersive experience spaces: Strategies of German Expo pavilions, 1851-2025
    Thomas Schriefers, Publicist, Architect, Exhibition and Product Designer
  • The experience of Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai: Creating a blueprint for a successful pavilion today
    Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia
  • It’s not just size that matters: Austria at Expos
    Helmut Doeller, Pavilion Director, Expo Office Austria
    Barbara Heidinger, Head of World Expo Unit, Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy
  • The odyssey of the pavilion of the Comoros at Expo 2020 Dubai
    El Amine Souef, Director, Airmès
  • Journey to the heart of Gabon at Expo 2020 Dubai
    Gabon Expo 2020 Dubai Committee
  • The role of the Expo, and the Expo visitor, in the 21st century
    Carlo Ratti, Founding partner, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, and Director, MIT Senseable City Lab
  • Crafting a unique message: Japan’s approach to planning its participation in Expos
    Yuji Sawada, Theme Programme Director, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai; Japan pavilion Producer, Expo 2008 Zaragoza; Event Director, Expo 2005 Aichi
  • Morocco at Expo 2020 Dubai: Α harmonious blend of tradition and modernity
    Commission-General for the Moroccan Section at Expo 2020 Dubai
  • Making an impact: Pakistan’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
    Arooj Mehwish Rizvi, Trade & Investment Counsellor, Embassy of Pakistan in Paris
  • The changing identity of the Republic of Korea’s Expo pavilions
    Koh Joowon, Professor, Seoul Institute of the Arts, Director of the pavilion of the Republic of Korea, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai
  • Creating lasting experiences that stick in the memory
    Manuel Salchli, Commissioner-General of Switzerland, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai
    Markus Goeb, Managing Director, Bellprat Partner AG
    Iwan Funk, Managing Partner, Bellprat Partner AG

The 2024 edition of the BIE Bulletin can be read and downloaded online: